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What Do Cats Do All Day Around the House? Top 4 Activities!

Sarah Psaradelis

By Sarah Psaradelis

a tabby maine coon cat at home

Cats are creatures of habit and routine, and they generally do the same thing each day, depending on whether they are allowed out of the house or not. If you are at work and wonder what your cat is up to at home, they are most likely exploring, playing, or taking a nap.

Cats can become quite lazy during the day because they are more active during the night, so they probably aren’t doing much. These curious animals can also get into mischief when you are away, but it is rare—unless they become bored, or suddenly energized!

What Do Cats Do Throughout the Day?

A cat’s daily routine consists of four main activities, all of which they do throughout the day and night. While you have left for work or gone running errands, your cat is likely:

1. Sleeping

Cats require an average of 12 to 18 hours of sleep a day. As they are crepuscular (active during dawn and dusk), they will spend most of their day finding a comfy spot to sleep in. Some especially lazy cats can sleep and nap up to 20 hours a day, only getting up to stretch, eat, use the litterbox, and explore a little.

Most cats are active at night, and they will be energized during the twilight hours. Some cats will also leave the house to explore at night if they are allowed to, but they will return home in the early morning to sleep and eat. Some cats may even hunt during the night or early mornings, which is why some cat owners may wake up to a “gift” of a mouse or bird from their cat. This is normal because cats have an instinct to have crepuscular behavior and experience increased activity levels.

tabby cat sleeping on the perch of a scratching post
Image Credit: IT-Fritze, Pixabay

2. Exploring

Cats are very curious and love to explore their environment, so when they are not sleeping, your cat is likely roaming the house. Most cats will search for any toys, climb the furniture, use the litter box, or explore items around the house to keep themselves busy. If your cat is allowed outdoors and you have left a window or cat flap open, they are likely going to go explore the neighborhood for a bit. Cats because more eager to explore in the early mornings and the evenings, when they have more energy from their daytime naps.

a savannah cat standing outside on a backyard deck
Image Credit: Patrick Hatt, Shutterstock

3. Eating

If you leave your cat’s food bowl filled throughout the day while you are away, or if you have set an automatic feeding system for your cat, they will spend some time eating.

Cats consume small amounts of prey during the day, which means most cats prefer to eat small meals during the day and they will not consume all their food in the bowl, like a dog would. Instead, they prefer to graze on food throughout the day, especially if there is a lot of food in the bowl.

russian blue cat eating dry food in bowl
Image Credit: Felice Wölke, Unsplash

4. Playing

Many cats will play with their toys during the day. Cats enjoy climbing cat trees, interactive toys, and anything they can turn into an entertaining game. If you give your cat toys while you are out during the day, you can keep them occupied for a few hours of the day. Cats spend less time playing than they would exploring or sleeping, but playing helps keep them active, and provides them with mental stimulation.

Woman Playing with Cat Outdoors
Image Credit: Helena Lopes, Pexels

Do Cats Wait For You To Get Home?

You may notice that your cat waits by a window or on furniture overlooking the door when you come home—and this is probably because they are waiting for you to get home after a long day of work or being out of the house. Although this behavior is more common in dogs, cats also miss us while we are out.

So, if your cat is not lounging on furniture or sleeping, they are likely going to wait for you to come home at certain times. This can also happen if you feed your cat when you get home, as they will know that it is feeding time!

cat playing fetch outdoors
Image Credit: barte.k_Shutterstock

Do Cats Get Bored Being At Home?

Cats can get bored at home, especially if they have nothing to do. Even though cats spend most of their day sleeping, they still need toys and fun activities to do to prevent them from getting bored.

Offering your cat interactive toys during the day while you are out can keep them busy. This includes battery-operated toys, scratching posts, or a cat tree they can climb on.

Excessive sleeping isn’t necessarily a sign of boredom in cats, but your cat might start to sleep more during the day if they have nothing else to do, which often causes them to be more active during the night when you are trying to sleep.


Cats spend most of their days in the house sleeping hours away, eating, playing, and exploring the house. They will stick to a routine that is simple and makes them feel safe and comfortable, and they will rarely get into mischief if they have enough toys and accessories to keep them busy when they are not sleeping.

Featured Image Credit: Daniel Zopf, Unsplash

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