We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Cat Nap?

Laura M. Sands
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
TheHealthBoard is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At TheHealthBoard, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Cat nap is an idiom used to describe a very brief period of sleep, which usually occurs during normal waking hours. Similar to another idiomatic expression known as a power nap, this is a short sleep meant to revive or rejuvenate a tired person. The length of time for an individual cat nap may vary, but may range from a few minutes to approximately one hour. Although a daytime nap may last for a longer period, a prolonged sleep break is usually referred to simply as a nap.

Like many other English sayings, the etymology of the cat nap idiom is simple. In the early 1800s, people began using this term to describe human naps that are similar in form to the short sleep periods that cats often engage in. While most cats sleep several hours per day, they are also known for sometimes doing so in very short intervals. It is not uncommon for the meaning of idioms like this to be traced to similarly simple origins.

When some people engage in a cat nap, sleep may be very light. These particular naps are so short that some may take them while sitting upright at a desk or may doze off for a few short minutes while watching television. Sometimes taking a quick nap is intentional, while other people may unintentionally fall asleep.

Increasingly, health experts recommend that people take a daily cat nap as a way of restoring energy and increasing work productivity. The famous British politician Winston Churchill has been quoted as being an advocate of daily naps for precisely this reason. Other esteemed individuals noted for taking daytime naps include Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Athletes are also known to relish a cat nap as a way to prepare for an upcoming competition. It is believed that such naps, also referred to as power naps, help increase a person’s mental focus and alertness.

In some countries, it is understood that employees benefit from an afternoon cat nap and special accommodations are made for nap times, such as quiet rooms with comfortable chairs or sofas designated for resting. Scientists specializing in sleep research have published numerous studies on how the brain benefits from a brief daily nap. In addition to increased mental alertness, employees who are allowed to partake of a daily cat nap also report positive mood changes and decreased stress levels.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Laura M. Sands
By Laura M. Sands , Former Writer
Laura Sands, the founder of a publishing company, brings her passion for writing and her expertise in digital publishing to her work. With a background in social sciences and extensive online work experience, she crafts compelling copy and content across various platforms. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a skilled contributor to any content creation team.

Discussion Comments

By serenesurface — On Aug 05, 2013

@burcidi-- I agree with you! My grandfather is a cat napper. He even falls asleep at the dinner table!

I love napping too, but there is no way I could fall asleep so often.

By burcidi — On Aug 04, 2013

I think a cat nap is different than a power nap. I used to take power naps in college when I had to stay up at night to study. I would sleep for twenty minutes and then get up. But cat naps seem to be more frequent and even shorter.

By turquoise — On Aug 03, 2013

I never understood what people meant by a cat nap until I finally adopted a cat. My cat basically sleeps all night and throughout the day, but the naps during the day are different. I think she sleeps for about a half hour every two hours.

It's kind of crazy because she will sleep, wake up, eat, play and run, and then sleep again. She can fall asleep at anytime and yet it's easy to wake her.

Laura M. Sands

Laura M. Sands

Former Writer

Laura Sands, the founder of a publishing company, brings her passion for writing and her expertise in digital publishing...
Learn more
TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.