Cats find their way through time every day. Whether it is with sunrise or sunset, our habits or their internal clock, they know very well what time of day is.
Every day, at the same time, your cat comes to meow in your ears. Very practical when you forget to put your alarm clock, it is much less so when it is the weekend.
Cats seem to find their way through time, but how is this possible? Do they have a watch hidden under their hair or are they definitely superior beings?
Dawn and dusk to hunt
It is often said that cats are nocturnal animals, but rather they are animals of dawn and dusk. Cats were domesticated very late and therefore have a recent heritage from their ancestors the wild cats. Even with a full bowl, they have made a habit of going out at the same time as their prey, that is, at sunrise and sunset.
The position of the sun is therefore an immutable benchmark for cats and the change from winter time to summer time has no real impact on them.
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Routine and rituals as benchmarks for the day
Scientists have published few studies on the cat and its notion of time, so it is difficult to know the precise details. However, most cat owners have no doubt observed that their pet came to claim their kibble at a fixed time.
Although there is no such thing as a “cat-watch”, the cat takes many cues from our daily actions, without our even realizing it. A cat will gather a certain number of clues indicating to him what time of the day it is.
For example, your toes starting to move at the end of the night, a clock starting to strike, a sun starting to rise. All of this indicates that you will be getting up soon. Cats notice and analyze all these details in order to get their bearings in time.
Consciously or unconsciously, we also reinforce certain behaviors by responding to their requests, for example, by scratching them under the chin every morning as soon as they come upon waking up. These are rituals that we have with our animals and with which they locate themselves every day to locate themselves in time.
The internal clock of cats
Cats find their way around with all the clues around them, but also with their biological clock such as hunger or thirst.
A few studies were able to prove that cats were also able to differentiate between long and short periods of time, which would suggest that cats are well endowed with an internal clock.
A hypothesis that seems completely obvious to many cat owners!
Also read: Why is routine so important for cats?