Should I wake my cat up from a nightmare? Have you ever seen your cat sleeping and twitching? And have you wondered if you should wake up your cat at that point?
If your cat is having a nightmare, it is unnecessary to wake him up to make him feel better. Instead, you can gently stroke him or pat him and reassure him with a soft voice. Cats should not wake up suddenly or be startled if they sleep, even if they have a nightmare.
Let’s see what else we can do with cats having nightmares.
DO CATS DREAM OR HAVE NIGHTMARES?
Like dogs and humans, cats have dreams and nightmares during their different sleeping phases. However, no one can say for sure what they dream about. Even experts have not come up with a definitive answer yet.
While humans dream about sophisticated dreams, cats can dream about their everyday life. So, for example, we can speculate that cats can dream about chasing other pets or animals or being with their owners.
What is sure is that the majority of mammals, including cats, have similar sleeping cycles to humans, which means that even cats go into a deep sleep stage (which makes the brain activities reduced) but also alternate periods of activities REM (Rapid Eye Movement) known to be the phase in which dreams are occurring.
Based on this theory, it is obvious to believe that cats have dreams.
Make your cat sleep well:
SHOULD I WAKE MY CAT UP IF HE IS TWITCHING?
Generally, waking up a twitching cat is not a good idea. Cats twitching are in a particular phase of sleep and probably dreaming. If you wake them up, you can scare them or shock them.
If that happens a lot, cats will not feel safe anymore to sleep near you or might begin to feel unsafe in the environment. Therefore, it is better to keep cats stress-free.
SHOULD I WAKE MY CAT UP FROM A NIGHTMARE OR NOT?
When you see your cat twitching and agitated while he sleeps, the first instinct is to wake him up immediately. However, it is not a good idea. You can scare him and make him more upset.
It is better not to wake up a cat during a nightmare for the following reasons:
- Cats can have bad reactions and get injured
- Cats can get scared and scratch you
- Cats can stress out and feel unsafe
For those reasons, it is better to let your cat sleep in and wait for him to wake up by himself.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CAT HAS A BAD DREAM?
If your cat is having a bad dream and is meowing and twitching, the best thing to do is to pet him slowly and softly to reassure him, but without waking him up.
The young cats and kittens may be dreaming and have a period of activated sleep. For example, kittens kick, jerk, and move their legs, tail, and head. In addition, kittens might cry or whimper. Again it is always better to pet cats gently without scaring them out.
Sometimes my cat starts sleeping next to me, and after a while, he begins to twitch and move his legs involuntarily. I can see that he is sleeping, and to tell you the truth, it is very spooky to see my cat moving in its sleep.
Anyhow, I start petting him very slowly and in the places he likes, such as on his head and under his chin. Then, he would yawn and go back to sleep. But now he is relaxed and calm.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR CAT IS HAVING A NIGHTMARE?
You can tell if your cat has a nightmare because he moves with jerks and involuntary muscle reactions while he sleeps. They can wake up suddenly, breathing fast and looking terrified. Often cats can be vocal during nightmares. They may growl or meow.
If your cat reacts this way when he sleeps, he is having a nightmare, most probably chasing something or being chased.
To help a cat have fewer nightmares, one should ensure that the cat feels safe in his environment and reduce any possible stress factor.
ARE CATS HAVING A SEIZURE OR SLEEPING?
If cats are sleeping and twitching because of a nightmare, you can clearly see that it is not a seizure. But, How can I tell if my cat is twitching from dreaming or having a seizure?
Seizures are more uncontrolled. A cat reacts with broader body motions, uncontrolled reactions, and overall heavy breathing. You can generally observe your cat having wilder movements than a simple twitch.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why does my cat have bad dreams?
Cats have bad dreams because, like any other living being, cats are subject to dreams and nightmares. The stress level in cats from an unsafe environment can increase the possibility of cats having nightmares.
Based on cats’ research, it seems they can dream of hunting, toys, humans, and other things they have seen around.
Do cats like being petted when sleeping?
Sometimes cats like being petted when they are sleeping, but not always. Cats are always alert and careful of their environments; they can steel monitor their surroundings when they sleep.
They can jump up if they are touched by something they do not recognize. However, cats also know if it is their owner petting them.
Why does my cat wake up startled?
If a cat is sleeping, he may dream or have nightmares. Those can make him twitch in sleep. Sometimes the twitch is so strong that they scare themselves in the movement and wake up startled.
Why is my cat shivering when it’s not cold?
Cats can be shivering due to a low blood sugar level. Suppose you observe your cat often shivering for no reason. Ask the vet for advice. It might also be that your cat is scared about something.
Should you never wake up a sleeping cat?
Cats enjoy sleep. I would say they are professional sleepers; for them, it is almost an art form. They sleep everywhere and in all positions. Of course, being cats, they have to sleep a lot. Otherwise, they can start stressing out and act weirdly.
Additionally, if they are awakened each time they sleep, they can feel threatened and unsafe. Therefore, it is better to leave cats alone when they are sleeping.
Is it normal for cats to deep sleep?
Cats often go into a deep sleep. This is the phase where they are resting the most. You can see some twitching and involuntary movements when cats are in a deep sleep. All cats go into a deep sleep; it is typical for them and even beneficial.
Do cats dream of their owners?
It is not sure, but we can assume that cats can dream about their owner since they spend most of their life attached to a human being.