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Why is my cat up all night?

Why is my cat up all night?
October 3, 2022

The reason it seems as though your cat is nocturnal is because he/she is crepuscular, an animal naturally more active at dawn and dusk.  That transitional time between nightfall and daylight is your cat’s time of greatest activity and when he most wants to hunt, play, eat, and cuddle. It is when your cat is most likely to seek out your attention. Unfortunately, this is a time you likely want to be asleep!

With this understanding, here is what you can do to ensure your cat does not disrupt your sleep:

  • Be sure your cat is stimulated and busy during the day, so they do not oversleep. 
  • Engage in active and vigorous play before you head to bed, so your cat sleeps better through the night. This is especially true if you have a new kitten but is important for all ages.

Be sure not to get up and feed or play with your cat in the middle of the night since your cat will learn that bugging you to get out of bed will be precisely what she wanted! The only way to stop this particularly frustrating feline behavior is to never—accidentally or intentionally—reinforce it. 

Learn more about your cat’s crepuscular nature and what you can do about it. 

If your senior cat is roaming the house at night howling, please schedule an appointment for a check-up. This is a common elderly cat problem that can be caused by elevated blood pressure as well as senility, visual changes, discomfort, or anxiety. We want to help!

-Charis Thompson, DVM and Kathi Gruss, DVM