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Do Cats Have Nightmares?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Today our cat Little Blanca was sleeping on the computer as usual and awoke with a start and flew thru the air, literally, to the floor. She looked really anxious for a minute or 2. I never saw anything like it. Have any of you? She is 13 so I hope it wasn't a health issue, but she isn't acting sick.
post #2 of 24
I couldn't say for sure whether they have nightmares, but I'm pretty sure they dream. When Rocket sleeps on me I can feel his legs twitch when he's dreaming of chasing rabbits. Tonight he was sleeping so soundly that he didn't wake up when I said the word "treats!!" which is a first for him. At first I wondered if he had died on me. But he was OK.
post #3 of 24
When I first found Tomas he would growl, cry, and some of his fur would fluff up in his sleep. He was only 10 weeks at the time so I doubt he was dreaming of being a big cat and fighting. Since I found him outside, with no mother cat in sight, I assume he had a few traumatic events.
post #4 of 24
Cats don't sleep deeply most of the time--they just kind of doze. Maybe she saw, felt, or heard something that startled her?

They do dream, though. If you look closely at their eyes when they are asleep, sometimes you'll see them flicking back and forth in REM--that means they're dreaming.
post #5 of 24
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
Cats don't sleep deeply most of the time--they just kind of doze.
Have you never had one of your cats so deeply asleep that you can pick them up and move them to another room without them waking up? Whenever they're that deeply asleep you can easily tell, if you lift a paw and it falls back down as dead weight then the cat even isn't slightly awake.

Kittens are more prone to that dead to the world sleeping.
post #6 of 24
My cat has the habit of opening his eyes during his sleep. It's really creepy as you can see his eyes flicker with constricted pupils, and when I try to wake him up he shuts his eyes again. Weird
post #7 of 24
Radar worried me the other day by crying in his sleep, making little whimpering noises. His feet and jaw were twitching and you could see he was in REM sleep by his eye movements. He then did the cat equivalent of 'sat bolt upright in bed' with a very startled look on his face. Poor lad has never known hardship, I can only assume that he was dreaming of going to the vet!
post #8 of 24
lol i say yes they do. have seen them twitch cry out.
heyu will sometimes cry out jump in the air, and out until she gets in my lap.
and she is not much of a lap cat.. All i can think of she had a bad dream.
post #9 of 24
My parent's had a cat that I swear was senile in it's old age. It would fall asleep with it's face in the food bowl and eat in it's sleep. She would fall asleep on the armrest on the couch and then all of a sudden jump up really high, land on the ground and fall back asleep. She used to sleep walk to which was odd as I have never heard of a cat doing it before. But she would be crouchign on the kitchen floor, asleep, and everynow and then she would go to chase mice that she dreamed were there. She would always run into something. It was quite funny to watch at times.
post #10 of 24
I wonder if they are also subject to those muscle cramps that rudely awaken their human counterparts at times...?
post #11 of 24
I sometimes wonder if they do as well, because sometimes they seem awful afraid of things and then the next day tehyre fine.
I guessed it could be a nightmare?
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Good, sounds like she is not so unusual! She is snuggling in my lap right now. She was probably dreaming that baby Kitto came flying at her, which happens all the time around here. She is our alpha, so she has to set him staight fairly often!
post #13 of 24
Two of my cats definitely dream and have occasional nightmares. They will cry in their sleep and thrash a bit. This is so different from their regular behavior, it can only be a bad dream. We wake them up and soothe them just like they are little babies. This doesn't happen often but it is definitely bad dreams!
post #14 of 24
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
Cats don't sleep deeply most of the time--they just kind of doze. Maybe she saw, felt, or heard something that startled her?
Stimpy sure sleeps deeply. When we first adopted him I would shake him to wake him up to make sure he was ok! I had never had a cat who slept like that. The first couple weeks we had him he slept like he was in a coma or something. I think the month he spent at the shelter he didn't sleep well and was making up for it.

Nabu has nightmares. He will wake from a sound sleep and hiss while looking generally upset.

I think Stimpy dreams of snacking on gerbils. Raven chases mice or something in his dreams, but like Stimpy doesn't seem to have nightmares.
post #15 of 24
My cat regularly sleeps cuddled up in front of me when I'm working on the computer. Pretty much every time he drops into really deep sleep his paws start twitching - probably not very noticeably if I was watching him but I can feel them against my stomach moving in a walking/running pattern One of my dogs used to twitch and make "wuffing" noises in her sleep regularly too

I just googled it and found an interesting read: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2001/dreaming.html
post #16 of 24
Junior was taken to the shelter with his sister and mother when he was about 6 months old. I adopted him after he'd been there for about a month but his sister and mother had already been adopted before then.

During the first week here Junior would fall asleep in my lap. One time when he was sleeping he suddenly started making suckling noises and his mouth moved accordingly. This went on for 10-15 seconds. I can only assume he was dreaming about his mother. It was funny to watch but also sad since he will never see his family again.

post #17 of 24
Originally Posted by Leila View Post
I just googled it and found an interesting read: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2001/dreaming.html
Thanks!! Good enought to bookmark.
post #18 of 24
Berach sleeps like that. he dozes off like an old man, like the kitty in this video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/209091..._tired_kitten/
it's hilarious... we just sit and watch him and giggle.

after he's fallen asleep completely you can lift his paw or even his head and it will just flop back down, dead weight.

scared the crap outta me the first couple times... thought he was dead!
post #19 of 24
They did a study once that found that cats dream they're hunting. They turned off the part of the brain that prevents them from physically acting out the dream (the inactivation of which would cause sleepwalking in people, essentially), and the cats hunted.

I've always assumed they seem startled upon waking because they aren't sure where they are, not if they come suddenly from a deep sleep. They've gone from hunting something to lying in a living room and can't figure out how they got there.

I love it when they not only wake up suddenly but do so with a "Meow?", like ":censor::censor::censor:?"
post #20 of 24
I'm pretty sure that's what Rocket's thinking, if not actually saying, when I wake him out of a sound sleep.
post #21 of 24
Hey, I said MOST of the time! They sleep deeply sometimes, of course. I try to clip my cats' nails when they sleep very deeply... i'ts better than the ol' kitty towel burrito!
post #22 of 24
My cat is sleeping by my feet right now ( aww ) and is making little noises (kitty snoring? lol) that make me think she is dreaming. Usually she is a light sleeper (like most cats) but right now she is pretty fast asleep. Her stomach is moving up and down much more noticeably than when she takes cat naps, and she is kind of twitching too.

I honestly don't know what she would be dreaming about. The girl sleeps all day anyway, except for the time she is eating or using the litter box.
post #23 of 24
I know they dream and definitely believe they have nightmares. Sweety, our last kitty bless her soul, would sometimes start crying in her sleep, very disturbed, and we would wake her and comfort her, as if she was having a nightmare.
post #24 of 24
I do believe Junior had a nightmare earlier this afternoon. I was sitting in the recliner watching football and he was sleeping on top of the sectional. I looked over and noticed one of his front paws was twitching. I watched a bit and suddently both back paws started twitching so I think he was running. After a minute or so of this, Junior woke up, looked at me, then immediately walked over and jumped in my lap, meowing all the way. Once he was in my lap he settled back down and fell asleep again. Junior doesn't usually sleep in my lap, though he'll occasionally climb in for a little loving. I think he just needed a little comforting.

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