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Cats Are Lazy

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Garfield in his natural habitat.

"All I ever do is eat and sleep, eat and sleep, eat and sleep. There must be more to a cat's life than that. But I hope not."
Garfield, Garfieldnote 

A trait cats are commonly associated with is laziness. Cats are known for spending long portions of the day sleeping. On average, cats sleep from 15 to 20 hours per day.

This trope goes hand-in-hand with Cats Are Superior and Cats Are Snarkers. Many cat characters are under the impression they should be pampered and that, as a result, it's fine to lay around all day doing nothing.

A large reason for this portrayal is that cats are crepuscular (unlike diurnal humans). They're most active when humans are asleep and tend to be inactive when humans are at their most active. As a result, it looks like your housecat is just lazing around all day. They also do sleep a lot (as mentioned, on average between 15 and 20 hours a day). Incidentally, dogs also sleep a lot, but aren't known for this like cats are (save for Bassethounds and Bloodhounds), probably because dogs are generally more visibly energetic when they aren't sleeping.

This trope also affects wild cats to various degrees. Less glamorous portrayals of lions (especially males) will show them as lazy and pompous, rather than their more common regal "king of the jungle" portrayal.

Compare Dogs Are Dumb, which usually involves lazy dogs when not surprisingly, just like dogs, cats can be just as dumb when they are lazy, in which dumbness and laziness go hand-in-hand. Also compared and contrast with Buffoonish Tomcat, in which where cats are portrayed as dumb, but are more prone to slapstick, being comically stupid, comical and cartoony or just lack common-sense than being like a everyday housecat. For other lazy creatures, see Lazy Dragon, Sluggish Seal, Sluggish Sloths, and Laid-Back Koala.


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  • The Morris the Cat ad campaign revolves around a lazy, sarcastic tomcat who won't eat anything but 9Lives.
  • The British cat food brand Whiskas once ran an ad campaign which showed a cat lazing on someone's bed as a child recited the following poem:
    This is Fred
    He sleeps on my bed
    Apart from when he's being fed
    You'll find him on my bed
    So that's Fred
    The bed-head

    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Out of his hobbies, Lord Beerus (a cat-looking being designed after Akira Toriyama's pet Cornish Rex, Debu) frequently prefers to dine on planetary cuisine and sleep for years. It also gets noted that he doesn't take his job as seriously as the other gods of destruction, as he destroys planets that don't meet his tastes rather than the planets that are he is supposed to be destroying.
    • His brother, Champa, is even lazier. His mind is often on food, to the point where he challenged Beerus for the Earth of his universe, and then makes his angel, Vados, do the work of collecting fighters to compete for his side rather than put any effort into finding some himself, which bites him hard regarding Frost.
      Champa: How could you go and pick that creep to be on my team?
      Vados: My lord, you didn't ask me to take the candidate's morality into consideration. In fact, I believe your exact words were "I don't want to be bothered with this. Just find fighters who will do whatever it takes to win their rounds no matter what."
  • The Egyptian cat goddess Bastet is depicted in Oh, Suddenly Egyptian God as being easily bored and sleeps a lot, often dropping whatever she was doing to doze off.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Hobbes (being a tiger) is often seen napping, with Calvin even composing an ode to it.
      Still and quiet feline form,
      in the sun, asleep and warm.
      His tail is limp, his whiskers drooped,
      Man, what could make this cat so pooped?
    • Another time, Calvin mused that cats always seem so relaxed when compared to people. Hobbes believes that it's because cats are aware of their superiority to humans; Calvin theorizes it's because cats get an average of 14 hours sleep a day. Calvin then concludes that cats are just as crabby as people... from atop the tree limb that Hobbes evidently chased him onto.
  • Garfield: Garfield is one of the most iconic examples. He's a lazy cat that prefers to sleep and eat over anything else.
  • Peanuts: Frieda's cat Faron was so lazy, he was never seen walking on his own. He always was carried around, either by Frieda or whoever she could talk into doing it for her.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles: In some of these stories, Mittens references herself as being averse to regular exercise, often coupled with the parallel observation that she should be more active. An example from "The Funkmeister":
    Mittens: Yeah — maybe that’s it. I’m just exhausted from all that healthy exercise I never indulge in. Who knows — might feel a little better if I got off my duff more than once a year and got the old ticker pumping.

    Films - Animation 
  • Catwoman: Hunted. Batwoman notes to Catwoman that she's been pulling a lot of thefts lately, saying she's usually more lazy. Catwoman reclines on the bed she's sitting on, saying she's "languid, not lazy" as she just plans her crimes meticulously.
  • In Turning Red, the temple cats are often shown sleeping or lazing about and half the kittens that climb up on Mei fall asleep on her.

  • The cat in Animal Farm avoids doing work as much as possible:
    The behaviour of the cat was somewhat peculiar. It was soon noticed that when there was work to be done the cat could never be found. She would vanish for hours on end, and then reappear at meal-times, or in the evening after work was over, as though nothing had happened. But she always made such excellent excuses, and purred so affectionately, that it was impossible not to believe in her good intentions.
  • Bravelands: Even amongst other African cat species, lions have a bad reputation. They're seen as lazy animals who steal other's prey. They also think they're better than other animals and even the Great Spirit.
  • A Dog's Purpose: Bailey, a dog, thinks that cats are just annoying freeloaders.
  • Guardian Cats and the Lost Books of Alexandria: Discussed and subverted. Cicero says that humans think cats just sleep all day, but they're unaware of how their cats guard them all day.
  • Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats plays with this with several of its characters.
    • Jennyanydots is a "Gumby Cat", which means she "sits and sits and sits and sits" all day — but when her family is asleep she is extremely active in rehabilitating errant mice and cockroaches.
    • Justified for Old Deuteronomy given his extreme age. His poem is just about him sleeping in various places and the villagers being careful not to disturb his rest.
  • A children's book called Slobcat sets up and subverts this trope. The narrator spends the book explaining, in detail, how their pet cat does nothing but sleep and eat all day, practically embodying the trope. But the pictures show that as soon as the narrator stops watching him, Slobcat sneaks off to have adventures, protect kittens and children, stop burglars, and generally save the day.
  • Tailchaser's Song explains that dreaming is important to cats. Dreams contrast so much with normal cat life that it's necessary for proper balance.
  • Warrior Cats: Played with. Most characters are anything but lazy because being lazy means you're unlikely to survive in the wild. However, this trope does apply to pet cats (or "kittypets" as they're called). Most kittypets are timid and cowardly. Clan cats see them as lazy oafs and they're prone to being a little plump. It doesn't help that many are neutered, which makes them even more lazy.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks: Minerva, Mrs. Davis' pet cat, has her moments:
    • In "The Frog", Minerva spends all day sleeping inside the piano.
    • In "The Magic Tree", Minerva gets drunk sipping on pine needles. She then spends hours sleeping in Miss Brooks' lap as they rock in a chair:
      Miss Brooks: Jingle Bells!
      Jingle Bells!
      Merry stuff like that!
      Oh what fun it is to rock!
      With a big fat drunken cat!
  • The Cat from Red Dwarf generally avoids work whenever he can help it.
    The Cat: If I don't nap nine or ten times a day, I don't have enough energy for my main snooze.

  • In one interpretation of "The Great Race", the story that tells the origin of the Chinese zodiac, the cat arrived too late due to being told by the rat that the feast would be a day later than announced and as a result, slept through the entire happening.

    Tabletop Games 
  • This is a gameplay mechanic in Golden Sky Stories: Cat henge can take the weakness Lazy, which severely limits their ability to succeed at strenuous tasks, but in return, they get the Sleeping Soundly special ability, which gives them bonus Dreams points if they spend an entire scene just lazying around without actually doing anything.

  • Subverted with Jennyanydots from Cats. She seem like a lazy cat who doesn't do much, but she's very active at night.

    Video Games 
  • Baldurs Gate 3 features a variety of cats with differing personalities, but you encounter two cats named Tambourine and Zambomba that live in the Elfsong Tavern kitchen who are exceptionally lazy and give you a Rat Stomp quest, because they can't be bothered to deal with them.
  • The kittens in Kittens Game are normally pretty industrious. The "Anarchy" Challenge Run changes that — kittens will eat extra catnip, none of them are willing to serve as the city's leader, and only half of them are willing to do any job at all.
  • Kitty May Cry averts this with the titular character, Kitty, a feline who's on an adventure. But there's a white cat in the same area Kitty starts off with who's content with spending the whole game snoozing. It's possible to finish the last level and backtrack to the beginning stage... and white cat is still lounging there.
  • Big the Cat from Sonic the Hedgehog is a very fat cat who spends most of his time fishing, rarely ever partaking in the series' adventures. Whenever he does, it's usually to find his pet frog, Froggy, whenever he goes missing.
  • Soundtrack Attack: While talking about how lonely Lion must've been living in the desert, Steven mentions the big cat can't go without five naps a day.
  • Judd from Splatoon, when he's not judging Turf War matches, can always be found napping near the lobby. During a Splatfest, which takes place at night, he will instead be awake dancing in the plaza.
  • Leona Kingscholar from Twisted Wonderland is a Little Bit Beastly lion-man and an extremely powerful mage. He is also the epitome of both Brilliant, but Lazy and Apathetic Student; he could easily excel at anything he wanted to if he put forth any effort and when he does get off his ass and do something the results tend to be impressive. Unfortunately, Leona would rather laze around in dormitory all day and he has a tendency to give up easily when things don't go as planned despite his intelligence and high levels of magical power.
  • Yo-kai Watch: Jibanyan is a lazy youkai kitten who enjoys laying around and eating candy bars.

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • Kittisaurus:
    • DD whenever there is a Kittisaurus challenge. He will usually start the challenge and then sit down off to the side until another cat (usually TT) tells him to get a move on. This comes to a head in the bridges challenge where the cats are supposed to cross increasingly narrow bridges in order to obtain treats. DD walks up to the stools where the treats are placed and reaches up to grab them rather than use the bridges. Claire even notes this is a "high IQ move" from him.
    • Chuchu can also be fairly lazy, preferring to stay in her tent or any low down container she can find rather than join in the action of the other cats. Although this might be a combination of her being a Shrinking Violet and having overly narrow nostrils, making it harder for her to breathe and smell (at least until she has surgery).

    Western Animation 
  • The title character of The Amazing World of Gumball is a chronic underachiever, both from a fear of looking bad if he tries and outright laziness.
  • The DuckTales Dream Walker episode "Nightmare on Killmotor Hill!" reveals that Louie's favourite dream is that he's a lazy, Garfield-like cat. The other kids are bewildered enough that he's a cat, but even more so that he's dreaming about being asleep.
  • Kid Cosmic: Tuna Sandwich is the only known fat cat in the series. Whenever he's not seeing into the future, he mostly sleeps around the diner all day, and eating tuna sandwiches given to him by Kid.
  • Looney Tunes: Dodsworth is a character with only two cartoons to his name — a fat, lazy cat who tried to con a little kitten into doing his work for him. He had Sheldon Leonard's voice but could easily be mistaken for Rodney Dangerfield.
  • Zigzagged in Moshi Monsters where some catlike characters are lazy and some aren't. Whinger Cats hardly get up except to eat, Tubby Huggishis are said to lounge around a lot, and Purr-fection, a normal cat, is usually asleep when you see him.
  • The titular blue feline from Oggy and the Cockroaches. He does do his chores, though.
  • Hissy from Puppy Dog Pals would rather nap than play with or watch over Bingo and Rolly.
  • Lion of Steven Universe is a magical lion that spends most of his time sleeping. Despite being sapient and understanding human speech, he usually ignores Steven unless it's an emergency. Real male lions do need to rest most of the day, but it's unclear if Lion does (it's implied he doesn't need to eat, but does anyway).
  • Tom in Tom and Jerry comes across as this when not chasing Jerry. He usually likes to nap around, even at one point where he doesn't even lift a finger to catch Jerry when he sees him stealing food, that is unless one of his owners orders him to get rid of the mouse.

Alternative Title(s): Fat Cat