Are Cats Nocturnal or Diurnal?

Cats are both nocturnal and diurnal.  This means that they can be night animals and/or day animals.  The way a cat’s eyes are designed allow them to have very good vision in both high and low light which means, they have no problems seeing in either situation.  However cats usually lean more towards being nocturnal.  They prefer to sleep during the day and stay more active at night.  In fact its not uncommon for cats to sleep for hours at a time during the day.  The average cat sleeps anywhere from sixteen to twenty something hours a day.  Even though they have been bred to be brought up as domestic pets and to live with humans, they are predators by nature so they still have that natural instinct to hunt at night and sleep during the day.

Many cat owners find this to be problematic, as their cat is so active at night it often keeps people in the household wide awake.  The good news is there are a number of ways that one can help their cat adapt to your lifestyle and change its sleeping patterns to be diurnal.  Keeping it awake during the day is one of the easiest ways to get your cat to sleep more during the night.  Playing with kitty and keeping him or her entertained during the day will make kitty exhausted when its finally night time.  Using cat nip a few hours before bed can help too, it will get kitty active and then make him pass out later after he’s had his fun running around the house.

For pet owners who are not home much during the day, keeping lots of cat toys around to entertain kitty can also be helpful.  Changing the toys every so often will help kitty from becoming bored.  If your cat likes to wake you up during the night, try closing the bedroom door so that kitty doesn’t bother you.  This doesn’t work for every cat.  Some are quite stubborn and will only meow more until you open the door back up.  Unfortunately every cat and situation varies.  However one of the main reasons cats often wake us up in the morning is because they are hungry.  Feeding it its biggest meal right before bed can help prevent this as well as feeding it smaller meals a few times during the day.

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