Are Cats Nocturnal?

It may appear that way when your cat is scampering around while you’re trying to sleep. However, what does the science has to say about those lovable creature’s attitude?


Do you consider cats to be nocturnal creatures, sleeping for the most of the day and waking up at night? Quite a few individuals do. Cat memes abound, depicting felines frolicking about at all hours of the night, much to the chagrin of their sleeping owners. Are cats, on the other hand, nocturnal?

Are cats nocturnal?

No, they aren’t. Cats, unlike possums, bats, and raccoons, are not strictly nocturnal. Cats, on the other hand, are crepuscular, as Michelle Lugones, DVM, of Best Friends Animal Society explains. This implies they’re programmed to be most active at night and early in the morning.

As a result, they flourish during nighttime hours, yet they aren’t programmed to sleep during the day and stay awake all night. This is due to the fact that cats evolved as desert hunters.

These are the coldest times of year in the desert, which makes hunting more bearable, according to Dr. Lugones. Because of the darkness, hunting during dusk and morning offers cats with some shelter, but just enough light to hunt in.

So why do we think they’re nocturnal?

So, let’s get back to the memes. Many people believe cats are nocturnal since most individuals who own a cat can attest to their cat waking them up in the middle of the night on a frequent basis, according to Dr. Lugones. “However, their crepuscular inclinations are generally correlated with their nocturnal activity.”

When do cats sleep the most?


Cats perform a lot of sleeping throughout the day, despite the fact that they are not nocturnal. But, despite sleeping 12 to 15 hours a day, they aren’t slackers or even deep sleepers! Dr. Lugones explains that cats are always “on the alert”—even while they are sleeping. “In consequence if they hear  loud noises, They may immediately wake up and become bright and alert. It’s a defense system that keeps wild animals secure from predators while also allowing them to grab prey when the chance arises.”