It is a big misconception that cats are nocturnal. Reasons why cats are active at night and how to deal with them

When you think of cats, you probably think of them as nocturnal, with their eyes glowing in the dark, they become active at night, and they have gatherings at night.

But in reality, cats are not nocturnal animals.

Therefore, when a cat is active at night, it often means something.

In this article, we will tell you why cats are active at night and how to prevent it.

If you are an owner who says, "My cat is noisy at night and I can't sleep...", please read this.

Cats are not nocturnal animals!

Cats are often thought of as nocturnal animals, but in fact, they are called "crepus twilight", meaning they are active during the dark hours such as dusk and dawn.

This is the same as the activity time of rats and birds that cats feed on, and they hunt accordingly.

Early in the morning or at dusk, when it's a little dark, cats are naturally active.

In modern times, most cats are kept by people, so in that case, they behave according to the owner's life rhythm.

Specifically, they wake up with their owners in the morning, sleep and play moderately during the day, and sleep again at night.

When it comes to living with people, they are still asleep at dawn, and they are not at home at dusk.

As a result, they may become more active at night when everyone has calmed down.

why cats are active at night

Crepuscular cats are active at night for a reason.

It is often seen that the owner tends to be away during the day and sleeps all the time.

Cats sleep most of the day, but sleeping too much during the day can make their eyes watery at night.

They can jump around on the futon, dash violently, and sometimes annoy their owners.

Even in estrus, they tend to be more active at night.

Estrus behavior in cats begins around six months after birth.

They will make a unique loud cry, urinate in various places, and their eyes will roll... Even if there are no other cats indoors, they may react to the pheromones of outdoor cats.

I'm sure many of you have heard cats yelling outside their homes in the middle of the night.

The voices of quarrels and scrambles for female cats in heat often resonate during quiet hours.

In addition, stray cats and community cats that spend time outside are often nocturnal.

This is because during the day there are dangers in traffic and people, so they avoid them and become active at night.

Maybe that's why cat gatherings are held at night.

Cat eyes can see well in the dark

Cats' ability to function well in low light and darkness is related to the structure of their eyes.

A cat's eyes have a reflector-like structure called "tapetum" that contains zinc and protein that reflects light well.

When light enters the cat's eye, it hits the rod cells in the retina (cells that can sense light in the dark) and passes through, and the unabsorbed light hits the tapetum and reflects it.

Then, the rod cells receive light stimulation again by the reflected light, and a brighter image than it actually is is transmitted to the brain through the optic nerve.

Thanks to this tapetum, cats can increase the amount of light received by their eyes by approximately 50%.

It is because of this tapetum that the cat's eyes glow in dim light.

By the way, this tapetum does not exist in humans.

Measures against nighttime activity in cats

There are many owners who can't sleep well because their cats play sports and cry at night.

One of the reasons cats are awake at night is because they sleep during the day.

That means that the easiest and surest way is to play a lot during the day and not let him sleep.

For those who are busy or who cannot play during the day

We recommend toys that move automatically!

If you're sleeping soundly all day long, try waking him up for a little while to sunbathe or brush your teeth together.

However, for those who are away from work during the day, I think there are many cases where it is impossible to play during the day.

If you are such a person, it would be nice to play as much as you want from the time you come home until you go to bed.

Cats love playing games that imitate hunting, so it's a good idea to play with a cat toy or a pointer.

At this time, it is important not to just move it, but to move it with sharpness as if it were a prey.

Cats that are stimulated by their instincts will jump around with excitement, and will definitely get tired and sleep well.

In addition, playing with cats is good communication. During the daytime, they will stay at your house, so let's play together with the feeling that "it's important".

If you can't make time to play, it's a good idea to prepare a cat tower or catwalk and have it move up and down.

By preparing various devices such as hammocks and nail sharpeners, you will be able to spend your time without feeling bored while you are away.

Consider spaying or neutering

It may be a good idea to consider spaying or neutering, as he may cry or not sleep when he is in heat.

A cat's estrus period begins around the age of six months.

In general, cats are seasonal breeders, so the breeding season is from February and March to summer.

The female cat's estrous period lasts for about a week, and after a few weeks, she is in estrus again.

Male cats produce estrous behavior in response to female cat pheromones.

Spaying or neutering will calm the energy associated with estrus and will help with nighttime activity.

The timing of surgery depends on the veterinary hospital, but it is better to do it after the age of the second half of life.

One way to do this is to eat before going to bed at night.

Also, increasing the amount of dinner and feeding before going to bed is one of the countermeasures.

People and cats are the same when they get sleepy when their stomachs are full.

[Summary] Cats are not nocturnal! Tell me why your cat won't sleep at night and what to do about it!

Cats are naturally active animals at dawn and dusk.

As they live with humans, their rhythms tend to break down, and they often sleep soundly in the dark and during the day.

Therefore, they become active at night and may annoy their owners.

Let's take measures such as playing a lot together and giving them late-night snacks!

Reference material

  • Tadaaki Imaizumi understands the cat brain! , Bunshun Shinsho 2019, p48-p57