Why does my cat sleep all the time?

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Do cats normally sleep all day? Cat expert Celia Haddon explains...

Q) My elderly moggie, Trott, spends all her time sleeping in her bed under the radiator. She is so lazy that she doesn’t seem to want to play and only gets out of bed to use the litter tray or eat her food. She is now 13 years old. Is this behaviour just old age?

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CELIA SAYS:

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A) Yes, elderly cats do sleep more than younger ones but there may be another reason why Trott is doing this. The fact that she doesn’t enjoy active play and only gets out of bed when she needs to eliminate or eat, suggests that she may be in pain. One estimate is that a third of all cats suffer from arthritis. Cats don’t show pain in a way that we humans can recognise. They rarely, if ever, cry out and they usually don’t limp, like dogs do. Is Trott using a chair to get to a favourite area? Does she hesitate before jumping up or seem to have difficulty climbing the stairs? Has she stopped playing the kind of games that she used to enjoy? A vet can diagnose if these behaviour changes are due to arthritis. Apparently, only seven per cent of arthritic cats get treatment — the rest just suffer in silence. Trott need not be one of them. Your vet can prescribe painkillers and suggest dietary changes to give her a better quality of life in her old age.