Can Cats Tell Time?

by Elisa Black-Taylor

Our clock says

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Our clock says

Our clock says It's time to feed me mama Watching and waiting Any minute now.....

Good morning readers. I got the idea for this article after reading Michael's story Leaving A Cat Home Alone. I believe the length of time I'd leave a cat home alone is tied into my belief that cats can tell time. After all, if we know for sure our cats can tell time it will make us hurry all the more to get back to them.

Even though cats don't hold grudges if we show up late, it's always best to respect the cat and not be gone too long. Just in case they can tell time. Cats are like children in the respect they bore easily and can get into all kinds of trouble if left alone for too long. Personally, I'm running out of places to hide the toilet tissue where the cats won't get too happy with spreading it all over the house. And I've learned the value of a DVD made especially for babysitting cats (see an example below). I ordered it on Amazon and it's been worth it's weight in gold (Music For Cats)

I was listening to a radio show just this morning and the announcer (John Tesh) was discussing how dogs can't tell time. That's why a dog is jumping all over you when you return home after a five minute walk to the mailbox. This is also a conditioned response that usually earns a dog praise. Plus studies show dogs can't tell time.

I believe cats do tell time. After all, cats are more intellectual than dogs. I say this because dogs may serve man, but cats have humans to wait on them for every whim. Therefore, cats are more intelligent.

I believe cats can tell what time of day it is. Whether it's from hunger pangs or simply wanting to go out to play, cats are usually good at telling what time it is. Back in the days when I had to feed the neighborhood ferals (and possibly every cat in the neighborhood who liked the food), they would always show up between 5p.m. And 5:15 p.m. This time only varied when the time changed.

I never knew if they only got hungry at that time of day or if the position of the sun or a drop in temperature played a part on the time of their arrival.

On my last job I entered into a lot of interesting discussions with the helicopter pilot for the trauma center I worked for. Sometimes I miss intelligent discussions. His opinion was that animals associate certain actions with what we're going to do next.

Whether your cat sees you getting your keys out of your purse your man pocketing a wallet, it signals you're about to leave. If you leave every time you get out your keys or grab your wallet, then your pet knows you're heading out for awhile.

If your cat jumps on your bed five minutes before the alarm goes off, perhaps you have a turn over in bed pattern the cat associates with getting up time. I would imagine the aroma of fresh coffee set to perk using an automatic timer would also serve as a clue that the humans will be getting up and preparing cat breakfast.

So what do the readers think? Do you believe your cat can tell time or do you think it's all tied into little rituals we aren't aware of that cues a cat that food will be ready shortly or an outside potty break is soon coming.



Comments for
Can Cats Tell Time?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 27, 2011
I think so!
by: Leah (England)

My cat Ozzie is very vocal so he lets me know when its breakfast, tea and supper time. Alfie is less vocal so he lets Ozzie do the talking while he just looks at me appealingly.

BTW I do actually know when its their feed times however every meal is accompanied by a squawking Oz until the food is actually in the dish as he's taking no chances in case I get distracted and forget!

Mar 26, 2011
My cats surely know time--in blocs at least
by: Grahame

My cats fetch me out of bed for their breakfast at the same time each day in all seasons. I do not feed them at a different time when summer time ensues, either. My cats also know when it is time for their elevenses and for their afternoon tea. Should I forget or be otherwise engaged, then invariably they come and fetch me. Because there does not seem to be any seasonality to these patterns, I do not think that the cue is light. That said, I raise violets on benches under lights which are timer-controlled to an invariable scheme. So perhaps that cues the cats as well--in the morning at least. But they know the other feeding times as well. Put me down as believing that cats have a good sense of time, or at the least of blocs of time.

Mar 26, 2011
Can cats tell time?
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

Yes, according to my personal experience cats can tell time? My male cat matata makes noise at dawn between 0500 to 0600 hrs regularly , waking me up, also jumping onto my bed for a little petting.

Mar 25, 2011
of course
by: Kathy W

Of course cats casn tell time!!!! I normally get up at 230am to go to work. I feed my cats before I go. On the days that I dont go they usually {Lia} will wake me up usually by 4am to be fed. This morning I was rudely woke up by Liaq putting his butte in my face as he was circling my pillow to lay on it next to my head. I looked at the clock and it was 4 something am so I said OK I guess you want to eat. I got up and they were all waiting by the counter.

Mar 25, 2011
Good article
by: Michael

I liked this. Cats do tell time. They recognise what might happen next (learned) through various sensory markers and our routines.

We may have a daily routine that includes doing something with the cats. Cats pick up on the routine and expect a certain action to follow.

There is also the visual marker of time of day - sunlight, dawn, dusk etc. Cats are crepuscular - go out to hunt at dawn and dusk. Cats recognise the time of day this way.

Of all the markers I think our routines are the most important for a cat to allow them to estimate time frames. Their lives are dependent on ours and we have the greatest impact.

Michael Avatar

Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo