Are Cats Nocturnal?

Are Cats Nocturnal? 

Are Cats Nocturnal?

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Cats are fun to be with because they love attention. They are very smart as they learn through observation, hit and trial method. They are independent as they know what they are doing. They love to be around their owners and hate to share their owner with anyone. But they are flexible and change according to circumstances. They share few of the similarities with humans interestingly. They are the obligate carnivores which means they cannot survive on a vegetarian diet.

With all these things cats are also known to be lazy in the day which means they sleep for sixteen to twenty hours a day and are very active in the evening and night. This behaviour does irritate the cat owners because they do wake up their cat owners which is annoying for sure. Which generally leaves us with few questions: why is my cat acting this way? Is my cat nocturnal?  Is something which they have learnt?  Therefore these questions are normal and it is important for the cat owners to understand their cats.

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What is the meaning of nocturnal?

Active during the day or occurring in the night and sleep during the night. It is opposite to diurnal which means active during the day time and sleep during the night.

Are cats Nocturnal?

The answer to this question is yes. Cats are primarily nocturnal which means they are active during the dawn or dusk hours.

This is because much of their prey such as rodents also feed under the cover of darkness; both wild and domestic cats have enhanced senses for navigating at night.  Although domesticated cats do not have to hunt for their food, they may still act their nightly instincts.

This is because cats have highly developed senses of hearing, smell and adapted eyesight, these activities increase due to relative humidity, decrease of air temperature and rate of evaporation.

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Why are cats nocturnal?

As cats are nocturnal mammals as they can:-

·  Cats see in the night by turning displaced DNA into lenses which means cat’s eyes are designed for sight in low and high light levels this is because of an extra layer of tissue under the retina that reflects light called the tapetum, which reflects any light that passes through back onto it. Their retinas are loaded with rod cells, which are light-sensitive than the cone cells that allow colour vision.

· Cat’s rod cells pack their massive lengths of DNA which are packaged into small spaces by wrapping the DNA around the proteins known as chromatin that turns the nucleus of each cell into a light-collecting lens. Their unconventional distribution is shared by the rods of cats.

· Cats have specialized hearing which are highly manoeuvrable which means cats can hear much higher pitch sounds therefore when listening something a cat’s ear will move in that direction., it’s ears flaps, can point backwards on its own as well as move forward and sideways and to pinpoint the source of the sound.  As the cat's pinna funnels sound waves into the ear canal, the waves strike the eardrum and then the eardrum vibrates resulting in three tiny inner ear bones to move. Its movement pushes on the at one end of the cochlea which is filled with fluid causing waves in the fluid. These waves flow over tiny hair-like cells that stick inward from the floor of the cochlea resulting in some hair cell to move. Each hair cell sends the signal to the brain when the cat’s ear moves that’s why cats hear differently pitched sounds.

· Cats have a good sense of smell and often communicate with scent marking. They have a strong sense of smell which comes from the organ which is in the top of their mouths. The sensitivity of the organ increases when the cat pulls its lips back and grimaces.

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How to manage nocturnal cats?

· Introduce a few interactive play sessions with your cat during the evening, play games which include hunting or preying on the rat, you can use a ping pong ball, softballs, furry rat toy which can be fetched by your cat. Play until it seems tired.

· Offer your cat a big nice meal just before bedtime. As cats tend to sleep after their mealtime.

· Get a variety of activities to keep your cat busy during daylight hours. The more active the cat is during the day, the more likely it is to sleep at night without disturbance.

· Rule out the problems which are medical which means if your cat moves around the house at night crying or making sounds, it may be suffering from a medical problem that is resulting in pain or discomfort. Take your cat to the vet to figure out what is wrong.


· Cat owners sometimes reward their cat’s nighttime activity without meaning to, like getting up to feed your cat, try to play with it or chase him out of the room. All these responses will increase the disturbing behaviour you have at night while you are sleeping. Therefore do not encourage this behaviour just ignore it as the more you react the more your cat will take you for a ride.

· Managing your cat’s environment at night is very important like confine him in another room so that he cannot practice wrong behaviour. You can keep him in a kitty- proofed room with a litter box, water, bedding and toys.  You can also place a towel between your closed bedroom door and door to prevent door banding.

· Do not punish your cat if it is not sleeping in the night as it will create a stressful relationship between you and your cat and will crop up issues. Focus on teaching good behaviour by other means.

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Cats are nocturnal which means they sleep during the day for sixteen to twenty hours and are active during the night. This is due to their ancestors and there are biological bases to support it.

Both domestic and wild cats have such strong biological bases like hearing, smelling and vision along with the running DNA in them which makes it a bit difficult for the cat owner to deal with it and often they get frustrated which is quite natural. But the good news is that the cats can be trained to sleep as they are smart and learn through observation but don’t forget they do test as well using the techniques like ignoring, feeding schedule and playtime which can make your cat tired or else making a room with the litter box and play material can improve your cat’s sleep pattern. hope you got the answer to your question Are Cats Nocturnal?

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