Do Cats Dream?

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I don't think it would be out of line to say that cats are weird creatures. They are! They are bound by an insatiable need to sit in boxes — any box, regardess of size — and also, they snooze. A lot. So: Do cats dream? The short answer: Probably. They may be tiny, furry predators who fear cucumbers (and also maybe snakes?) and who might be planning your demise this very moment, but they still have things they dream about doing, according to science. The long answer: keep reading.

Fun fact: Cats sleep about 16 to 18 hours a day. They also experience the same sleep cycles that humans do, including REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, when most dreaming occurs. According to animal welfare and pet website Petful, humans tend to experience REM every 90 minutes, while cats reach that dream state about every 25 minutes. With the amount of sleep that these lazy bones need, that opens up the possibility of a whole lot of dreams.

Studies have found that the hippocampus, the part of the brain that deals with memory (and, subsequently, dreams), is essentially wired the same in all mammals, from rats to dogs and from cats to humans. Perhaps felines, who apparently treat humans as just some more cat peers, are onto something. We're not so different after all!

OK, fine. Maybe we're a little different. So if all these dumb cats dream so much, what are they dreaming about?

While that's kind of a difficult answer to nail down, scientists speculate that most of it is normal, every day cat stuff. You know, ignoring humans, demons, cucumbers, etc. For many of us, cats included, dreams are a way for our brains to process the information they've gained over the course of the day. So the next time that you see your li'l kitten pawing at the air in their sleep, don't worry — they're probably just dreaming about your face.

To end our discussion on a very serious and academic note, here's a video of a baby kitten having a bad dream. Try not to squeal too loudly.

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