Cat Shivers When Sleeping EXPLAINED! Is Your Cat Sick Or Shivering When Sleeping Is Normal?

cat shivers when sleeping

If you’re a cat owner, you may have noticed your cat shivers when sleeping. While this behavior can be concerning, it’s important to understand the reasons behind it. Shivering during sleep in cats can be a sign of illness or a normal behavior. Understanding the difference can help ensure your pet’s wellbeing.

Key Takeaways:

  • Shivering during sleep in cats can indicate underlying health issues or stress.
  • Providing a comforting environment and seeking veterinary care when needed are crucial for your cat’s overall wellbeing.
  • Understanding the reasons behind your cat’s shivering during sleep can help ensure a happy and healthy pet.

Cat Shivers When Sleeping – Is Shivering While Sleeping Normal for Cats?

As a cat owner, you may have noticed your furry friend exhibiting various movements and behaviors while sleeping. These can include twitching, muscle spasms, and shivering. But is shivering a normal behavior in cats during sleep? Let’s find out.

First of all, it is essential to know that cats, like humans, go through different stages of sleep. Cats typically have short periods of deep sleep, known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, and longer periods of light sleep. During REM sleep, their eyes move rapidly beneath their eyelids, indicating that they are dreaming.

Twitching, shivering, and muscle spasms are often associated with REM sleep and dreaming. These actions are believed to be the result of the brain sending signals to the muscles and nerves. Therefore, it’s quite common to see your cat shivering or twitching while in a deep sleep or catnap.

However, if your cat is consistently exhibiting more intense shivers, tremors, convulsions, or seizures, it could be a sign of a more severe health condition. In these cases, it is essential to seek veterinary attention to diagnose and address any underlying issues.

But for the most part, shivering while sleeping in cats is normal and nothing to worry about. It’s just a sign that your furry friend is having sweet dreams!

cat napping on a blanket

Note: Keep in mind that the type and duration of your cat’s sleep may vary depending on their age, health, and personality. Some cats are light sleepers and may wake up easily, while others may sleep for longer periods without interruption.

Potential Causes of Shivering When Sleeping

Shivering during sleep can be caused by a variety of factors. One possible cause is hypothermia, which occurs when the body temperature drops too low. If your cat is sleeping in a cold environment without adequate insulation from their fur, they may shiver in an attempt to increase their body heat. Providing a warm cat bed, blankets, or even a heating pad can help alleviate this issue.

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However, shivering can also be an indication of underlying illnesses. Viral diseases, bacterial infections, and parasites can cause fever, which may in turn cause your cat to shiver during sleep. Issues with internal organs such as kidney problems, heart diseases, and respiratory problems can also lead to shivering. Additionally, neurological disorders may cause muscle spasms or tremors during sleep.

If your cat’s shivering is persistent or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as coughing, vomiting, or loss of appetite, it’s important to seek veterinary care. Your vet can help diagnose and address any underlying health issues.

Causes of Shivering When Sleeping Symptoms
Hypothermia Feeling cold to the touch, seeking warmth
Viral Diseases Fever, lethargy, loss of appetite
Bacterial Infections Fever, coughing, vomiting
Parasites Weight loss, diarrhea, lack of energy
Internal Organ Issues Difficulty breathing, pale gums, decreased appetite
Neurological Disorders Muscle spasms, tremors, seizures

It’s important to monitor your cat’s behavior and look out for any symptoms of illness. Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and appropriate medications can help diagnose and address any underlying health issues.

heating pad for cat

Stress, Anxiety, and Behavioral Factors

If your cat shivers while sleeping, it could be related to stress, anxiety, fears, trauma, or other behavioral issues. When cats experience emotional distress, they may exhibit trembling or shivering as a response. Certain situations, such as loud noises or unfamiliar environments, can trigger a stress response in cats and cause them to shiver during sleep. It’s important to create a comfortable and safe environment for your cat to alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation.

Ensure that your cat has a cozy and secure space to sleep, such as a cat bed or a designated area in your home where they feel safe. Providing warm blankets and heating pads during colder months can also help keep your cat comfortable. Additionally, feeding your cat a balanced diet and ensuring proper hydration can promote a healthy sleep routine and reduce stress levels.

If you suspect that your cat’s shivering during sleep is related to stress or anxiety, speak with your veterinarian about potential solutions. They may recommend a behavior modification program, anti-anxiety medications, or other forms of treatment to help manage your cat’s emotional wellbeing.

Comfortable Cat Bed

Creating a Safe and Comfortable Environment

In addition to providing a comfortable place for your cat to sleep, consider other environmental factors that may be contributing to their stress. For example, loud noises, bright lights, or other stimuli may be causing your cat to shiver during sleep. Creating a quiet and peaceful environment for your cat can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.

Be sure to keep your cat’s litter box clean and easily accessible, and provide plenty of toys and scratching posts to keep them entertained. Regular playtime and affection can also help reduce anxiety and strengthen the bond between you and your pet.

By taking steps to create a safe and comfortable environment for your cat, you can help reduce stress and promote overall wellbeing.

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Seeking Veterinary Care and Diagnosis

If you notice that your cat’s shivering during sleep is persistent and not normal behavior, it’s essential to seek veterinary care. Regular check-ups and vaccinations can help prevent illnesses and infections, which could lead to shivering during sleep. Vaccinations can protect your cat from diseases that can cause tremors or shivers during sleep.

During a veterinary visit, the vet will perform a thorough physical examination of your cat and ask about their symptoms. They may also conduct laboratory tests to diagnose any underlying medical conditions that could be causing the shivering. Once they have diagnosed the problem, they will prescribe appropriate medications or treatment to alleviate your cat’s symptoms.

Additionally, the vet will provide guidance on proper nutrition, diet, and hydration. These factors can significantly impact your cat’s overall health, including their sleep pattern. The vet can recommend a diet plan and hydration strategy that caters to your cat’s specific needs.

Overall, seeking veterinary care and diagnosis is crucial for your cat’s wellbeing. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and appropriate medications can help diagnose and address any underlying issues that may be contributing to your cat’s shivering during sleep.

veterinary care

It’s important to note that self-diagnosis and treatment without veterinary consultation can be dangerous and potentially fatal for your cat. Always seek veterinary care.

Promoting Your Cat’s Wellbeing and Comfort

Creating a comfortable and safe environment is essential for promoting your cat’s wellbeing and ensuring a healthy sleep routine. A cozy cat bed or blanket, placed in a quiet area of your home, can help your cat feel secure and at ease during their rest.

If your cat shivers when sleeping due to colder temperatures, providing a heating pad or extra blankets can help regulate their body temperature and keep them warm. Additionally, establishing a healthy diet and proper hydration can also impact your cat’s sleep quality and overall health.

Ensure your cat has access to fresh water and a balanced diet of quality food. Consider using a water fountain to encourage your cat to drink more water. A well-nourished cat is less likely to experience discomfort or shivers during their sleep.

cat sleeping in a cozy bed

Regular veterinary check-ups can also aid in promoting your cat’s comfort and wellbeing. Your vet can assess your cat’s health, recommend appropriate preventative care, and diagnose any underlying illnesses that may be causing shivering during sleep.

By investing in your cat’s comfort and wellbeing, you can help ensure they have a happy and healthy life. Remember, creating a safe and secure environment, providing proper nutrition and hydration, and seeking veterinary care when needed are all key factors in promoting your cat’s overall health and quality of life.

Promoting Your Cat’s Wellbeing and Comfort

Cats need a comfortable and safe environment to ensure their overall wellbeing. Here are some strategies to help promote your cat’s health and comfort

 – Provide a cozy cat bed: Your cat needs a warm and comfortable bed to rest and sleep. Choose a bed with soft bedding and a cozy spot in your home where your cat can relax. 

 – Use warm blankets: If your cat shivers when sleeping due to a cold environment, providing warm blankets can help. Make sure to avoid using electric blankets or heating pads, which can cause burns. 

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 – Maintain proper nutrition: A balanced diet is essential for your cat’s overall health. Make sure to provide your cat with high-quality food that contains all the necessary nutrients. 

 – Ensure hydration: Make sure your cat has access to fresh and clean water at all times. Proper hydration is essential for maintaining a healthy sleep routine. 

 If you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior, such as shivering during sleep, it’s important to seek veterinary care. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and appropriate medications can help diagnose and address any underlying issues. Remember, monitoring your cat’s behavior, providing a comforting environment, and seeking veterinary care when needed are crucial for their overall wellbeing.

Is Snoring a Normal Behavior in Cats?

Cat snoring and sleep cycles explained: Snoring in cats can be common and is generally considered normal, especially during deep sleep. Similar to humans, cats can experience variations in their sleep patterns, which include rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep. During REM sleep, cats may exhibit muscle twitches, dream-like activity, and even light snoring. However, if snoring becomes excessive or is accompanied by other symptoms like coughing or difficulty breathing, it’s important to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

Is Cat Sneezing When Purring a Sign of Illness?

Cat sneezing when purring facts: While cats can sneeze for various reasons, sneezing during purring is not always a sign of illness. Sneezing may occur as a result of irritants like dust or allergens. However, persistent sneezing, discharge, or other symptoms could indicate an underlying health concern, such as an infection or allergy. If in doubt, it’s best to consult a veterinarian.


Q: Is shivering while sleeping normal for cats?

A: Yes, shivering while sleeping is considered a normal behavior for cats. It can be a result of muscle twitching or spasms during REM sleep.

Q: What are the potential causes of shivering when sleeping?

A: Shivering when sleeping can be caused by factors such as hypothermia due to a cold environment or inadequate insulation from fur. It can also be a sign of underlying illnesses such as viral or bacterial infections, kidney issues, heart diseases, respiratory problems, or neurological disorders.

Q: Can stress and anxiety contribute to shivering during sleep?

A: Yes, stress, anxiety, fears, trauma, and behavioral issues can contribute to shivering during sleep. Cats may experience tremors or shivers as a response to these emotional factors.

Q: When should I seek veterinary care for my cat’s shivering during sleep?

A: If your cat’s shivering during sleep is persistent or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary care. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and appropriate medications can help diagnose and address any underlying issues.

Q: How can I promote my cat’s wellbeing and comfort?

A: Providing a comfortable and safe environment for your cat is essential. This can include providing a cozy cat bed, warm blankets, and even heating pads during colder months. Additionally, ensuring proper nutrition, diet, and hydration can promote a healthy sleep routine.

Article by Barbara Read
Barbara read
Barbara Read is the heart and soul behind From her early love for cats to her current trio of feline companions, Barbara's experiences shape her site's tales and tips. While not a vet, her work with shelters offers a unique perspective on cat care and adoption.