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Why do cats go crazy at night?
Why do cats go crazy at night?

One thing is certain, our beloved cats are very special creatures. Their behaviors, at times, can leave us dumbfounded and open-mouthed, especially when they suddenly go crazy and run like mad in the middle of the night taking down everything around them. But because cats go crazy at night?

The reasons that push cats to have this behavior, which to us humans may seem completely crazy, are actually simple.

Predatory instinct

Cats in nature are gods predators and to get food they must hunt. Domestic cats that, despite the hunter instinct is in their innate, they do not need to hunt to feed, during the day they accumulate energies which are normally burned with physical activity. The use of toys such as stuffed mice containing catnip, laser pointers, sticks with feathers and balls, are used to encourage the cat to give vent to its natural hunting instinct, especially if it does not spend time outdoors. What we often refer to as sudden madness is actually but one release of accumulated energies during the day.

But why do cats release these energies especially during the night?

Night instinct


The first explanation for this strange nocturnal behavior lies in the twilight nature of the cat. This means that cats are naturally more active animals around sunrise and sunset times. But what is this due to? Cats, as predators, usually hunt a variety of small animals, among which, as we all know, stand out the mouses. This kind of animals are known to come out in the open during the night hours. Cats are therefore not really nocturnal creatures, but theirs instinct it leads them to think "it's time to hunt".

Another explanation for this behavior particularly concerns those domestic cats that spend a good part of their day in loneliness at home while their humans are at work. As we know, cats usually spend most of their days dozing, especially if not stimulated, and it is during this rest period that they accumulate energy. Also for this reason, their internal clock can be a bit out of phase. Cats that spend most of their day alone can therefore prove to be more active and interested in play and physical activity when their humans return home. During the evening hours, even the mere presence of one's own humans in the house can therefore act as a stimulus and encourage the cat to release the accumulated energies.

What to do in these cases

As we have mentioned in several articles, it is important to encourage your cat to give vent to hers primal instincts for a variety of reasons. For a domestic cat, play represents primary physical activity and is useful not only for make sure he stays in shape and give vent to his instincts, but also to prevent him from falling into one state of depression due to boredom.

If your cat has the habit of running around the house like crazy during the night and you just can't stand being woken up all the time, try these two simple solutions:

  • Plan one game session abundant about an hour or two before going to sleep. Make sure your cat is totally into the game and is as tired as possible. While it's nice to challenge their skills, also make sure you let them catch items from time to time, otherwise the game may turn out frustrating and charge the cat of nervous energy. By doing this, once the play session is over, your cat should have vented the accumulated energy and should spend the rest of the night resting.
  • If you are too busy, or just too tired to run around the house with your cat every night, there are some very useful ones automatic games which can be set to start at specific times. Set the timer to make them turn on several times during the day when you are away from home, or turn them on for a couple of hours before going to sleep.