Are Maine Coons Nocturnal?

If you have noticed just how much your Maine Coon sleeps during the day, you are probably wondering are Maine Coons nocturnal?

Maine Coon cats are not nocturnal. While they are sometimes active at night, Maine Coons, like other cats, are crepuscular. This means they are most active during dawn and dusk because it is the peak time for catching prey and hiding from predators.

A lot of cat owners get woken up in the middle of the night because their cat is begging to play. As a result, many cat owners are convinced that this means their cats are nocturnal.

If you’ve ever been disappointed by the fact that your cat wants to play at night, but spends most of the day sleeping, read on!

We’re going to reveal some ways you can change your cat’s sleeping schedule to better fit your own.

Are Maine Coon Cats Nocturnal?

The Maine Coon is famous for being the largest breed of cat in the world.

These massive beauties originated in the state of Maine, which is notorious for its freezing winters. The large, fluffy Maine Coon is perfectly evolved to survive those cold conditions.

Contrary to popular belief, Maine Coon Cats, like other domestic cats, are not nocturnal. Instead, they are crepuscular animals, despite being active during some parts of the night.

If you haven’t heard of crepuscular animals before, don’t be too worried as it’s just not a commonly discussed thing.

Learning how to recognize crepuscular traits in your Maine Coon cat, however, will help you understand your gentle giant’s behavior more clearly.

What Is A Crepuscular Animal?

The word “crepuscular” comes from the Latin word crepusculum, which means twilight. Today, the word crepuscular is used to refer to any animal that is most active at dusk and dawn.

There are several reasons why this circadian pattern is advantageous to cats.

For animals who live in incredibly hot, dry places, being awake during the cool hours of dawn and dusk allows them to preserve moisture and prevent becoming overheated.

Many types of prey, like bugs, birds, and small rodents are crepuscular, so many predators have evolved to be most active during these times, to ensure more plentiful eating (source 1).

Why Are Maine Coon Cats Crepuscular?

Cats are thought to have become crepuscular due to the following environmental reasons:

1. Temperature

Why would a Maine Coon cat want to hunt from midday to early afternoon when the sun is at its hottest?

Additionally, cold chilly nights would also not provide a favorable climate for these large cats, due to the cold temperature.

By comparison, the temperature between dusk and dawn is ideal for them to hunt.

2. Natural Light

The peak time for your Maine Coon cat to be active, and hunting its prey, is from dusk to dawn when the light is limited.

Whilst limited light can reduce a human’s vision, it is thought that Maine Coons are still able to hunt successfully.

The limited light is also beneficial to them as the darkness helps to hide their movements.

3. Instinct

Maine Coon cats are active from dusk to dawn since they instinctively know that the twilight hours are the most advantageous hours to hunt their prey.

4. More Prey

Maine Coons love to eat small mammals, like birds, mice, flies, and bugs.

These prey are more active during the twilight hours, so it’s not surprising the Maine Coon cat makes its peak hunting hours when there is more prey available.

5. Safety From Predators

The Maine Coon cat’s predators are less active during the twilight hours.

It’s no surprise therefore that Maine Coons prefer being crepuscular when their predators are less active!

Being crepuscular enables the Maine Coon cat to hunt from dawn to dusk more safely, as they do not have to fear being attacked by larger animals.

What Do Maine Coon Cats Do At Night?

If you have an outdoor cat who leaves at night, you’re probably wondering what your feline friend gets up to during that time.

The three most common activities that cats do at night are:

  • Hunting
  • Greeting other cats
  • Patrolling and exploring the territory

Indoor cats often spend their time doing what’s known as “zoomies,” where they release pent-up energy by running around the house.

What Do Maine Coon Cats Do During The Day?

When the Maine Coon cat isn’t out hunting prey, or having ‘zoomies’ moments, they like to do the following:

1. Sleep

Maine Coon cats spend copious amounts of the day sleeping, and having cat naps!

In fact, some studies have revealed that the Maine Coon can sleep for 16-18 hours a day! Now that’s a LOT of sleeping!

Don’t be fooled though as your Maine Coon is often only sleeping lightly, and is aware of what is going on around them.

Maine Coon cats might look like they are asleep, however, if you watch their ears you will notice that their ears move towards general noises within your home.

This shows that these felines are hard-wired to listen out for predators or movements nearby them that might cause them harm.

2. Deep Sleep

Just like us humans, Maine Coon cats have periods where their bodies move into what specialists classify as “deep sleep”.

This stage of sleep is essential for the feline body to recover and fix itself. If your cat is deep sleeping, you will likely hear them snore! Or, twitch their ears, head, or paws whilst they dream.

Unlike humans though, only a quarter of the Maine Coons sleep is thought to be “deep”, lasting for small chunks of 10-20 minutes.

3. Play

When these big cats are not hunting prey, they love to play.

Playtime is important for the Maine Coon cat as it helps keep their bodies fit and healthy.

Expect your Maine Coon to master simple cat toys, but find these cat toys more challenging and stimulating.

Whilst Maine Coon cats do love to play, they only require 20-30 minutes of playtime each day.

Maine Coon Sleeping Habits

As a kitten, Maine Coons need a lot more sleep.

Most kittens will sleep an average of 20 hours a day, which will decrease to around 15 or 16 hours a day as an adult. Cats do not sleep continuously, however.

Your Maine Coon will nap throughout the day, waking up at times to eat, play, or cuddle. Cats have two different kinds of sleep: light sleep and deep sleep.

You can recognize light sleep by your cat moving its tail or ears, whereas a cat in deep sleep will not move at all.

How Many Hours A Day Do Maine Coons Sleep?

Cats sleep much more than humans, typically averaging about 15 hours of sleep each day. In some cases, cats may sleep even more, up to about 20 hours a day.

Kittens typically need around 20 hours of sleep a day, but this will gradually lessen as the cat grows older.

Do Maine Coons Sleep More Than Other Cats?

The Maine Coon is a relaxed breed.

While they do have moments of playfulness and spurts of energy, many Maine Coon owners have observed that their cat sleeps slightly more than most other cat breeds on average.

Maine Coon Sleeping Positions

Even though you can’t exactly play or cuddle with your cat while it’s sleeping, watching a cat sleep is a form of entertainment in its own right.

Especially if you own a Maine Coon, as Maine Coon sleeping positions can be hilarious!

Cats are famous for sleeping in some of the oddest (and funniest) positions in the animal kingdom.

Another interesting fact about cats is that their sleeping position can often indicate their mood.

For example, a cat sleeping on its back indicates it is feeling relaxed and trusting because it feels safe enough to expose its vulnerable belly.

A cat sleeping in a curled-up ball means that it might be feeling vulnerable.

Sleeping in this position allows a cat to feel more protected. This position is also a great way to preserve body heat, so a cat sleeping in this position might be a bit chilly.

Another classic cat sleeping position is the “loaf,” which refers to a cat sleeping upright with its front legs tucked beneath its body.

This is a position that allows the cat to spring away at any moment, but still, be comfortable while resting.

Why Does My Maine Coon Sleep So Much?

You may be concerned by how much your cat sleeps.

After all, cats get about 15 to 20 hours of sleep each day, which is a lot more than humans! Don’t worry, though, it’s completely normal for cats to sleep this much.

In the wild, cats evolved to sleep more in order to conserve more energy. Even though domestic cats don’t have to worry about catching food or saving energy, they’ve still retained this adaptation.

If you notice your Maine Coon sleeping even more than normal, however, accompanied by symptoms like lethargy or loss of appetite.

Then you should schedule an appointment with your vet to rule out any illness (source 1).

Is It Normal For Maine Coon Cats To Snore?

It’s pretty common for Maine Coons and other cats to snore.

However, if you notice a sudden increase in snoring, or if it’s accompanied by breathing difficulties or other concerning symptoms, you should take your cat to the vet.

Indoor cats also enjoy playing with toys or looking out the window.

Are Cats Nocturnal Or Crepuscular?

If you’re convinced that your cat is more active at night than during dawn and dusk, you might be asking yourself “Are all cats crepuscular?”

Owners who have never been woken up by their cat at night, however, might be wondering, “Do cats sleep at night?”

Strictly speaking, all cats are crepuscular, and not nocturnal. However, this doesn’t mean cats aren’t still active at night. Being crepuscular simply means that an animal is most active at dawn and dusk.

Even if your cat is awake at night, it will still most likely be awake during dawn and dusk, which means it is crepuscular, and not nocturnal.

Are Indoor Cats Nocturnal?

Cats that are strictly indoors will likely still be crepuscular, not nocturnal.

While it is possible for a Maine Coon’s sleeping schedule to change slightly based on the schedule of its owners, being indoors or outdoors doesn’t actually affect whether a cat is nocturnal or crepuscular.

Are Cats Diurnal?

The word diurnal refers to an animal that is most active during the daytime. Cats are the least active during the day, so they are not diurnal.

Even though cats nap frequently throughout the day, they’re still awake and active sometimes.

However, similarly to how cats who are active at night aren’t necessarily nocturnal, a cat who is awake at times throughout the day still isn’t diurnal.

Are Cats More Active At Night?

Cats are more active at night than during the day.

This is because, in the wild, prey is most active at dusk, dawn, and during the night, so cats evolved to be more active during those hours to catch more food.

The domestic cat we know today also evolved in African deserts, which are notorious for hot days and cold nights.

Dawn and dusk are typically more temperate, so cats began sleeping during the day and night to conserve body heat and prevent heat exhaustion.

How Do I Stop My Cat From Being Crepuscular?

If you want an animal that is diurnal and not awake throughout the day, then a cat might not be the right pet for you.

With that being said, it is possible to shift a cat’s sleeping schedule so that it is more active during the day and less active at night.

If your cat is keeping you awake at night, it’s possible to discourage loud and intrusive behaviors without stopping your cat from being crepuscular.

Some ways to keep your cat quiet at night include playing more during the day, keeping your door closed at night, and creating a designated “play” room far from your bedroom at night.

Starting in kittenhood, you can also gradually shift your cat’s sleeping schedule so it is more active during the day.

By playing with your cat more during the day, it will be more tired at night, and more likely to sleep. It’s also possible to (gently) wake your cat if it’s sleeping during the day.

However, it’s important to remember that cats are naturally crepuscular, and simply need a lot more sleep than humans.

It might be impossible to get your cat to stay awake throughout most of the day, and it could even damage your cat’s help if you prevent it from sleeping.

Do Cats Sleep At Night?

Just because cats aren’t nocturnal doesn’t mean they don’t sleep at night! Maine Coons, like other cat breeds, will often sleep during the night, as well.

However, unlike humans, cats don’t sleep for extended periods of time. Instead, they nap periodically.

Your cat may crawl into bed with you to sleep for a little while during the night, but the chances of it sleeping with you the entire night are very slim.

Tips On How To Get Your Cat To Sleep At Night

If you want to train your cat to sleep at night, here are some tips to shift your cat’s sleeping schedule.

  • Don’t React to Your Cat at Night: Many cats become needy and loud at night, often begging to play or be fed. The first step in changing your cat’s sleeping schedule is to ignore any undesirable behaviors at night. This will teach your cat that night is not the time to play or eat.
  • Play More During the Day: Playing with your cat more during the day will not only allow your cat to get out its desire for play before night, but it might also tire your cat out.
  • Wake Your Cat Up: You might resort to gently waking your cat while it’s sleeping during the day, and instead convince your cat to play and explore.
  • Go Outside: By letting your cat outside, or taking your cat out for regular walks during the day, your cat might get enough stimulation to start sleeping more at night.
  • Make Night Time Less Fun: You might encourage your cat to sleep more at night by removing or hiding toys. If your cat learns that nighttime is boring and daytime is fun, it will be more likely to shift its sleeping schedule to line up with yours.
  • Start in Kittenhood: Learning how to train a kitten to sleep at night will be a lot easier than training an adult cat. If you get your Maine Coon as a kitten, start establishing the desired schedule early on so that it becomes a regular part of life.

Can Maine Coons See In The Dark?

Cat’s eyes are much better adapted to seeing in low light. However, cats cannot see in complete darkness any better than humans can.

As humans, however, we wrongly assume our cats can see in the dark, as cats are able to navigate around our homes at night without needing the lights on!

But, if you consider how much light is seeping into your rooms, even during the nighttime, your Maine Coon only needs this low level of light to see where they are going.

This is because the back of a cat’s eye has a layer called the tapetum lucidum. This layer acts as a mirror, which reflects light and allows cats to see better in dim lighting.

Cats also have corneas and pupils that are approximately 50% bigger than humans. The extra light this offers enables your Maine Coon to see better in the dark.

So, can cats see in the dark? The short answer is no, they can simply see better in low light than humans can.

Are Cats Scared Of The Dark?

While uncommon, it is possible for cats to be afraid of the dark.

Even though cats aren’t naturally afraid of the dark, if they have been hurt, abused, or captured in the dark, they may build a fear-based association with darkness.

Are Maine Coons Good Hunters?

Maine Coons are incredibly good hunters.

These active, athletic cats originally became popular for their hunting prowess and were used in barns and on ships to keep out rodents and other vermin.

While most cats are known for being good at hunting, the Maine Coon is especially adept at catching prey.

Are Maine Coons Lazy?

If you watch your cat sleep throughout most of the day, you might be wondering if this means cats are lazy.

However, frequent napping is not actually a sign of laziness! By evolving to sleep frequently, cats are able to conserve more energy, which is advantageous in the wild.

The average cat sleeps between 16 and 18 hours a day, and while a human who sleeps this much would definitely be considered lazy, that’s not true for cats.

When they are not sleeping, cats spend their time hunting and playing.

Maine Coons are even less lazy than other cat breeds, such as Persians or Ragdolls.

Maine Coons are actually very adept hunters, and outdoor Maine Coons usually spend their free time during the day and night hunting.

Facts About Maine Coon Cats

Want to learn more about the fascinating Maine Coon Cat?

Here are five interesting facts about this gorgeous breed!

  • They Love Water: Maine Coons have an odd affinity for water. These cats are good swimmers, and you might even find your Maine Coon playing in your sink or bathtub!
  • They Have a Unique Voice: Unlike most cats, Maine Coons rarely meow. Instead, they chirrup and trill, which is just another reason why this unique breed is so popular.
  • They Have a Dog-Like Personality: Maine Coons are incredibly intelligent and active, and they can often be trained to do things typical of dogs, such as playing fetch and even walking on a leash and harness!
  • They’re Very Gentle and Patient: Some people get scared that the enormous Maine Coon breed might be aggressive. However, these cats have earned themselves the nickname “Gentle Giants” due to their sweet and patient personalities.
  • They Act Like Kittens for Life: Maine Coons are unique because they often retain their kitten-like playfulness even as they grow older. While relatively calm most of the time, Maine Coons never seem to lose that spark that kittens have.


If you’ve noticed your cat sleeping a lot throughout the day, or been woken up numerous times by your cat at night, you’ve probably begun to wonder are Maine Coon cats nocturnal?

While Maine Coons are active at night, they’re actually crepuscular, not nocturnal.

Cats evolved to be more active during dawn and dusk and spend much of the day and night napping.

If your cat is disturbing your sleep, however, it’s possible to encourage your cat to shift sleep schedules, or at least be quieter while you rest.

Related Questions

Are Maine Coons Cuddly?

Maine Coon Cats are affectionate, and most of them love to cuddle with their owners. However, it’s important to be aware of your cat’s boundaries. Not all cats want to be cuddled all the time!

Maine Coon Cats Play Fetch

One amazing fact about Maine Coons is that they are known for having dog-like personalities. Many Maine Coons even love to play fetch with their toys!

Maine Coon Central

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I’m a CRAZY CAT LADY! I've been in love with the Maine Coon cat breed ever since we welcomed an adorable male Maine Coon kitten into our home 10 years ago. We called him 'Pippin', but he also goes by the name ‘Pipsteroo’! Our enormous, kind-hearted cat genuinely thinks he's a dog and has convinced me that cats are Man's True Best Friend! UPDATE: We recently adopted two 4-year-old male Maine Coon cats. They are named Mika and Bali.

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