Cats have an internal sense of time and can tell when food is being put out or when their owner is coming home from work based on events, smells and lighting conditions. A routine daily routine is very important for your cat.
Cats don’t need to keep looking at the clock to know what time it is. They don’t care what time it is. They have their own internal clock and can remember exactly when to eat or when playtime starts by memorising certain events.
For example, when your alarm clock rings in the morning, you go to the bathroom and then put out the food, your cat registers this and remembers the events such as the alarm clock ringing and going to the bathroom and knows exactly when the food is ready for him.
In addition to certain events such as coming home or the alarm clock ringing, your cat also stores smells such as cooking lunch or certain lighting conditions. This allows your cat to know exactly when it’s time for a meal and when it’s time for a night’s rest, for example, without having a fixed time in mind.
Therefore, it is even more important that your cat and you as the owner have a fixed daily routine and that your cat can rely on the order of events. This can be made difficult, for example, by a move or a holiday. Often cats react with great restlessness and increased stress if your cat’s daily routine changes.
Are cats sad when they are alone?
Cats are very sensitive animals and can be sad, happy or stressed. Your cat may be sad for certain reasons, such as increased stress due to a move or the death of a companion.
Cats can also be sad if they don’t get enough attention from you. This can happen, for example, if you leave them alone at home for a longer period of time than usual or if you ignore them at home and no longer play with them.
Sad cats often become withdrawn and can quickly become depressed. Other cats, on the other hand, sometimes become very aggressive and bite their owners.
If you notice that your cat keeps chasing its own tail and you want to know what it means, we explain in our informative and exciting article Why does my cat chase its own tail?
Can cats forget someone
Cats can remember and associate certain events as well as smells and voices of people.
Cats have a long-term memory and a short-term memory, just like humans. The long term memory often stores events such as when the food is put out or what light conditions the owner comes home from work in. These are often very pragmatic things that have to do mainly with food and attention.
Cats also have a spatial memory and can remember where the food bowl is placed and where the litter tray is. It is therefore all the more important that these important utensils always have the same location for your cat. Cats love their routine and can easily get stressed if there is a change.
Because of their memory, cats can also assign different smells and voices to people. Cats can also tell if someone has always given them little treats or treated them badly. So it can happen that the little neighbour’s daughter, who moved out a few years ago and comes to visit, is greeted joyfully by your cat.
On the other hand, it can happen that your cat retreats to another person who has annoyed or scared your cat away.
How do I recognise that my cat is lonely?
Cats that are lonely often show very affectionate behaviour and follow their owner at every turn. Aggressive or withdrawn behaviour can also indicate loneliness. It is important that your cat has enough to do when it is alone. It may be worth considering another cat as a playmate.
You can recognise that your cat is lonely and is alone too often by certain features on your cat.
Loneliness in cats often becomes apparent when your cat is very affectionate. If you come home from work and your cat walks between your legs for hours and wants to be petted, it is a sign that your cat is home alone for too long and is lonely.
Another sign that your cat is lonely is if he becomes unclean or refuses to go to the toilet. The first thing you should do is check the litter box to see if it is not related to the litter tray. A new cat litter or a new location of the litter tray can quickly lead to uncleanliness. But increased stress and being alone too long can also lead to uncleanliness.
If you are at work for a long time and your cat bites you afterwards or shows aggressive behaviour, it is often the long waiting time and the associated loneliness that is the cause of such behaviour. If the aggressive behaviour is prolonged, it may have other causes such as pain or illness and you should seek veterinary advice.
Restless and rushed behaviour from your cat in the evening could indicate that it has not had enough to do during the day and may have been bored. If this is the case, you should consider providing long-lasting play opportunities for your cat or getting another cat so that your cat is no longer lonely.
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Summary – Do cats have a sense of time?
Cats have an internal sense of time and can tell when food is put out or playtime begins based on events, smells and lighting conditions.
It is very important for your cat to have a routine, so that he can rely on a specific sequence of events.
Cats are very sensitive animals and can also be sad. This often happens when they are stressed or lonely for too long. But also a deceased conspecific can lead to sadness in cats.
Cats have a very pragmatic memory and can orientate themselves very well due to their good perception of smells, events and voices and can also recognise people. Whether cats can recognise certain people from the past has not yet been proven. However, cats can very well recognise if a person has treated them badly or keeps giving them treats.
Cats that are lonely often show very affectionate behaviour and follow their owner at every turn. Likewise, aggressive or withdrawn behaviour can indicate loneliness. It is important that your cat has enough to do when it is alone. If necessary, it is worth considering another cat as a playmate.