Many kids get pets only to be disappointed because the pets are nocturnal, they sleep in the day and area awake at night.
Some of the pets favored by kids have nocturnal sleeping patterns (nocturnal animals are ones that sleep in the day) that might not fit with what children are expecting out of their pets. As such its a good idea for parents and children to agree on some facts before getting a pet that has a nocturnal habit.
Where Will the Pet Live?
Often parents insist that the child’s pet live in the child’s room. In the case of nocturnal pets this is part of the problem. These animals are awake at night, they are active, and noisy. If their cage has a wheel for exercise these wheels can be loud and make keep the child awake at night. Even just the activity of the pet moving in its cage can keep a child awake.
For this reason it might be best if the pet be kept in another room or the child’s sleep may suffer. If the child is a sound sleeper the noises of a nocturnal pet might not even be an issue. A person might want to select a different type of pet altogether if arrangements to keep the pet somewhere else in the home are not possible.
When Will the Pet get Exercised?
Nocturnal pets tend to wake up in the evening and will return to their sleep before morning time. If a child has an early bedtime this means the pet is either being disturbed during its natural sleep time, or not getting enough time out of its cage. For most of these pets the best time for them to be out of their cages is from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, or even later. If a child has an 8:00 pm bed time this can be a problem.
When pets are let out to exercise earlier some do exercise, others simply fall asleep. When the fall asleep they are not getting enough exercise and suffer from stress upon spending so much time in a small cage.
Concerns When Nocturnal Pets are Not Cared for
The concerns are that their natural patterns are disturbed and this can cause them stress and health issues, even if they are just small pets. Sometimes the act of waking a sleeping pet in the day causes it to bite out of confusion and fear.
Some nocturnal pets have problems with the bright lights in the day time, since their eyes are better suited to being in the dark.
What are Nocturnal Pets?
One of the most popular nocturnal pets is the hamster. These small animals do adapt somewhat to being woken up in the day and taken out, but will still want to run on their wheels at night.
Hedgehogs are popular as pets in some areas, these being the type that is from Africa. My step-daughter has one, and they do need time out of their cage every night.
Sugar Gliders are also nocturnal and for many people they are simply too much work. If kept alone they often need to be carried around in the daytime in a pouch for sleeping as they suffer from depression and loneliness otherwise.
Skunks are not so common as pets, but they are also a nocturnal animal that will keep you awake at night.
Fennec Foxes are even less common than skunks and are somewhat nocturnal, they behave more like cats than like dogs.
Domestic Cats are somewhat nocturnal and may keep a child awake at night if they are to be sleeping in the child’s room, but generally speaking cats can be kept active enough in the day that they do sleep at night, noting that cats sleep roughly 16 hours a day.
Some frogs are also nocturnal, such as the red eyed tree frog.
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Published in: Pets