A common misconception about cats…. Cats aren’t nocturnal

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by Staff
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Everyone with a cat knows that felines love running around at night, especially when their so-called owners are trying to sleep. Despite that, cats aren’t actually nocturnal — they’re crepuscular, meaning they’re most active during dusk and dawn. The reason they prefer twilight has to do with their hunting instincts, as their eyes are well attuned to low-light conditions that allow them to see their prey while remaining hidden themselves. And because they’re descended from desert hunters, dusk and dawn are also favorable due to cooler temperatures. This doesn’t stop them from sleeping all day, but they’re always ready to wake up in an instant — an adaptation that helps keep them safe from predators and alert to opportunities for tiny prey.

Of course, cats are hardly the only crepuscular creatures. Deer, rabbits, bears, skunks, and possums are among the other mammals you can see out and about as the sun is rising or setting. Birds such as barn owls and common nighthawks can also be crepuscular. Animals you might be surprised to learn are mostly nocturnal include koalasbeavers, and scorpions, among others — and some of them exhibit a level of nighttime activity that could even tire out your cat.

Media Release/InterestingFacts

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