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 up your cat to make him feel better. You can gently stroke him or pat him and reassure him with a soft voice. Cats would relax from these actions being half-sleeping, sometimes they wake up fully. Cats should not waken up suddenly or startled if they are sleeping, even if they have a nightmare.

Let’s see what else we can do with cats having nightmares.

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When you see you cat twitching and agitated while he sleeps, the first instinct is to wake him up immediately. It is not a good idea. You can scare him and make him more upset.

Sometimes my cat starts sleeping next to me, and after a while, he starts to twitch and move his legs involuntarily. I can totally see that he is sleeping, and to tell you the truth, it is very spooky to see my cat moving in its sleep.

Anyhow, what I do is to start petting him very slow and in the place he likes to be petted, like in his head and under his chin. He would yawn and go back to sleep. But now he is relaxed and calm.

If I would move fast and wake him up suddenly, he would run under the bed, and he would feel really scared. It is not good for a cat to think the environment is dangerous. Cats can stress out and become sick.

Should I wake my cat up from a nightmare? So, there are alternatives to a sudden awakening for a cat that has nightmares. Cats are easy to scare when they are up and running, so we have to be gentle and calm when dealing with nightmares.

The young cats and kittens may be dreaming and are having a period of activated sleep: the kittens will kick, jerk, move her legs, tail, torso, head, and she may cry or whimper. Again it is always better to pet the cat gently and avoid he gets scared away.


You can tell if your cat has a nightmare from the fact that 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, he is chasing something, or he is being chased.

To help a cat to have fewer nightmares, one should make sure that the cat feels safe in his environment and reduce any possible stress factor.


If cats are sleeping and twitching because of a nightmare, you can clearly see that it not a seizure.

How can I tell if my cat is twitching from dreaming or having a seizure?

Seizures are more uncontrolled. A cat would react with broader body motions, very uncontrolled reactions, and overall heavy breathing.

It is awful to see for a cat lover, cats with seizure would struggle around for a bit, and usually pees all over because they lose the control of their bladder, they would begin to shake and flip around


Here some related questions to “Should I wake my cat up from a nightmare?” and related answers:

  • Why is my cat having bad dreams?

Like any other living being, cats are subject to dreams and nightmares. The stress level in cats coming from an unsafe environment can increase the possibilities of cats having nightmares. Based on cats’ research, it seems they can dream of hunting and toys, humans, and other things they have seen around.

  • Do cats like being petted when sleeping?

Cats are always on alert and careful of their environments; they can steel monitor their surroundings when they sleep. If they are touched by something, they do not recognize they can jump up. However, cats also know if it is their owner petting them.

My cat likes to be petted when he sleeps. He likes to be petted under the chin, usually when he let me touch him a bit more when he is sleeping or sleepy.

  • Why does my cat wake up startled?

It happens that if a cat is sleeping, he may dream or have nightmares. Those can make him twitch in the sleep. Sometimes the twitch is so strong that they scare themselves in the movement and they 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.

  • 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 onto all positions.Being cats, they have to sleep a lot. Otherwise, they can start stressing out and act weirdly. Additionally, if they are being awakened each time they sleep, they can feel threatened and unsafe. It is better to leave cats alone when they are sleeping.

  • Is it normal for cats to deep sleep?

Cats often go in a deep sleep. This is the phase where they are resting the most. You can see some twitching and involuntary movements when cats are into a deep sleep. All cats go into a deep sleep; it is typical for them and even beneficial.


Should I wake my cat up from a nightmare? I hope we were able to answer your questions on this topic. If you have some additions or you have more questions, add them in the comments below.


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