Did you know that cats sleep an estimated 18 – 20 hours a day? If you own a cat you know that they are most active when it is dark out and especially at dusk and dawn. You want to sleep and they want to play. Then, when you get up in the morning they have breakfast and go to sleep. If you have ever brought home a kitten, this can drive you crazy.
Well, domestic cat behavior is not that removed from their ancestors, the large cats like lions and tigers, who hunt at night. They lay low at the darker night-time and warmer day-time hours, when other predators may be out and about. Have you seen your kitty play like she is stalking and capturing her prey, just like a big cat would? All of that is just inherited cat instinct, like when to sleep.
Your indoor domesticated cat will adjust its sleeping schedule to be with you during the day more, especially around its feeding schedule, but outdoor cats tend to stay on their instinctual night schedule. I figure if we understand that our cat is just being, well a cat, it might help us understand why they do what they do. Sweet dreams, Kitty!