By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Cats love to sleep. But wouldn’t it be nice if they could coordinate their sleeping hours with our own? Sometimes kittens, especially, seem to be active in the night hours and may want to eat or play. But it’s not always the little ones that seem to have insomnia after midnight. Cats seem to be much closer to their primal roots than any other domesticated animal. To truly understand, you have to be mindful of the ancestry of our beloved domestic feline.

The domestic cats’ ancestry traces back to the African wildcat, a nocturnal animal. Being nocturnal greatly increased the chance for survival for smaller creatures. Cats still are primarily naturally nocturnal, but being extremely adaptable, domestication has led them to daytime activities, now allowing them to become awake by day.

But since it is a natural instinct, do not punish your cat if he/she is up at night on occasion, instead you may want to feed your cat before bedtime. A full stomach makes for a sleepy cat. You can also try increasing his/her daytime activities or playtime.

Sometimes the addition of another cat helps by providing company and a playmate. Most importantly, rule out any medical problems first. Your cat may be trying to tell you something especially if there is excessive crying. Make sure to check out any possible illnesses with your vet first.

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