You may notice that your cat has its own routine. It always sleeps on your lap and cuddles with you at the same time, or waits in the driveway when you come home from work. Aren’t they adorable?
01 Cats can’t read, but they know the approximate time of day.
02 Cats have a clock inside them that tells them when to go to bed and when to get up.
03 Cats can tell from your routine when you go to and from work.
Of course, even if you are a cat lover, some of your cat’s daily behaviors may not be so cute or popular. For example, they may wake you up half an hour before your alarm goes off every morning, or they may start yelling for you to give them food if you’re even a minute late in feeding them. But how does a cat know what time it is? Do cats have a sense of time?
Do cats know the time?
Cats can read clocks, but they can tell roughly what time it is.
Cats can’t read, let alone interpret, digital or analog clocks, so they can’t tell time in the traditional way. But why is it that when you come home from work, your cat is ready and waiting for you, or wakes you up, at the same time almost every day?
Just because cats don’t know the time doesn’t mean they don’t know what time it is. Let’s find out how they do.
How do cats know the time?
Cats have a different concept of time than we do, but there is plenty of evidence to tell us what time it is. Cats just need to find it. Here are some ways cats know the time:
- your behavior
Cats know the habits and schedules of their human family members and will even notice what you are wearing.
Cats are creatures of habit and love routine. You may not realize it, but they likely remember your routine and daily habits. For example, they know which family members are leaving the house to go to work or school, or if they are going to be gone for a while. Over time, cats will become accustomed to the time when their owners are away, they will wait for their owners to return, and they will know the time of day.
It’s not just your going and staying that lets cats know the time of day. They also know when you get up, when you go to bed, when you eat, and if you do a lot of laundry, when you bathe! The more disciplined your routine is, the better it is for your cat to know the time.
- Your cat’s environment
Cats can tell the approximate time of day from the light outside and the sounds that occur at certain times of the day.
Cats can also tell the time of day from the light and darkness outside, the number of people and the sound of birds chirping. Cats are more active at dawn and dusk, so sunrise and sunset are two reliable references for cats.
Cats can also recognize everyday noises and events, such as the meow of a neighbor’s dog or the sound of a neighbor’s children leaving for school.
3. Body Clock
A cat’s body clock helps it wake up and go to bed at set times.
Like humans, cats have a circadian rhythm or circadian clock inside their bodies that helps them recognize when it’s time to get up and when it’s time to go to bed. They also sense body cues such as tiredness, hunger and thirst and let us know when it’s time to go.
- Daily routine
Cats like a set routine – always knowing what’s coming next makes it easier for them to keep track of time.
As mentioned above, a cat’s routine is very important to them. Cats often repeat the same behaviors and habits every day. They wake up early every day, walk outside, and eat breakfast when they are hungry.
After meowing and jumping on your chest or meowing loudly, they finish their breakfast and take a nap on the couch. If you notice your cat doing the same thing every day, it may help him realize what time it is.
What if your cat’s routine changes?
When a cat’s routine is disrupted, they usually become very stressed and anxious.
Cats are very dependent on their own and their owner’s routine. If their routine or environment changes even slightly, they become stressed. This can be something very small, such as a change in the smell of the living room, or it can be something very big, such as the owner moving to a new place and needing to go out more.
Stress can lead to behavioral changes in cats. Signs that a cat is stressed include vocalizing, hiding, scratching furniture and urinating in the house. In more severe cases, excessive grooming, bald spots and painful cystitis may occur.
Excessive grooming can cause hair breakage and skin damage.
Cats under stress often overgroom and lick until their fur is broken and their skin is sore. If a cat is overgroomed, clumps of hair may form all over the house, the cat may develop bald patches, and the hair may become rough and lack luster. Cats often groom their stomachs and the insides of their hind legs, so you may not be able to tell just by looking at them.
Inflammation of the bladder wall causes cats to urinate frequently.
Stress can cause inflammation of the bladder wall. This may cause the cat to urinate all the time. The cat may squat on the litter tray and try very hard to urinate, but only a small amount of urine is produced.
Sometimes there is blood in the urine. If left untreated, cystitis can lead to a blocked bladder, especially in male cats.
How can I help my nervous cat?
Find out what is upsetting your cat so you can reduce his stress.
If your cat shows signs of stress, try to find out what is causing it. For example, a new baby in the house or a new cat in the neighborhood. However, finding the cause may not solve the problem, especially if it is someone else’s pet.
Whatever the cause, if your cat shows signs of stress, cystitis, or skin damage, it is a good idea to see a veterinarian. To help ease your cat’s anxiety, you may want to try using calming sprays or pheromone diffusers in the house, and make sure you provide enough calm, comfortable space for your cat to feel safe.
If your cat suffers from separation anxiety, provide plenty of toys, activities, and puzzle feeders for him to play with while you are away. Also, dress your cat in clothing that smells of you and turn on the radio or television so that he or she does not feel alone. Finally, be sure to spend lots of time with your cat to soothe it when you are around.
Cats understand the concept of the passage of time and can estimate approximate times by looking for clues in their environment.
Although cats cannot tell time using a clock, they definitely understand the concept of the passage of time and know what time it is. This may seem advanced, but cats can use information from their surroundings to know what time it is, when it is time to eat, play, or be with you.