By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated 8 April 2011)
Those who have watched sleeping cats will have noticed that they sometimes engage in certain movement sequences that appear to mimic waking activities such as running or tackling. A sleeping cat may twitch her whiskers, flick her ears, move her paws, and even make sounds.
The purpose of dreaming is not known for sure, though there are some intriguing theories. However, it does seem that REM sleep is important. Like people, cats that are deprived of REM sleep are more aggressive. Studies of REM-deprived cats have also found an increase in eating and grooming behaviours. These findings are interesting, given that people are more likely to overeat if they don’t get sufficient sleep, and overgrooming in cats can be a sign of anxiety.
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