Cats always know what time it is! Whether you fix it to the position of the sun, our habits, or your internal clock, your sense of time works perfectly.
Does your cat come to your bed at the same time every morning and meow in your ear? This is useful if you have forgotten to set an alarm clock, but on the weekend you could do without the house tiger’s precise time sense.
In fact, cats seem to be able to sense time, but how is that possible? Are you wearing a watch hidden under your fur or is there more to it than that?
Cats’ Sense of Time: They Hunt in the Twilight
It is often said that cats are post-active animals and that they are mainly active at sunrise and sunset. Cats were domesticated very late, which is why the shoots of their wild ancestors are still firmly anchored in them.
Even with a full food bowl, they always hunt at the same time every day: at the same time as their prey. And that is during dusk and dawn.
The sun, therefore, plays a decisive role in the daily routine of cats and it is often difficult for them to switch from winter to summertime.
Habits and Rituals as a Guide
So far there are only a few studies that deal with cats and their sense of time, so we know very little about them to this day. But most cat owners will have noticed that their house tiger always asks for food at the same time of day.
Even if we are not aware of it, cats orientate themselves strongly to our own everyday habits. Cats know what time of day it is based on how we behave.
For example, when at the end of the night we move our toes, the alarm clock goes off and the sun comes up. These are all signs that we are getting up soon. The cats watch and remember these signs.
Whether we are aware of it or not, by being responsive to our cat, we are strengthening its habits further. For example, when we scratch her chin when we wake up in the morning. These are all rituals that we maintain with our pets and that help the cats to orientate themselves during the day.
The Internal Clock of Cats
Cats use these signs to orient themselves in their everyday life, but also with the help of their biological clock, which is noticeable in the form of hunger and thirst.
Some studies have even shown that cats are able to differentiate between long and short periods of time, which suggests that cats are well equipped with an internal clock.