Although cats can spend anywhere from 16 to 20 hours a day sleeping, they’re not always such docile creatures. In fact, many cat owners find that their kitties start sprinting around the house as soon as their human companions are ready to go to bed. Affectionately known as the nighttime “zoomies,” this behavior isn’t always so cute if you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep.
So why does your cat wait till bedtime to get her daily exercise in?
According to veterinarians, there are a few explanations for this behavior. First of all, cats are naturally crepuscular animals, which means they are most active around dawn and dusk. Once night falls, cats are ready to perk up from their afternoon naps and start hunting nocturnal rodents. But cats’ natural rhythms aren’t the only reason for their nighttime sprints around the living room. This behavior can often be attributed to their relationship with humans as well.
Cats tend to be active when their humans are active.
When we’re at work during the day and our cats are home alone, they spend most of their time lounging around and napping. Once we get home in the evenings, they’re more likely to wake up and start exploring. A typical 9-to-5 work schedule can disrupt a cat’s normal sleeping rhythms, causing them to become active a few hours later than they would otherwise.
If you want to make sure your sleep isn’t interrupted by a late-night case of the zoomies, be sure to set aside some play time for you and your kitty when you get home from work. Giving your cat a food puzzle to play with can help them burn off some steam and satisfy their brains’ reward systems. This way, they’ll be ready to settle down and relax by the time you go to bed.