If your cat has access to the outdoors, it probably walks outside part of the night. It’s very simple, you sometimes have the impression that it prefers to go out when the sun goes down rather than taking advantage of the brightness of the day to take their daily walk. But why? What can it do so special at night? And where is it going?
1. It does guard duty
When night falls, your cat has an essential mission: to protect its territory. Indeed, it is during the night that our feline friends patrol all around their territory in order to dissuade any intruders from entering it or, at the very least, from appropriating it.
And for good reason, it is vital for a cat that it feels safe in their territory. It is thanks to this that it can eat and above all sleep peacefully. In the wild, cats that have a well-defined territory are more likely to survive.
To delimit its territory and prevent another cat from taking it over, your cat walks around the area around your home every night and deposits its odors everywhere. To do this, it rubs against the walls, scratches the trees or even urinates in strategic places. And when it crosses another cat on its territory, it usually gives rise to the howls that can sometimes be heard in the middle of the night. These do not necessarily mean that there is a fight, but rather that the felines are trying to impress each other.
Good to know: the territory of cats can be more or less large depending on their personality, their sex but also on the space available. Thus, males generally have a territory 10 times larger than females. Similarly, cats living in the countryside have a larger territory than those living in the city.
2. It explores new territories
At night, there is less noise, less movement, less smell but also less danger. In fact, this is the perfect opportunity for a cat to explore new places in order to expand its territory. Indeed, it can thus concentrate on their task without being distracted and is able to flee at the slightest suspicious noise.
Especially since our feline friends are able to see in the dark, as long as they have a tiny source of light (lamppost, moonlight, etc.). They tend to venture into unknown houses, barns or gardens.
Note that not all cats need to expand their territory. Only the most daring try it, and it is most often males. The others are perfectly satisfied with their little piece of garden or their block of houses.
3. It goes hunting
The cat is a born hunter. Therefore, hunting is an instinctive activity, even vital for them. Exactly like breathing. So certainly, some cats, like the Persian for example, are not at all interested in hunting, but they are still rare.
At night, your cat then takes advantage of the ambient calm to go in search of prey. Not that it was particularly hungry, but it was simply obeying a natural instinct. Not to mention that hunting does them good. This allows them to be stimulated both physically and mentally.
Besides, it’s probably during the night that your hairball brings you its prey, right?
4. It is looking for a partner
If your cat isn’t neutered, it’s more than likely that at night it’ll look for a mate to mate with. In females, this occurs more specifically during periods of heat.
In this case, these nocturnal excursions are generally accompanied by easily recognizable vocalizations.