Night-time, Play-time

Why do my humans get so upset when my brother and I chase each other around the house at night? We aren’t getting in their way and being tripped over, or anything, and we only run across the bed occasionally.

Ever been lying on the floor at night and been rudely tripped over by a human going to their litter-box-room or to get a drink? Human eyes are okay in daylight, but at night, they’re only one-sixth as good as ours at gathering faint light. We all know their ears and noses aren’t much better. So most humans stay awake during the day, when they can see, and sleep at night. Sure, they have electric lights now, but it’s an old instinct and it’s hard to train out of them.

We, on the other hand, can see just fine at night, and there’s less human noise to keep us from hearing the world. Night was a good time for our ancestors to hunt – although there are prey types that are around mostly at dusk and dawn, or during the day, so we learned to be flexible.

If you have humans who are away all day most days, probably you sleep for most of that time. After all, it’s quiet and there are no interruptions, and you can have the whole bed to stretch out without arguing with your humans, or you might have a warm sunbeam to nap in. When they get home, it’s playtime!

I’m afraid not. Humans coming home after being gone all day are frequently tired. They’ve been doing the inefficient human version of hunting to make sure they can bring home prey to eat and protecting their claim on the family den. They usually want to rest, so give them some time.

See if you can teach them to play for an hour or so before they go to bed every night. You and your brother will work off energy, your humans can go to bed relaxed from the game instead of dwelling on all the stressful things they think about so much, you can all sleep – everyone wins!

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