Are Cats Nocturnal? Are They Up At Night While We Sleep?

Are Cats Nocturnal

Does your feline friend keep you up all night? Ever wondered if your cat might be nocturnal? Read on to find out!

What Does Nocturnal Mean?

Nocturnal animals, like bats, hamsters, foxes and tarantulas, tend to sleep during the day and become active at night.

Crepuscular animals are active during dawn and dust hours and sleep during the day and night.

Are Cats Nocturnal Animals?

So are cats nocturnal? The short answer is yes.  While cats don’t spend all day fast asleep, they tend to be more active during the night hours (much to the annoyance of their owners).

Domestic cats have stronger night vision than humans do and this helps them hunt smaller animals om the dark. Even though domestic animals don’t need to hunt for their food, they still have those killer instincts.

Cats Sleeping Pattern

If you’ve ever been to a zo, you’ll know that big cats sleep a lot.  Female lions sleep 15-18 hours a day, while lazy male lions can spend 20 of the 24 hours asleep! Tigers also spend 16- 20 hours a day asleep.

Unlike humans, big cats don’t sleep for a solid eight (ish) hours and spend the rest of the day awake. They sleep for a few hours, they’re active for a few hours, and they alternate throughout the day.

Big cats tend to be livelier at night because that is when they have evolved to hunt.

Domestic Cats

Like their wild counterparts, domestic cats typically spend around 16-20 hours napping per day.  Domestic cats won’t sleep for 20 hours straight, but they will nap frequently throughout the day.

How To Turn Your Nocturnal Cat Into A Day Cat

Does your cat keep you awake (or wake you up) at night? Unlike cats, most humans are not nocturnal and our lifestyles normally require us to be awake in the lighter hours.

It’s hard enough to get up in the morning without our cats keeping us awake by racing around at 2am or yowling into the early hours of the morning.

Cats are nocturnal, but they can be trained to adjust to your sleeping pattern or, failing that, ways that you can stop your cat keeping you awake all night!

Top Tips For A Restful Night (For Both You And Your Cat)

    1. Leave the curtains open. Cats like to look outside and their eyes can see a lot more at night than yours can at night, so by keeping the curtains open you can keep your cat busy so they don’t bother you!
    2. Don’t feed them after midnight (or after dinner). If you make a habit of feeding your cat at night they’ll keep begging for food and may wake you up at 2am to do so!Instead of feeding your cat a small portion that leaves them hungry, try feeding them a larger serving (but not too large, cat obesity is a big issue!) that they can either nibble at throughout the night or eat all at once. A well fed comfortable cat is more likely to fall asleep!
    3. Don’t reward your cat for waking you up a night. It’s hard to refuse cat cuddles, but if your kitty paws at the door at 2am you must refuse if you want a decent night sleep! Your cat will get the message.
    4. Play with your cat during the day. Bored cats may become restless, but happy cats who get lots of attention, play lots of games and have toys to entertain them when you’re not around are more likely to sleep at a reasonable hour because they’ll be tired out from all the fun!


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