Sleep Habits of: Tigers

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation

Have you ever seen a housecat laze the day away? Well, tigers have them beat! Tigers spend even more time napping than their domesticated brethren—specifically, 16 to 20 hours a day versus just 12 for a cat. In other words: Tigers in the wild sleep more like newborn babies than kittens. The majority of these zzz's happen during the day, because tigers in the wild do most of their prowling at night, aided by night vision that's six times better than humans'.

A big reason for so much sleepiness? It isn’t easy dragging around that big body. Bengal tigers, the biggest in the cat family, typically measure nine to 10 feet long, not including a two- to three-foot tail. And they weigh between 300 and 500 pounds. So instead of wasting energy chasing (likely faster) prey, tigers spend their days lounging. They use their stripes to blend into the shadows of the jungle at dawn and dusk, when they can stalk and catch their prey with minimal energy. Now that's efficient.

It can take 10 to 20 attempts for a tiger to reel in dinner. So once tigers do catch a good meal, they don’t leave it behind. A Bengal tiger can down as much as 65 pounds of fresh meat in one sitting. Talk about a sleep-inducing feast!

Tigers usually prefer to sleep either on their stomachs or on their sides. While these kings and queens of the jungle can sleep pretty much wherever they please, they can often be found snoozing in the shade or in shallow water. Tigers do lay claim to a large territory where they live and hunt. There, they create a bedroom oasis of sorts—a den, in tiger lingo (sometimes more than one)—to sleep in and raise their young.

Are you an animal lover? If so, find out how bears and lions sleep in the wild, too.