How Do Domestic Cats Spend Their Time?
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How do domestic cats spend their time?

How do domestic cats spend their time? From hunting to snoozing. Photos in the public domain.

How do domestic cats spend their time? It depends on whether they are indoor only cats or indoor/outdoor cats and where they live. Age is also a factor as is the gender of the cat. These are obvious points. For instance a domestic cat living indoors and outdoors in the Australian outback will have a different lifestyle to a cat living in my neighbourhood which is built up in the UK.

However there will be general patterns for all domestic cats and there will be large variations I think between individual cats. My cat is quite active and likes exploring while some individuals will be ‘homers’ and snoozers. This may particularly apply to full-time indoor cats where the home is not ‘catified’ to use the language of Jackson Galaxy. Cats ‘compensate’ for nothing to do by doing nothing! They snooze. I don’t like to see this.

I’ll describe what my cat spends his time doing and compare with the findings of a study carried out in 2009 in which cameras were placed on cats. Looking at the information I don’t find it that credible to be perfectly honest. Some of the information makes sense but parts of it do not.

In this study cats spent their time as follows:

  • Grooming 50% of the time (this looks wrong to me)
  • Cat television – looking out of the window 21.6%
  • In the sink! I think we can call this resting somewhere with side supports like a box 1.7%
  • Sleeping 6.1% (I bet that surprised a lot of people. On the internet website repeat parrot fashion that cats sleep for endless hours. This is incorrect. They will snooze and rest but this not sleep).
  • Hanging out with other animals (if they are available) 11.8% or does this include humans?
  • Eating and drinking 4%
  • Looking at a computer 6.1% (this is very odd and can’t be right. Yes, some cats look at the television or computer and play sometimes with computer games but this is not universal)
  • Playing with toys 5%

How Do Domestic Cats Spend Their Time? – My Cat

My ‘active’ cat spends his time as follows (note: he is currently a fully fledged indoor/outdoor cat because he escaped the garden enclosure which is meant to be escape proof).

  • Exploring the outside and hunting 40% (this takes place almost exclusively at dawn, dust and in the middle of the night. His bedtime is from late morning to the evening).
  • Sleeping and snoozing on my lap, legs, sofa, cat condo etc. 30% (cats snooze a lot but are not genuinely sleeping)
  • Looking out of the window 7%
  • Eating 3%
  • Interacting with me 8% (my cat hardly plays with toys. This is partly because he is at present an outdoor/indoor cat and does not need artificial stimulation by playing with toys. He has real life toys: e.g. mice)
  • Grooming 9%
  • Sitting and looking in the garden 3%

Note: I am working on how to keep my cat in the garden enclosure. He is a particularly dynamic cat much like a high filial Bengal cat. He is slowing down but at about 4.5-years-of-age is still active.

HomeCat BehaviorHow Do Domestic Cats Spend Their Time?

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About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!

Comments

How Do Domestic Cats Spend Their Time? — 2 Comments

  1. An activity my cats enjoy is to go with me for a walk to the corner park where they can explore a little. This park is not active and we usually have it to ourselves. I also make a point of going early in the day when kids are in school, and I bring some kind of protection from dogs, just in case. They love the novelty of being in an area that’s different from their routine yard. In the summer I sometimes bring a blanket, toys, snacks and music and we stay awhile. Even if we only go for a few minutes I can tell they are rejuvenated by the experience and happy that I cared to do that for them.

  2. Make Gabs a water garden, plenty of marginal plants, in a large half barrel witha pond liner, it will look after itself. It will attract a lot of good insects – dragonflies etc. You may even get frogs! Some nice rough hewn cornish slate slabs piled up will provide a nice cover for the odd toad.

    Grow every type of catnip you can, plus a couple of honeysuckles. Shade plants like big ferns, low maintenance, good resting places, earthy wallows.

    Large log slices screwed onto a tripod of tree bough legs, different heights. Wood recycling projects have a lot of this stuff cheap.

    A big dead tree trunk, left on its side, maybe hollowed out a bit, cats love it.

    Different ground surfaces are good too.

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