A Day in the Life of a Cat

Ever wonder what it would be like to live the life of a cat? Well, you’re in for a treat today. Follow along for a summary of a day in the life of a cat!


Generally adult cats can spend anywhere from 12-19 hours of their day sleeping, on average for a house cat they hover around the 16-hour mark. That number may be higher for some cats as they will sleep more due to boredom. Most people wonder what their cat(s) do all day while they’re at work/school/etc. Yup, you guessed it, they’re likely napping the day away in a nice sunny spot.


An adult cat will spend about 2-3 hours of their limited awake time grooming. It is a very healthy behaviour for your cat. It is a ritual of sorts for cats and allows them to maintain good health as well. Not only do they distribute sebum through their coat, which makes their coat waterproof, they also absorb vitamin D by licking their skin. Some experts say that grooming for cats is their version of meditation.

Eating and Bathroom Business

These are the “functional” activities in their world, and they spend almost the least amount of time on this ranging from 1-2 hours. They do these activities as quickly as possible, and they spread this out over the day preferring to tackle it in small spurts. Cats are “snackers” by nature. They prefer to eat smaller snacks throughout the day as opposed to 2 large meals a day. Which is why food puzzles are a great choice for cats, or even “hiding” food around the house, so your cat has to “hunt” for it is great for their mental enrichment.

Playing and chasing

Now that cats are domesticated they no longer need to spend long hours hunting (playing) and chasing down their food; however, their hunting instincts and play behaviour are still there. Most cats need 1 hour of play and chase time to stay happy and environmentally enriched in their homes. Here is a great resource to determine your cats prey preference to find the perfect toys.

Observing the world around them

Your cat will spend around 2 hours a day just observing the world around them. They will sit or lay down with their ears up, eyes wide just taking it all in. Usually picking a safe spot to do this activity, somewhere they can see, but not be seen; a balcony, window sill, roof, up high on a cat tree/perch. The options are endless for a cat.

Marking territory and exploring

This is the action portion of your cats day, it typically takes up about 2 hours. Cats spend part of their day making sure their “kingdom” is well maintained. They maintain this kingdom with their olfactory marks (pheromones or urine) and the scratches they leave behind. Their daily rounds allow them to ensure the different traces they leave behind remain clear to anyone coming behind and to also explore any changes that may have occurred since their last round.

Written by: Erika, VA/CSS