Video: Do Cats Dream — And If So, What Do They Dream About?

An older gray cat asleep on a couch.
An older gray cat asleep on a couch. Photography by bbbrrn/Thinkstock.

Do cats dream? All signs point to yes! Scientists have found that rapid eye movement (REM), and important component of dreaming, occurs in most mammals. The process of sleep does vary between species. Humans have five stages of sleep, while cats only have two (REM and non-REM). For the kitties, it occurs every 25 minutes or so. Since they spend over half of their day slumbering, there is a good chance that you will observe your cat in the midst of dreaming. Like our brains, their brains release similar chemicals that prevent them from acting out their dreams.

Since my Dunkin is a lazy boy, I suspect he is already acting out his dreams when he just lies there. His idea of adventure is snuggling under my armpit at 10 p.m.

You can, perhaps, witness the twitching and tremors that accompany the dream cycle with your pet. But what do cats dream about then? We may never know what fantasies play out in the feline brain, but knowing the bizarre dreams my subconscious whips up, that is probably a good thing! Let’s learn more about cat dreams in this song:

“Dreamy Cats” by Sarah Donner

Oh, our mammalian brains
Are wired up in the same way
The hippocampus holds memories
When you go to sleep it does similar things

Their brains release chemicals
To prevent your cat from acting out
All the adventures of the day
Like licking their bums and taunting the strays

It seems they dream
Not about being naked or losing teeth
Or making out with the guys from TV
I’m talking about Bradley Cooper or John Krasinski (Emily Blunt + 7 cats)

We all hit REM
No, you don’t have to lose your religion
Twitching, tremors, irregular breathing
Means that cat is deep in his sleeping

SOURCES: MIT, USA Today, Love Meow

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Thumbnail: Photography by bbbrrn/Thinkstock.

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9 thoughts on “Video: Do Cats Dream — And If So, What Do They Dream About?”

  1. My Corny McPickels seems to dream about attacking dogs, she twirches and mews so much I can’t sleep at all!!!!!

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  6. I am pretty sure my Snickers was dreaming and making calling sounds for a while after her “brother” died. She sounded like she was crying and calling to him as they did to each other for ten years.

  7. My cat dreams and has nightmares all the time why is that?
    My cat bella hisses screams yells attacks me when I am being nice to her.
    Why is that?

    1. Hi Jenny — 
      Re: cat dreams, this article and video might add some insight. This article might help, too:
      Re: the yelling and attacking, check out these articles:

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