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British Shorthair sleeping hours—should you wake the sleeping beauty?

British Shorthairs are famous for sleeping a lot, but how much time can you expect your kitty to spend napping in their bed?

Understanding your cat's sleeping hours can help you establish a good relationship with them. It will enable you to determine the best training and playing times and notice if your feline's sleeping habits have been disturbed. Too much sleeping may be a sign there is something wrong, and recognizing the issues on time will help you take the necessary steps to keep your cat healthy and happy.

Untamed goes deeper into the British Shorthair sleeping habits to help you get to know your cat better and learn how to work around their sleeping hours.

How long do British Shorthair cats sleep?

Most felines sleep between 10 and 16 hours a day, but there are no definite rules, so it's not uncommon for your British Shorthair to spend most of the day sleeping. They can even sleep for 20 hours in one day, but that usually happens if they have exercised more than usual on that day. In general, the more exercise they get during the day, the more they will nap.

Why do British Shorthairs sleep a lot?

Sooo, you woke me up because?

Source: Marianna OLE

Your kitty may not be a wild cat, but they share some traits with their ancestors. Extended periods spent in the dreamland can be traced back to when wild felines had to gather enough energy for their hunting expeditions. They use a lot of energy when they hunt prey, and it may be a while before they catch anything, so sleeping is the best way for them to conserve energy between hunts.

While your British Shorthair doesn't have to hunt for food, their eating habits remain the same as their ancestors’. The natural feline diet consists of proteins predominantly, and kitties need a lot of energy for digestion, which is another aspect sleep can help with. Since British Shorthairs tend to be lazy and are a docile breed, they will also always use their spare time to take a beauty nap when you are not around, or they have nothing better to do.

British Shorthair sleeping habits

To comprehend your cat's sleeping habits, you need to understand their:

  1. Sleeping schedule
  2. Sleeping positions

When do British Shorthairs sleep?

Many cats prefer to be active early in the morning and during the early evening. Since these are the times when humans typically sleep, people used to believe that cats are nocturnal animals. The fact that felines have superb vision at night also contributed to these suspicions.

It turned out that felines follow polycyclic sleep-wake cycles, which means they like to be awake in the morning and evening and sleep during the day and night. Still, even though that is how they would naturally sleep, house cats—including British Shorthairs—can adjust their sleep-wake cycles to be awake when you are and spend more time interacting with you. These felines will lie next to you with their eyes closed, seemingly asleep—that's how they will show they enjoy your company, feel relaxed around you, and are happy to be close to you.

Once you bring a British Shorthair home and they start feeling comfortable around you, you will start noticing their sleeping habits pretty quickly. If you see any considerable changes in their sleeping patterns, don't ignore them and write them off as felines' love for a good snooze since they might be a sign of an underlying health issue.

British Shorthair sleeping positions

I sleep how I want, when I want. Stop inspecting me.

Source: Juwelia

Felines are incredibly flexible and can sleep in positions that may seem downright uncomfortable. Sometimes, there are good reasons why they choose a particular pose, and if you understand them, you will understand your cat better, too. 

The most common sleeping positions your British Shorthair will sleep in include:

  1. Foetal position
  2. Curled like a ball
  3. Lying on the back or on the side
  4. Lying on the belly

Foetal position

If your British Shorthair sleeps in a foetal position, they may want to:

  • Keep their heat up
  • Protect their belly or paws
  • Avoid attention
  • Protect an injury

Sometimes, when felines sleep like this, they could be signalling they don't feel well or need a break from the hassle around them. Make sure they are warm enough and give them some space.

If there is nothing physically wrong with your British Shorthair, but they keep sleeping in a foetal position, you may want to ensure they have a safe spot on their own where they can go to get some peace.

Curled like a ball

This is probably the most common position you will see your cat sleeping in. The pose is supposed to keep their vital organs protected and their body temperature preserved. Even though it looks defensive, cats feel comfortable curled up in a ball, so you can rest assured that they are relaxed and feel good.

Lying on the back or on the side

If you see your British Shorthair sleeping on their back or on the side, it means they trust you completely and feel safe and comfortable around you. 

Cats don't get into this pose around just anyone. When lying on their backs, they expose their vital organs, and sleeping in this position would put them in great danger if they get attacked, so they must feel perfectly relaxed in their environment to sleep like that. 

The only cause for concern could be if your British Shorthair’s belly is enlarged—it would mean that lying in a different way puts pressure on their stomach and causes pain.

Lying on the belly

If your British Shorthair is lying on their stomach, resembling a loaf of bread, they are probably taking a quick nap. From this position, they are ready for action instantly.

Sleeping on their stomach suggests that your cat feels relaxed and unthreatened by anything. While this position allows them to stay alert and react quickly if necessary, it typically means that your kitty probably didn't plan to fall asleep, but why pass on an opportunity to rest their eyes a bit?

When should you be worried about your British Shorthair's sleeping hours?

Since I’m outside, I must remember not to doze off.

Source: Kirsten Bühne

Your kitty may be sick if they:

  • Sleep more than usual—Being sick is tiring and takes a lot of your feline's energy
  • Are in a tight foetal position—Sleeping in this pose is a way to preserve heat and hide painful body parts
  • Don’t move much—Besides remaining in the same position, your cat may also walk, eat, or drink less

Besides illnesses, you should consider your British Shorthair's age and activity levels. These felines are a pretty lazy breed and tend to be less active as they get older, which can lead to weight gain, obesity, and many other health issues, including:

  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • Metabolic issues (diabetes and high blood pressure)
  • Joint problems

For this reason, it's crucial to feed your kitty high-quality meals, offer them adequate portions for their activity level, and avoid giving them food rich in carbs. These nutrients offer quick-release energy that makes your kitty drowsy, while unburnt calories become fat deposits, leading to excess pounds and accompanying health niggles. 

What's the best diet for your British Shorthair?

The best food, if you ask me, is the food in front of me. 

Image (c) Untamed

Whatever type of cat food you choose—wet, dry, semi-moist, raw, or homemade—make sure it contains adequate quantities of:

  1. Animal protein
  2. Animal fat

Animal protein

Meat and fish are the only sources of essential amino acids—like lysine, arginine, or taurine—that cats need for:

  • Energy
  • Strong muscles
  • Healthy skin and coat
  • Good vision
  • Normal organ function

Vegan or vegetarian diets are not a suitable substitute for meat or fish-based ones. Food rich in animal protein will help your British Shorthair avoid:

Animal fat

Animal fat gives cat food an irresistible taste and texture, which is why jelly or gravy formulas make even fussy kitties lick their plates. After all, what use of the best-quality food if your British Shorthair refuses to eat it?

What's the recommended amount of macronutrients in cat food?

Cat food should contain high amounts of animal protein, moderate quantities of fat, and minimal quantities of carbohydrates. Such composition will ensure your feline's energy is levelled, and they will get all the nutrients they need to stay healthy and active.

Check out the recommended percentages of macronutrients in cat food in the table below:

Nutrient group

Recommended quantities

Animal protein

50% or more

Animal fat

Less than 20%


Up to 3%

What ingredients should you look for in cat food?

When choosing cat food for your British Shorthair, you need to make sure that meat or fish are the first items in the ingredients list. Here are some suitable food items you can include in your feline’s diet in the form of regular meals or occasional treats: 

Regular meals

Occasional snacks (due to high fat content)

What ingredients should your kitty avoid?

If you notice any of the items below on the ingredients list, look for a different product:

Food that contains these filler ingredients has lower animal protein content and doesn’t provide them with the necessary amount of essential nutrients.

Can Untamed help your British Shorthair stay active and healthy?

Untamed has all your British Shorthair needs.

Image (c) Untamed

Untamed is specifically designed to keep felines active and slim while not compromising on the taste.

Every Untamed dish is:

Untamed is good for cats and kind to the planet. We are committed to keeping our environment healthy, so we guarantee that our packaging is fully recyclable, the ingredients we use are ethically sourced, and our supply chain is carbon neutral.

Order Untamed today to help your British Shorthair stay slim, happy, and active! 

How to get Untamed delivered to your British Shorthair

All you need to do to get the best food for your British Shorthair is:

  1. Tell us about your kitty
  2. Select products you want
  3. Place your order

The trial pack will arrive in a day, and once you open the first tin, the tantalizing aroma will wake your sleeping beauty and make them go crazy for the taste! We can deliver your kitty’s favourites around the same time every month.

Once your feline friend switches to Untamed, you can expect the following results:


The Untamed Effect

Week 1

  • Reduced stool volume
  • Better mood

Week 8

  • Constant energy levels
  • Better digestion

Month 4

For life