Why Do Cats Twitch When They Sleep?


Why do cats twitch when they sleep? It can be tempting to wake them up to find out what’s happening. However, most twitching is harmless and a normal part of your cat’s sleep cycle.

The most common reason for twitching is dreaming or involuntary muscle spasms. But there are some rarer causes, too, like feline hyperesthesia syndrome or seizures.


If you notice your cat twitching in their sleep, it’s usually just a sign that they’re dreaming. They may be chasing a mouse or eating their favourite meal, and their limbs are twitching due to that dream.

They’re also likely to twitch when they’re in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep, which is often when cats are most vividly dreaming.

But, even if your cat isn’t dreaming, their twitches can indicate something else is going on in their body. In these cases, you should take them to a veterinarian to get them checked out.

While twitching during sleep is most common in younger cats, it can happen with older cats as well. In any case, you should be able to tell when your pet is having a dream by watching them closely.

Muscle Spasms

If you are a cat owner, chances are that you have witnessed your furry friend twitching during sleep. Twitching while sleeping is a common pet behavior, and most of the time it is harmless and normal.

When your cat twitches, it is most likely because they are in the REM stage of their sleep cycle. This is a very important phase for cats to be in, as it is very crucial to their overall health and wellbeing.

During this stage, your cat may dream. The good news is that twitching due to dreams is also normal and harmless, and it will probably be less pronounced than stage four twitching.

However, some cats twitch in their sleep because they are having a seizure. Usually these seizures are not violent and last a few minutes, but if your cat is having a grand mal seizure, it can be very scary for you.


In the early stages of pregnancy, you may notice that your cat twitches more when she sleeps. This is due to the hormonal changes and the increase in muscle activity she is going through as her body is preparing to support two or more kittens.

Aside from twitching, pregnant cats may be more affectionate than usual and start to seek out you more often for attention. They might even purr more than usual to attract your attention, so it is important to be patient and make sure you are always giving them your full attention.

Twitching in kittens is normal and a sign of nervous development, but it should stop or reduce once the kitten is out of this stage.

When your cat is asleep, she goes through three different stages of sleep. The first stage is called Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, which lasts for about six minutes.

Medical Issues

In some cases, twitching may be a sign of a medical issue. This is a good reason to bring it up with your vet.

Cats go through three different stages of sleep – naps, light sleep and REM (rapid eye movement) or deep sleep. Kittens have an additional fourth stage called activated sleep, which is needed for nervous development.

During REM, cats dream, which can cause them to twitch. In most cases, this twitching is harmless and will stop as your cat grows older.

If your cat is twitching while asleep and has a stiff body or foams at the mouth, this could be a seizure. Seizures can look like twitching, but they are a little more jerky.

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