What Do Cats Dream About?

This just in: Scientists have invented a device that can access your kitty's brain and record all of his or her dream images. Just kidding. The truth is we will never really know exactly what cats dream about, but we can make a pretty good guess. 

According to Petful, there has actually been some solid research on this subject, because it is one of life's greatest mysteries and is also clearly something that the human race must know, no matter how many grants and research dollars it takes to get there. 

Cats dream about boring stuff, just like we do

Let's start with the basics: Cats sleep for 16 to 18 hours a day. Hey, wait a second ... this research is already sounding a little suspect because everyone knows cats actually sleep for like 23 ½ hours a day. Okay so the numbers are maybe a little off, but researchers did discover that cats experience REM sleep just like we do. Matthew Wilson, who is an associate professor of brain and cognitive science at MIT, told Petful that cats dream about their day-to-day lives, just like humans do, so their dreams might include things like stalking birds, attacking human ankles, butt-licking, and, um, probably sleeping because that's most of what they do. Don't ask how this dude actually knows all of that. He's a brain scientist, so he just knows.

As it turns out, a cat's brain is wired pretty much the same way as a human's brain — with a hippocampus that contains all the same parts and creates an electrical pattern that's very similar to the one created by a human. So it's not really a leap to say that they dream about the same sorts of things that we do. And evidently there's some kind of not-very-ethical research from the late 50s that supports this, too — cats that had the locus coeruleus part of the brain destroyed (on purpose because, you know, science) actually acted out their dreams, and guess what, they were stalking prey, playing with things that weren't there, and looking for food — just typical cat stuff, only they were asleep while they were doing it. So there you go. Cats dream about boring stuff, just like we do. The difference is, they don't wake up and then think they have to tell you about their boring dream. See, there are perks to being a cat person.