If you’ve got a housecat, you know that felines are master snoozers– on average, a housecat will sleep 15 hours a day! Their lion cousins, though, are even bigger cat-nappers. Some lions can sleep or rest up to twenty hours a day.

That doesn’t mean lions are lazy, though. Have you ever noticed that your pet cat might be dozing but will bolt awake the moment you walk into the room or when they hear the can opener? That’s because while they spend a lot of time resting, they’re not in a deep sleep. Cats are hunters that evolved to always be ready to snag a meal when the opportunity arises, day or night. Rather than being nocturnal (awake at night) or diurnal (awake during the day), scientists sometimes describe members of the cat family, including lions, as “cathermal,” meaning that they wake up when they need to eat, whether that’s day or night.

 

Photo by Tambako the Jaguar

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