Can cats sleep with their eyes open?!

motashi

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I have a very old cat, she is about  15-17 years old. This morning when I was going into the bathroom I found her, I thought she was dead then I saw her breathing. Her eyes looked very weird like how they would look like if you open their eyes if they was sleeping. It turned out she was sleeping. I have owned 10 cats over the past 14 years. I never saw nothing like this before. Help please? She has cancer in her mouth, and a tumor in her throat. We feed on wet cat food on a daily basic so she can eat something more easily then soild cat food.
 

franksmom

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motashi

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Thank you! Her 3rd Eyelid never shows while she is awake. I make sure to clean any eye boogers that are in her eyes so she can see clearly.
 

fleur4

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My 8 year old cat has slept with her eyes open all her life.  Not all the time, but every few days or so.  We got her when she was young, but she had been a stray, living on the street, and I used to think it was a kind of survival instinct with her.  But we've had her for years, and my husband and I love her to pieces.  I'm sure she no longer feels threatened, but she still sleeps with her eyes open once in a while anyway!   
 

that guy

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They tend to do this as they get older or at least with my 19 year old he does. He never did when he was young but as he got well into his teens he would start to daze out and then sleep with his partially open. He still does this and more so now that he is on pain meds for arthritis. I just checked and he is like this right now, just had a sub-q about an hour ago and is really relaxed. I do the same thing as you when I check him, I just make sure he is still breathing then it is all good.
 

momto3cats

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I've noticed my 16 year old cat doing this lately too, sleeping with her eyes a little bit open. I don't remember my other cats doing this when they got old, but she does.
 

di and bob

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My 13 year old sometimes does this, it is a little unnerving at first. People do this too, especially when they get older.
 

cocheezie

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Cocheezie has always done this. A bit unnerving, especially since she is so ill. I keep thinking she has died and have to check her breathing. Interesting, though, to watch a dream happening. She can, and does sometimes, sleep  with her eyes closed. She can have such deep sleeps that she sometimes falls off or falls over. The fall does not wake her up. I have re-arrange things every time she finds a new sleeping area to make sure that she won't damage herself when this happens. She once knocked herself out and wasn't breathing. Had to use artificial respirations techniques twice to get her started again. She was pretty scared and wobbly for about an hour after.
 

karissima

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Emily (in my profile avatar) does this rather frequently. She also sleeps very very deeply, and can be moved around, picked up, etc without waking. At the first the eye thing was less disturbing to me than the deep-sleeping, because none of my other cats sleep so deeply that they can't be woken. However, I've come to accept that Emily is just a unique cat, haha.
 

sharpie fumes

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As a relatively new cat owner, when I first saw my cat sleeping with his eyes open, it was a bit concerning. After doing a bit of research, I have found that it is quite normal for a cat to sometimes leave their eyes open or partially open during sleep. For cats, their sleep consists of two basic phases: Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, when dreams occur, and Non-REM (NREM) or deep sleep. Up to 60 percent of a cat's sleep is REM sleep. During REM sleep, the cat's eyes move behind the eyelids, limbs twitch, and whiskers move around. This is not as deep a sleep and since cats are very sensetive and aware of their surrondings, in this phase of sleep, they may not fully close their eyes. This better prepares them to react if they perceive any sense of danger around.

Hope that helped!
 

hexiesfriend

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I have had cats for almost 30 years now and never had a cat that slept with their eyes open. I can see it being a scary thing finding an older cat doing that....
 

scratch n dent

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One of my male cats also did this when he was about 15 onward. I also found he was sleeping much more soundly. I could actually pick him up and he kept right on sleeping. He lived to be about 18.
 

bessie glavas

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I'm not sure how old my cat is, she's a stray I've had for 11 yrs.  Lately she's been sleeping with her eyes partly open (some of the time).  There are times I think she's awake and "thinking" (I think she's jealous of my birds) and I'll say something to her and she like "wakes up".  

Another thing is that she has been making noises when she sleeps; this is also new.  But her breathing isn't labored, mouth is closed, and she doesn't have any sounds when awake.  So I guess I shouldn't worry.

I remember my dear mother, in her final years, often cat-napped sitting up, with her eyes partly opened (usually).  And of course snoring lightly.  So maybe it's normal for elderly mammals?  I really don't know my cat's age.
 

shadowdemon

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Emily (in my profile avatar) does this rather frequently. She also sleeps very very deeply, and can be moved around, picked up, etc without waking. At the first the eye thing was less disturbing to me than the deep-sleeping, because none of my other cats sleep so deeply that they can't be woken. However, I've come to accept that Emily is just a unique cat, haha.
My kitten does this as well I was taking it and it fell asleep (with its eyes open) and I picked it up and it didn't wake (I haven't checked the gender) also it twitched a lot in its sleep
 

fleur4

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My 11 year old Siamese is also a stray. I've had her 10 years and she frequently sleeps with her eyes open.  I think it might be because for the short time she lived on the street, she had to sleep but remain alert at the same time.  Even though she's been safe  for a decade, she still has this weird habit!
 

juliejac0bs

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It is quite normal for a cat to sometimes leave their eyes open or partially open during sleep. For cats, their sleep consists of two basic phases: Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, when dreams occur, and Non-REM (NREM) or deep sleep.

<-- some useful info posted by petdrz, Cat Vet

I guess it's all normal.
 

BonitaBaby

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I've been wanting my cat to sleep on her back. I finally saw it for long enough to take some pictures, but her eyes were open and looked freaky/eerie. It was her third eyelid that was down on both eyes. She woke up after the sound of the phone camera snapping. She's not old.
 

Morgan2000

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Motashi, how is your cat doing now? My cat is 19 and also has a tumor in her throat and started to sleep with her eyes open.
 
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