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Why are Cats Most Active at Dawn and Dusk?

Cats require a lot of sleep to conserve energy for hunting activities like stalking, chasing, pouncing, climbing, and running,” she explains. On the other hand, Cats can sleep for reasons that are entirely relatable to humans: boredom or mental health. But do you know why Cats are most active during dawn and dusk? 

Cats are crepuscular, which means they are most active at sunrise and sunset. However, some house cats that were either stray or spent a lot of time outdoors may develop the habit of being most active at night because that is when their prey is most active.

What are Crepuscular Animals?

Animals can be classified based on their diet, but they can also be classified based on when they are most active. Many animals are classified as diurnal, which means they are most active during the day. Of course, there are animals that are classified as nocturnal.

A nocturnal animal is most active during the hours when the moon is highest in the sky. This is also likely because, while they may be predators in their own right, they are prey to larger predators. The food chain undoubtedly serves to establish the pecking order in the Animal Kingdom.

Domestic cats or Felis catus are considered crepuscular because they are most active at dawn and dusk or low light hours. Our feline companions are not the only ones who are crepuscular. Rabbits, ferrets, ocelots, bobcats, deer, and African wild dogs are some other crepuscular animals. (Source: Cattitude Daily

Are Cats Nocturnal or Crepuscular?

Unlike possums, bats, and raccoons, cats are actually not technically nocturnal. Instead, cats are crepuscular, This means that they are wired to be most active at dusk and dawn. So they thrive at night-adjacent times, but they’re not hardwired to sleep during the day and be awake all night. This is because of cats’ evolutionary past as desert hunters. These times [are] when the temperatures are the coolest in the desert, which makes it more tolerable to hunt

Doctor Michelle Lugones, Veterinarian at Best Friends Animal Society

Consider a lion. They can hunt at night, but they are also capable of hunting during the day. And why is this the case? Because they’re at the very top of the food chain. Although your house panther is stern, it only weighs about nine pounds. So, if they were out hunting and forced to provide for themselves, they’d hunt at twilight because it reduces their risk of being seen by predators, and it’s genetically designed for them to hunt at this time due to their eye structure. 

Younger cats are more likely to stay awake at night because they instinctively recognize it as prime hunting time. Cats, on the other hand, will adapt to their home environment’s sleeping patterns as they grow older. These cats will eventually become more crepuscular. (Source: Cattitude Daily

When Do Cats Tend to Sleep the Most?

During the day, cats certainly do a lot of snoozing. However, despite sleeping 12 to 15 hours per day, they are not lazy or deep sleepers.3.

Cats are always ‘on the alert’—even in their sleep,  This means that if there’s a loud sound, they may wake up and instantly be bright and alert. It’s a protective mechanism designed to keep wild animals safe from predators and able to catch prey if the opportunity arises.

Doctor Michelle Lugones, Veterinarian at Best Friends Animal Society

(Source: Cattitude Daily

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