Can Cats Sleep with Their Eyes Open? What You Need to Know!

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Cats are such adorable animals, and many people consider them to be ideal pets. If you have a cat, you most certainly adore it and want to keep it healthy at all times.

People pay special attention to their cats in order to ensure that they are properly cared for. If you’ve ever watched your cat sleep, you might be astonished to notice that its eyes are partially open.

If the cat’s eyes aren’t closed, is it really sleeping? Is it possible for cats to sleep with their eyes open, or is your cat just relaxing?

Continue reading to learn more about cats, including whether they can sleep with their eyes open or not. You’ll learn a lot about this subject, including whether or not you should be concerned about it.

Can cats sleep with their eyes open?

Can Cats Sleep with Their Eyes Open

They are capable of doing so. If you’re reading this, you’ve undoubtedly already noticed your cat sleeping with her eyes open throughout the day. Not all cats can do it, and those who can don’t do it all of the time. It can be startling to find your cat sleeping with her eyes open for the first time. It appears eerie, and you may begin to suspect that something is wrong with her.

Sleeping with wide eyes, on the other hand, is rarely a reason for concern. Many cats sleep with their eyes slightly open when they are sleeping. The feature is more common in older cats, according to researchers. Even if this is common behavior, you should still keep an eye on your cat. Sleeping with their eyes open can suggest a medical problem in some rare circumstances. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if you find your cat sleeping with her eyes open and twitching. You might have noticed and wondered why cats twitch while sleeping and dreaming. If you’ve noticed anything like this, keep in mind that it could be a symptom that your cat has epilepsy. In these situations, it’s always best to be safe and see your veterinarian.

Why do cats sleep with their eyes open?

Even while this isn’t unique, you might be curious as to why cats can sleep with their eyes open. The explanation may astound you and make you even more enamored with your cat.

Cats, like humans, have a sleep cycle with various stages. Their eyes are more likely to open while they are in a light sleep. Even when they are sleeping, their bodies are nonetheless aware of their environment and react to what is going on. You may also observe their ears twitching and turning toward whatever has piqued their interest. While your home is a safe haven for your cat, his instincts never rest. Your cat can maintain track of her surroundings and feel more at peace if she sleeps with her eyes open. Most cats will not sleep with their eyes open during the deeper REM (rapid eye movement) sleep cycle (though it is still possible).

Because of an injury, a cat may also sleep with their eyes open. Underneath the other two eyelids, cats have a translucent third eyelid. Your cat may be unable to close her eye if this eyelid is injured. When your cat is awake, an eyelid injury is easy to notice. If the cat’s eyelid is damaged, surgery may be required. Fortunately, eyelid injury is uncommon, and it’s unlikely that your cat is sleeping with her eyes open. If your cat is exhibiting any other symptoms, take her to the doctor for a thorough examination.

Should you be concerned?

No, there’s no need to be concerned because your cat is sleeping with her eyes open in the vast majority of cases. However, if she’s exhibiting other signs such as twitching, seizures, or eye injuries, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian. They’ll be able to tell you whether your cat has a medical problem. Cats sleeping with open eyes are, for the most part, perfectly normal — though eerie. Your pet is in perfect health.

Cats perform a lot of strange, humorous, and baffling things that we don’t understand. It can be unsettling to see your cat sleeping with its eyes open. But keep in mind that cats prefer to remain aware of their surroundings at all times, which can lead to them sleeping with their eyes open. As far as cats go, they’re very typical; nothing to get worked up about.

Why Do Cats Sleep with Their Eyes Open?

Can Cats Sleep with Their Eyes Open

Cats fall asleep with their eyes open for a variety of reasons. The most prevalent reason is that your cat is programmed to flee from danger.

This is a necessary aspect of a wild cat’s daily life, thus it must keep its eyes awake at all times. Predation is a possibility if the cat cannot flee quickly enough.

That is not, however, the only reason. Cats sleep with their eyes open because:

Light Sleep

Your cat is most likely sleeping with its eyes open since it is in a light nap. As previously stated, this enables cats to respond to danger.

If your cat sleeps with one or both eyes open, it is most likely not in the deepest stage of slumber. As a result, a light sound or touch might quickly wake it up.

Cats preserve energy by sleeping in tiny bursts during the day so they can hunt at night. Cats are also affected by the weather, so when it’s chilly and rainy, they’re more prone to sleep lightly.

Noisy Environment

Domestic cats are less concerned about environmental threats, although they will keep their eyes open if the surroundings is noisy and there is a lot going on around them.

Cats will tuck themselves away to sleep while keeping at least one eye open, especially if the house is full of people (including strangers) during the day. This helps them to keep a close eye on any risks they may need to flee from.

Provide access to a quiet, dark room where your cat can tuck itself away to sleep if it looks uneasy in its surroundings. Place your pet’s bedding and toys in the area to indicate that they are yours.

This should make your cat feel at ease enough to go asleep in a deep rapid eye moment.

Injured Eyes

Cats get into fights on a regular basis, especially if they venture out late at night. They could easily wind up with a severe scratch across their eye or eyelid if they come across a territorial cat on their excursions. As a result, closing them may cause discomfort to the animal.

The third eyelid, in particular, can become lacerated if it is damaged. This is a common injury observed in active cats involved in fights, according to Greenside Animal Hospital.

Scratches can also lead to painful cornea ulceration. The following are some of the most common signs and symptoms of ocular trauma:



Eyes that are watering


A scrape that can be seen


Grabbing the eyeball

Eye medications can be used to treat these injuries, but in the most severe cases, suturing may be required.

Foreign Bodies

Foreign objects in the eye, such as glass, sand, or thorns, can cause painful sores and ulcers, preventing the cat from sleeping with its eyes closed. If the foreign body isn’t removed soon, it can cause an infection in the eye.

Items that barely penetrate the cornea’s surface can be removed with a local anesthetic. If the foreign body has penetrated deep into the body, it will need to be surgically removed.

Dry Eye

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is the scientific name for dry eye in cats (KCS). When the cornea becomes irritated and the surrounding tissue dries out, dry eye develops.

The failure to create enough tear duct film, which lubricates the eye and eliminates dirt and debris, causes it. The following are some of the most common causes of KCS, according to VCA Hospitals:

Immune system weakness, which is frequently hereditary

Herpes virus in cats

A number of medicines are available.

The effects of an inner ear infection on the nervous system

Cats with KCS are more likely to have:

Eyes that are red and inflamed

Squinting and blinking excessively

Unattractive appearance

Yellow, thick discharge

Some cats can’t close their eyes at all because they hurt too much, while others can’t close them at all because they hurt too much. As a result, to minimize discomfort, they’ll sleep with the damaged eye open.

Watching Out For Owners

Can Cats Sleep with Their Eyes Open

Cats who have developed a strong attachment with their owners find it difficult to be apart from them and prefer to know where they are at all times.

Cats attach themselves to their owners and use them as a sense of security, according to a journal called Current Biology.

Researchers noticed that when their owners returned from a brief absence, cats that had built a deep link with them were less worried and relaxed.

According to this study, some cats keep their eyes open when sleeping to keep a watch on their owners. If their owner leaves the room, the cat will wake up and follow them to stay close by.

Waiting For Food

Hungry cats sleep little and often in order to conserve their energy. If they are aware that food is around or that dinner is approaching, they will become more awake – even when sleeping – in order to prepare themselves for food.

Similarly, when their owner enters the kitchen or another room where food is stored, greedy or opportunistic cats keep their eyes open, ready to react. They’ll follow in the hopes of winning goodies or food.

How To Help Your Cat Sleep Better

It’s critical to keep your cat healthy, and making sure they sleep well is an important part of that. Some suggestions for assisting your cat’s sleep are included below.

Give them enough playtime

Because cats enjoy being physically and mentally stimulated, play sessions would allow them to expend some of their energy during the day, allowing them to go asleep faster.

If you don’t have enough time to play with your cat, try purchasing a smart pet camera like the Petcube Play 2 with a laser toy, which allows you to play, watch, and communicate with your feline companion even while you’re not at home.

Keep their sleep schedule consistent

Following certain habits and patterns will help your cat learn when and where to sleep, preventing disruptions and unexpected situations.

Maintain a healthy diet

For a cat’s health to be at its best, it must be able to absorb the necessary nutrients. It goes without saying that feeding your cat with the nutrition their bodies require can improve their sleep.

Feed your cat during the night

After a hearty meal, cats often fall asleep quickly. If you feed them a meal many hours before their bedtime, they may awaken from their slumber because they are hungry. On the other hand, if their supper is served before their typical sleeping time, they are less likely to wake up in the middle of the night with a hunger pang.

Cats sleep a lot, however throughout the day they are usually in a light sleep phase. Their eyes may be partially open when sleeping throughout the early stages of their sleep cycles. A cat sleeping with its eyes open is usually not a reason for concern and is fine.

If other symptoms, such as red eyes or convulsions, are present, consult a veterinarian to determine whether your cat has a medical issue that requires treatment.


You’ve learned a lot about cats, including the fact that they sometimes sleep with their eyes open. As a bonus, you learnt that humans can sleep with their eyes open on occasion.

This appears to be a strange occurrence, but it’s more likely that it’s typical than that your cat is having troubles. If you find your cat sleeping with its eyes open, it’s most likely a common occurrence and you shouldn’t be concerned.

If you notice your cat twitching while sleeping, you should schedule an appointment with a veterinarian. The cat may have epilepsy, which must be treated with the appropriate drugs.

Cats usually sleep with their eyes open, and this is quite normal. It happens frequently while cats are in the early phases of sleep, and it occurs more frequently in older cats.

Put your mind at peace and focus on your cat. You’ve educated yourself on the subject, so you shouldn’t be concerned anymore.

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