A Lot Of People Would Like To Know If Cats Can Tell Time.

If you are one of them, then you came to the right place.

There are some instances that seem to indicate your cat can tell time. He knows when to wake up and sleep, when it is time to eat or play, and even when you will leave and return home.

Those things may suggest that your cat knows what time it is. However, things can be more complicated than that. If you want to look deeper, perhaps, you have wondered as well if they have the same sense of time as we do. Do they understand how much is a minute or an hour? Do they know how long a year might be?

Cats Are Highly Observant

Because cats spend a lot of time sitting, lying down, and looking around, they get a general sense of the world they live in.

Due to their keen ability to observe things, they get external cues and associate that to what time it is. It could be the sunrise, sunset, the passing of a yellow school bus, the singing of birds, and even when the milkman comes knocking to your door.

This might explain why your cat knows when you need to wake up. Perhaps, he is used to hearing your alarm clock and in the following days, before your alarm goes off, he is already on your bed trying to wake you up with lots of meowing, licking and paw tapping.

Cats Have Habits Too

Humans are considered to be creatures of habit and your cat could be too. Once your cat has established a routine and formed a list of scheduled activities, it is easier for him to predict time.

Yes, your cat knows when you need to feed him. While he may be off by 15 minutes, half an hour, and even an hour, it is still a good sign that he knows what time it is.

He can also predict when you will be leaving home and when you’ll be coming back based on your routine. As an observant creature, he knows these things because he can readily predict your activities.

Memories And Circadian Rhythm

Alright, cats are not the smartest animals out there, but you have to admit, they do have good long-term memories. They can remember where they can get in and out of your house. They remember where you put his bowl of food. They know where their beds are.

The memories of your cat work with his circadian rhythm, which is considered your cat’s internal body clock. The circadian rhythm allows your cat to know when to wake up and go to sleep.

Both your cat’s memory and circadian rhythm could somehow help determine what time it is. It gives them a general idea when things will happen and how they happen.

Using Time-Telling Tools

If you think about it, you don’t see any cat wearing a watch or looking at the wall clock. Now, these tools help humans to tell time.

But what do you think will happen if these time-telling tools would be taken away from us? Will we be more accurate than our cats? Perhaps, yes, but we sure will have a hard time determining what time it is. We will be using external and internal cues instead which can be inaccurate at best.

So, maybe, in some way, humans and cats (and other animals) may share a certain level of ability to tell time. If it weren’t for our clocks and watches, we might be minutes and even hours off in knowing the time.

Final Words

It is worth noting that there are not many studies made regarding this curious topic. So, please take a grain of salt the things you read from this blog. While assumptions may be proven correct, it can also be proven wrong.

Until the time when scientists give us more concrete answers, we can’t really tell exactly whether cats can tell time or not or if they can, how they do it.

So, can cats tell time? Maybe. Yes, they do understand time to a certain degree due to their memory, routine, internal and external cues, and circadian rhythm. However, they do not experience time in the way humans do.

Nevertheless, one thing is for sure, they will always need our time. The more time you give them, the more they feel happy, cared of, and loved.


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