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This is kind of a complicated question, since there are so many other variables involved, but generally speaking, I was wondering if any of you notice changes in how your cat behaves (while you're still awake and active), depending on whether you have the lights turned on or off?

When I turn the lights off and go to bed, this naturally signals "sleep time" for the cats, and they generally follow my lead (let's just assume this is a case study and this is actually true). But, if I turn off the lights and stay awake, watching TV, for example, the behaviour of my cats seem to switch to a different mode of craving attention or some form of interaction with me. In comparison, if I was watching TV with the lights on, the cats will behave 'normally' i.e. they lounge around and mind their own business (for the most part).

Here's what prompted my question: I installed some bias lighting on the back of my TV. It's a well known practice which reduces eye strain and improves perceived contrast to help create a more theater-like movie-watching experience. It's not very bright, relatively speaking, since all you see is indirect light reflected off a wall, but it's bright enough to illuminate the room sufficiently so you're not stumbling in the dark and tripping over cats ;) (especially black ones!). When I have just the bias lights on, it seems to make it bright enough that it doesn't switch the cats to "hey it's night time but our human caretaker isn't in bed yet, so let's go bug him" mode.

Not sure what everyone else's experiences are, but I thought it was an somewhat interesting behavioural quirk with my cats.
 

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As in many cats, Autumn sleeps whenever she wants. She is most frisky in the morning before the Sun comes up and I just try to ignore her. She finally settles down again. When I turn off the lights at night before going to bed, she usually goes to sleep also. They have their own sleeping habits and I don't know how we can change that, wish I could be of more help.

bell w ribbon.gif
 

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Ah, you are experiencing something impossible to change LOL instinct.

As you know, a cat's vision is nothing like ours. In fact, we would say it was pretty poor. They are nearsighted and farsighted (meaning not much definition in what they see) They don't see that many colours, but some and they are kind of washed out.

BUT as we all know they are able to see 6X better then us in dimly lighted surroundings. (Not dark, if it is pitch black they can't see much at all) This enables them to detect movement like nobody's business and makes them the fantastic hunters they are.

Technically their pupils are dilated to let in loads of light, when this happens it sets off a trigger for them to be "on the alert" like an adrenaline rush. This makes their perfect hunting times dawn and dusk. Having three huntresses in the house, I can affirm they will usually "score" either just as the sun starts to come up, or at sunset.

So, I imagine the lighting with just the TV sets off a chemical chain in your kitties that has them set at peak performance. All that energy and nothing to do with it, except wait ... "hey it's night time but our human caretaker isn't in bed yet, so let's go bug him"
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
That's a wonderful explanation, cat face, and it makes perfect sense! :)

And, I have to add, it also explains why Newt typically begins her "please let me out" door-pawing antics right after sunset.
 

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I like to read in bed (no TVs in the BR allowed!), so I have a small beam light that shines just on my book so as not to disturb hubby. The rest of the room is dark signaling it's night-night time for all of us and everyone settles down to sleep. If the main bedside lights are on they are more active. Cats thrive on schedules so the more you can maintain a set schedule the better.
 
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