Why does my cat tremble when he sleeps?


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Care / Health January 22, 2018 ->

Why does your cat tremble when he sleeps?

Why does your cat tremble when he sleeps?

If you have a cat you will have realized how calm and deep they sleep. Who will not have envied the naps of our mininos, without worries and with a peace that we already wanted. Surely you will also have noticed some small tremors that give them while they sleep, weird right? In this note we will discover more about them.

These small jumps may be due mainly to 3 factors:

- They may be sick.

Cats also dream

This seems to be the main reason why our cats jump while they sleep. It is already proven that cats and dogs also dream, it was confirmed by studies that measured brain impulses at different stages of sleep. We clearly cannot know what our kitten is dreaming, but if it trembles, we can attribute it to what it is dreaming of, whether it is hunting a mouse or playing with its friends.

The stage of sleep where these tremors, involuntary muscle movements, and even verbalization sometimes occur, is the REM stage, and shows us that our little one is dreaming.

Your kitty is cold

This alternative is not the most common, but it could also be a possibility, since the body temperature of our cats is lower than that of the human being, so the low temperatures affect them more, but they have their own survival mechanism, their fur, which protects them from the cold and weather contingencies. Similarly if your pussy is trembling, and more resemble shivers, make sure it is not cold, and put a blanket, and away from possible drafts.

He is sick Take care of him!

Sometimes there are pains so strong that they shake the body of your kitten that resists this pain, this is why on very specific occasions the origin of the tremor is more serious and it is because your pussy is going through some kind of problem. To rule out the reasons reviewed above, and validate the latter (disease), it is very easy, since it is most likely that when you wake up you also have attitudes or symptoms that reveal that your child is not quite right, such as lack of appetite , depressed attitude, not wanting to play, etc. If you discover that your little one does not feel well, we recommend you take it immediately to your veterinarian.

He is cold?

This may be one of the reasons why your cat trembles while sleeping. Remember that felines have a higher body temperature than the human being, around 39 degrees Celsius. That is why on very cold nights, and especially if your cat is short-haired, it is not strange that he feels some cold in his small body. You will notice it because its tremor is very particular, as shivering, and because try to roll up as much as he can about himself.

In these cases you can offer the cat a warm blanket and bed, placing them for him away from drafts and windows. This way you will provide the heat you need.

Why does my cat tremble when he sleeps?

your cat may shake while sleeping for several reasons :

  • He is cold
  • He dreams.
  • He has health problems.

In the following paragraphs of this article Why does my cat tremble when he sleeps We will further develop the points just mentioned.

If it's cold, your cat may start to shake while sleeping! Remember that felines have a higher body temperature than humans (which is around 39ºC). For this reason, when it is very cold and especially if your cat has short hair, it is not incongruous that his small body does not suffer the consequences of winter. This type of tremor is particular, in fact, you will notice it easily because you will see your cat shake and trying to bend you as much as possible about himself.

In these cases, we recommend giving your cat a blanket and a warmer bedIt is also advisable to place it as far as possible from drawers and windows. In this way, you will offer all the heat you need so that it does not shake.

This is the second reason why a cat can shake when it sleeps. Several studies, as diverse as they are varied, indicate that both dogs like cats they dream when they are in Morpheus's arms .

Unfortunately we cannot know what kind of dream it is or to know the structure of its unconscious epics, but what these studies prove is that the involuntary movements they have when they sleep are caused by their sweet dream. . It is not uncommon for us to misunderstand these movements as tremors.

According to various studies, the brain activity of cats during the deep sleep stage is similar to that of humans, and is accompanied by much more than small tremors in the extremities, but also of flickers and contractions. facial muscles These types of movements that occur involuntarily during sleep are called "REM sleep" and indicate that the brain is functioning, so that during this phase the imagination is producing a dream in the sleeper's mind.

What is your cat dreaming about? At the moment we cannot answer this question. However, we can try to guess, do you hunt the prey? Do you dream of being a lion? Do you dream of your favorite food? Many assumptions but very few answers. The truth is that this type of movement should not alarm you.

Do you have health problems?

We are sure that you have already felt the pain so strong that you trembled when you slept. And the same happens in animals and if the possibilities just mentioned do not answer your question, it is possible that your cat is shaking because he has a health problem. To identify it, we recommend that you consult our article that recapitulates the main signs of suffering in the cat, if it trembles because it suffers, we assure you that these tremors will be accompanied by other alerts such as meowing, aggression or abnormal postures in the cat.

If your cat is shaking from the pain it feels or from any pathology, Do not hesitate for a second and run to the vet as soon as possible so you can start treating your best friend.

If our article Why does my cat tremble when he sleeps, we recommend the following links:

  • How long does a cat sleep?
  • Why does the cat wag its tail when they pet it?
  • Why does my cat snore?

If you want to read more articles like Why does my cat tremble when he sleeps?, we recommend you check the Curiosities section of the animal world.

Causes of tremors in cats

Tremors in felines are commonplace, but as we said, we cannot ignore them. But, What can cause them?

In the case that we suspect that it feels cold, we will see that it tries to protect itself under the blankets, or that it curls up next to us or in a corner of the sofa. To prevent a cold, we will have to cover it with a blanket, or even let him sleep in our same bed.

A cat with fear can shake. If you are mistreated now, or if it was done in the past, will tremble as soon as you feel threatened, for example, seeing a broomstick or mop, or seeing us make sudden movements.

It is important to know that you never have to hit a catWell, we won't get him to learn anything, just to be afraid of us. If we have adopted a hairy man who has been the victim of abuse, we must be very patient, make no noise and, of course, not do things that could frighten him, such as chasing or yelling at him.

Its ringing?

This is the second reason why a cat can shake when it sleeps. Several studies indicate that the answer to this question is affirmative: Cats, also dogs, dream when they sleep.

We cannot know what kind of dreams they are, their structure or how elaborate they are, but apparently that is due to the involuntary body movements they have while they sleep, which we mistakenly interpret as tremors.

According to various studies, the activity in the brain of cats during the stage of deep sleep is very similar to that of humans, being accompanied not only by small tremors in the extremities, but also of movement in the eyelids and even in the facial muscles. These types of movements that are carried out involuntarily while sleeping are called REM sleep, and indicate that the brain is working, so that the imagination is producing a dream in the sleeper's mind.

What does your cat dream about? Impossible to know! Maybe you imagine chasing a prey or dream of being a great lion, or you may even dream of eating some of your favorite food. The truth is that these types of movements while sleeping should not alarm you.


If you swallowed something you shouldn't, either water that had some dishwasher or herb that had been treated with insecticide for example, Not only will you shake, but you will also vomit and, in severe cases, you may have spasms, seizures and breathing problems. As in the previous case, it will be urgent to take it to the specialist.

Health problems?

Have you ever felt a pain so strong that even while you sleep you tremble for it? Well, animals also happen to them and, therefore, if the above options are ruled out, it is possible that your cat will tremble while sleeping because he is suffering from a health problem. To identify it, we advise you to consult our article with the main signs of pain in cats, since if this is the cause of the tremors, we assure you that it will be accompanied by other signs such as meowing, aggressiveness or abnormal postures in the feline.

If your cat trembles with pain, or some pathology, do not hesitate and go to the vet as soon as possible to determine the exact reason and start the best treatment.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why does my cat tremble when he sleeps?, we recommend that you enter our Curiosities section of the animal world.

My cat trembles when he purrs

Purring is a vibration that cats have when they feel very relaxed but also in stressful situations. For example, if you have pain somewhere in your body, it will purr to try to calm down, but if it also trembles it is because you are really suffering a lot and need veterinary attention.

Why does my cat tremble when sleeping

Surely it is because he is dreaming something that does not end up being pleasant. But it can also be because, as you get older, it costs you more to adopt a comfortable sleeping position due to diseases of old age, such as arthritis. In the first situation, the ideal is to wake him, yes, gently: rub your nose against his forehead, gently touch it by his head, or better yet, put a can of wet cat food in front of his nose: it sure does not take long Nothing to wake up, in the second situation, the most advisable thing is to buy an orthopedic cat bed that you will find for sale in pet stores.

The cat has trembling paws

They can be for several reasons:

  • Neurological problems: If the nervous system is damaged or is being attacked by a microorganism (fungus, bacteria, virus), the cat may have tremors or spasms. To confirm it you have to take it to the veterinary professional.
  • Joint diseases: arthritis, osteoarthritis, ... are diseases typical of elderly cats. Likewise, you have to take it to the specialist.
  • Poisoning: there are toxins that affect the legs. If, in addition to the tremors, you have difficulty breathing, excessive drooling (such as foam), seizures, apathy or any other symptoms that make you suspect, take it urgently to the veterinarian.

My cat has spasms on the back

I might have feline hyperesthesia, a disease known as ‘nervous cat syndrome’. The symptoms are excessive nibbling on your back and tail, hallucinations, running from side to side for no reason, convulsions and spasms. The trigger is stress, so you have to try to live a life as calm as possible and use Feliway to make the cat more calm. In addition, you have to spend time, play with him and give him much love so he does not feel ignored.

Baby cat trembles

It can be for two reasons:

  • Cold: kittens, until they reach 5-6 months, are very vulnerable to falling temperatures, especially the most babies who can barely walk. To avoid this, you have to fill a thermos bottle with boiling water and wrap it with a thin kitchen towel. An alternative to this type of thermos are traditional plastic bottles, or glass bottles, but you have to wrap them with a thick cloth so they don't burn.
  • Parasites or pain: Whether they have parasites - something more than likely if they are kittens whose mothers have been or are street - or have had an accident, they will tremble. In the first case they should be given an antiparasitic syrup recommended by the veterinarian, and in the second it will also be the specialist who should attend them.

If your cat trembles often without an obvious cause, or if, in addition to trembling, it presents other symptoms such as those mentioned above, its life can be in danger. Remember that a timely diagnosis is a guarantee of a speedy and complete recovery, so it is advisable not to let it pass.