Dreams or Nightmares: 5 Reasons Your Cat Is Twitching While They Sleep

Seeing your cat sleep can be a really enjoyable experience. However, you can wonder what precisely they’re thinking about if you see that they’re moving a lot. When a cat is sleeping, they frequently move excessively, whether it’s by tossing and turning or meowing and pawing. Although there are many causes for a cat to twitch when they sleep, we go over the most popular ones in this article. Maybe you’ll pick up a few new insights into your kitty friend’s mind. Who knows, perhaps you’ll discover that they aren’t all that dissimilar from people after all!

Do Cats Dream?

This question has an easy response: Yes! Cats dream, much like people do. Indeed, investigations on brain waves have been carried out using rats and other small mammals. It was repeatedly discovered in these investigations that the brain waves that were seen were consistent with those of a human dreaming. Therefore, it can be assumed that all animals dream in addition to cats.

Particularly cats have highly unusual sleeping habits; they can occasionally slumber for up to twenty hours every day. Given their amount of sleep, it’s even reasonable to think that cats dream more frequently than people do! During the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of sleep, dreams take place. Dreams are experienced by both humans and cats during this phase of sleep. It might also be the stage of fast movement, which explains why your cat is twitching when they sleep. Kittens are also known to undergo REM sleep more frequently, which is probably due to their developing minds having a lot of information to absorb.

For precisely this reason, waking a sleeping cat is not a good idea. Disrupting the REM sleep cycle can have a significant impact on the mood and behavior of the cat, particularly for an animal that requires such a large amount of sleep every day. What is that old saying? “Letting sleeping cats lie is preferable.”

What Do Cats Dream About?

The only thing left to wonder is what precisely cats dream about, now that we know they do. Regretfully, it is impossible to predict with certainty the exact type of dreams people will have. There seems to be no straightforward way to ask a cat what’s on their mind, and some humans aren’t even able to describe the kinds of dreams they have. However, we can ascertain the following:

Our experiences have a direct impact on our dreams. Dreams include images of people, locations, and activities from our past. Therefore, it wouldn’t be too much to expect cats to behave similarly. It’s reasonable to believe they’re dreaming of the intense game of “chase the string,” for example, if you spent a lot of time playing it. Who knows, maybe we, their owners, may come into their dreams!

Other Reasons Your Cat Moves During Sleep

Your cat may be twitching in their sleep for causes other than dancing sugarplums, however their charming little dreams could be one explanation. Here are four more typical explanations for these movements along with advice on what to do if you think your cat is feeling uncomfortable.


It’s reasonable to presume that cats do not always have pleasant dreams if they do. Cats are just as prone to experience nightmares as they are to have restful dreams. Nightmares, as we all know, are not enjoyable. They can be incredibly eerie, bizarre, and unsettling. It is crucial that you avoid waking your cat awake if it appears or sounds like they are experiencing a disturbing dream! As we previously discussed, rousing a cat up in the middle of its REM sleep cycle is guaranteed to make it unhappy. Whether it’s a nightmare or not, it’s preferable to let them navigate the situation without interfering.


Your cat’s twitching as they sleep could be caused by factors unrelated to their dreams. For example, they may have an itch and be moving around in an instinctual way to get rid of it. This could be the case if your cat has ever had fleas or other known allergies.

Muscle Twitches

Apart from dreaming, another possibility could be that your cat is having muscle spasms. When it’s time for bed, these are actually rather typical, and they’re seen in both humans and animals like cats! They might do this shortly after lying down, which would explain why these spasms usually occur just as the mind enters REM sleep. Despite the fact that these spasms appear rather alarming from the outside, they are entirely normal.

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Seizures are a less common but more worrisome explanation for excessive twitching during sleep. However, you can be confident that you will be able to tell if your cat is experiencing a seizure or not. Your cat may have up to three minutes of seizures, so you should pay great attention to all of the behaviors your cat displays leading up to, during, and following the seizure. Next, give your vet a call right away. These are some clear indicators of a cat having a seizure to assist you recognize this specific problem:

  • Excessively drooling from the mouth
  • Consistent shaking or shivering, usually stiffly
  • Suddenly becoming zoned out when previously awake
  • Falling over onto one side
  • A sense of general confusion after the fact