We’re sure you've noticed that your cat is more active at night and you've probably heard them running around as you try to fall asleep. This has led many people to conclude that cats are nocturnal animals. However, this isn’t entirely true – cats are actually crepuscular animals. What does this mean? And what can you do to stop your cat from interrupting your sleep?
What do we mean when we say cats are crepuscular animals?
Cats, as crepuscular animals, are more active at dusk and dawn, which is when they reach their peak activity levels. In fact, thanks to their night vision and ability to be stealthy, this is when wild cats choose to go hunting. So, it’s not surprising that domestic cats have kept this instinct and take advantage of sunrise and sunset to play and run around the house.
How can you manage your cat's overactivity at night?
Although cats need approximately 16 hours of shuteye and they do reserve some of this time to sleep in the middle of the night, it's advisable to play with your cat during the day so that you can both enjoy some well-deserved rest and aren't surprised by late-night expeditions. Also, you shouldn’t keep your cat isolated in one room of the house or close your bedroom door while you're sleeping – this is stressful for many cats and can cause them to bang on the door or meow until they manage to get in or out.
Ideally, they should be able to roam around at their leisure and have as much space as possible to act on their feline instincts. For this reason, it's recommended that you teach your cat how to respect your space. Move them towards the foot of the bed if they bother you at night so that they understand where they should be.
Additionally, given their activity levels during the evening and morning, it's very important that cats have access to the litter box throughout the night so they can use it whenever they need to.
By putting these tips into practice, you'll enjoy a good night's rest, and your cat will feel free to explore the house at night while respecting your space and sleep. This way, both of you will be aware of each other's needs and your bond will become much healthier and stronger.