When both of my cats sleep they start to twitch, all over their bodies. their paws/toes, ears, whiskers, tail, even their sides will all twitch as they sleep. It's cute because it looks like they're dreaming about catching a mouse or something, but it seems detrimental for actually getting rest. They don't do it all the time while they're asleep. More so when they first fall asleep, then off and on while they continue to sleep.

I know it's normal for humans to move around in there sleep, rolling over to a more comfortable position and things like that. But this seems almost too violent of movements to be constructive to getting a good night's sleep. So why do they do this? Are they dreaming?

  • I think this may answer: pets.stackexchange.com/questions/1330/…
    – Joanne C
    Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 22:23
  • 1
    Partly, I'm more interested in the twitching itself. Why they're bodies almost go into convulsions for the first few minutes of sleep. Not so much whether they actually dream.
    – Spidercat
    Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 22:34
  • 1
    I always thought they were dreaming about running or fighting or the like. Dogs will yip or wine a bit even much like a person vocalizing a bit during a dream. No way to know what the animal is dreaming about sadly.
    – Beo
    Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 3:24

1 Answer 1


This sounds like Myoclonus these twitches are usually caused by sudden muscle contractions or from brief lapses of contraction.

They are not considered problematic unless it results in an inability to fall asleep. Or unless they are symptom of a related illness. For the most part, it is just a twitch as one is falling asleep, you have probably had them yourself.

It is not usually problematic in cats, but if you have concerns you should contact your vet.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.