Dogs obviously dream in their sleep, but with cats it is more ambiguous.

I have heard some people say they see their cat dreaming with paws twitching and so forth.

However, I have had a fair number of cats and none of them ever dreamed. When they sleep, they do so completely quietly with no movement. So, it appears that cats either do not dream, or dream a lot less than dogs. Is there any explanation for this?

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    Probably confirmation bias. Dreaming iirc is a consequence of REM sleep and all animals with REM cycle probably dream. I have many videos of my cat, with twitching paws, legs, ears and whiskers. My hamsters used to dream as well, i.e., twitching paws, whiskers etc. Just like humans, some cats might not be active while they are dreaming and it is not possible to ask them if they dreamed or not. Alternatively, you haven't noticed your cats dreaming because either they were just snoozing (light sleep) or very heavily sleeping. Dreams happen in the REM cycle, and you might just be missing them.
    – C.Koca
    Jan 27 at 13:42
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    I do not think this is a good question. I believe cats do dream as well so there is no way to answer this question. This is why I downvoted.
    – SerenaT
    Jan 27 at 21:25
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    down voted because this question is not based on the fact that all mamals i know of do dream atleast when they are young.i have seen a lot of cats dream but i have never seen a dog dream,this does not mean they dont dream it only means that i have not seen it.(my cat even talk in her sleep so i am pretty sure she dreams ). Jan 28 at 6:15
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    Unless the title of the question gets changed I think the answers would be purely opinion based. I am voting to close.
    – SerenaT
    Jan 28 at 12:15
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    Downvoted because this is based on a false assumption and confirmation bias, and a tone that strongly implies that any answer disproving the false assumption will not be accepted.
    – Allison C
    Jan 28 at 19:26

Dreaming is a consequence of REM sleep, and all cats, like any animal with REM cycle, dream. I can think of a few reasons for this behaviour.

  • Missing the REM cycle of your cats: You might have missed your cats dreaming if they only snooze around you, i.e, light sleep. It is not unheard of for cats to go to their safe spaces for deep sleep and REM cycle requires deeper sleep than snoozing.
  • Your cats do not move around as much when they dream: Like humans, some cats might have more twitching than others. So, it would be easier for you to miss.
  • Your cats like to sleep on their belly instead of their back: The signs that you mentioned, like twitching of the paws, are much more noticeable if the cat sleeps on their back. If they sleep on their belly or sideways, you mostly see whisker and tail twitching, which you might have attributed to snoozing. Especially tail twitching is no different when they dream compared to when they are awake.

Since you stated that you had your several cats for 25 years, I would say it is probably a combination of all these reasons.

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    My current cat sleeps on my bed. I frequently see him when he is dead asleep and he never moves. My previous cats were the same way. All of them were descended from the same parents, so possibly it is something genetic. However, I can assure you none of my cats demonstrated evidence of rem sleep. Not even their eyes move when they sleep. Jan 27 at 17:25

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