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What To Do If Your Cat Shivers When Sleeping!

Although cats have comfortably been the second most popular pet in North America and Europe with around half of all homes owning a cat, the popularity of cats is increasing with each year that goes by.

This results in a constant stream of new cat owners looking after their own cat for the very first time who run into various problems and end up reaching out for advice and assistance.

We have already covered a number of these commonly asked questions about cats from the cat-owning community but we have noticed a number of people reporting that their cat shivers when sleeping recently.

Due to seeing such a surprisingly high number of people reporting that they have noticed that their pet car shivers when sleeping as well as some of these people being worried about the health of their cat, we have decided to publish our own article on the topic.

Now, you have to realize that there are a number of potential problems that can cause your pet cat to shake or shiver and without having your cat in front of us to inspect, we are only able to offer general pointers.

If you are worried that your cat may be shaking when sleeping due to some serious issues, you are able to book a video call with a vet to have them assess your cat and ask you a number of questions to get professional advice specific to your cat’s situation.

Why Do Cats Shiver When Sleeping?

There are five main causes of cats shaking while they sleep, the most common is a hypnic jerk but others include low blood sugar, your cat dreaming, your cat being cold, and issues with your cat’s food.

Some of these causes can be serious where as others are usually nothing to worry about but it can be difficult for the average cat owner to correctly diagnose the issue and treat it if required.

This is why we recommend that our readers book a video call with a veterinarian if they are worried about the health of their cat and think that it could be a serious issue causing it to shake when it sleeps.

Video calling a vet can work out much cheaper than taking your cat to your local vet surgery while also offering you the exact same advice due to the person you are speaking to still being a professional veterinarian.

If you have recently changed your cat’s primary food then your cat may be shivering when sleeping due to low blood sugar issues or allergins in its food. If it only shakes as it falls asleep then it is probably a hypnic jerk but the other issues can be difficult to diagnose.

You can try to cover your cat with a high-quality, pet fleece blanket when it sleeps to try and prevent it from shaking due to being cold to help rule out that as a potential cause too.

What Should I Do If My Cat Shivers When Sleeping?

If you notice that your cat is shivering when sleeping the most important thing to do is to work out the cause of the shivering as soon as possible.

This allows you to get to work on treating the issue as quickly as possible and to potentially correct the issue and get your cat’s sleeping behavior back to normal. Some older cats can naturally start to shiver when their sleep due to aches and pains in their muscles too but this does tend to be rare.

You will know your cat’s behavior better than anyone helping you understand the normal behaviors of your cat when it sleeps.

Some cats do dream more than others causing your cat to move around as it is sleeping while other cats can be more prone to issues such as hypnic jerk that will cause them to shiver or randomly spasm as they are falling asleep but they will usually remain still once they are actually sleeping.

The most important potential cause of a cat shivering when sleeping is potential issues with low blood sugar or blood circulation as they can often result in serious, long term problems in your cat. If you have recently changed your cat’s food, switching back to the normal food of your cat may actually be enough to correct the issue.

Your cat may have a serious underlying issue that is causing this though and this is where you really do have to seek advice from a veterinarian.

Should I Be Worried If My Cat Shivers When Sleeping?

The majority of the common reasons that a cat will shiver are usually nothing to worry about and are easy to fix.

If you think that your cat is having issues with blood sugar or blood circulation then this is a more serious potential cause of your cat shivering when sleeping and is more of a cause for concern so you should look to have your cat checked by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

The vet will be able to offer you specific advice to your cat’s situation and help you plan out a way to move forward once they have been able to confirm the issue that is causing your cat to shiver when sleeping though.

The vast majority of cats will usually make a full recovery and not shake anymore while they sleep or have any long term issues from the initial bout of shaking. The sooner you act the higher the chances are of catching and successfully treating any potentially serious issues are though.

Please note that there is a large amount of information shared on social media about cats shaking or shivering randomly and the majority of it is totally incorrect and should not be listened to.

We have lost count of the number of times people have taken advice from social media about their pets health only for it to end up making things worse.


That brings our article going over why your cat shivers when sleeping to an end. We hope that we have been able to help put your mind at ease as most cats will end up making a full recovery without having any long term serious problems. If you think that it is needed, get a vet to check your cat over as soon as possible to reduce the chances of long term issues due to serious problems with your cats blood but this does tend to be a less common cause of your cat shaking while its sleeping anyway.