Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Does The Time Change Affect My Cat? You Bet It Does!

Hello everyone. This is Lexy checking in with some information about the time change. This past Sunday at 2:00 am most states turned their clocks back one hour to return to standard time. Mother does not like the time change at all and always has a hard time adjusting. She’s a little grumpy and finds herself tired and hungry when she shouldn’t be. (Well, between you and me she’s always hungry. But don’t tell her I told you.) I was thinking “I bet humans wonder if the end of daylight savings time affects their cats?”  The answer is yes! Your cats can react to the time change.

does the time change affect my cat?

How Do Cats Know What Time It Is? 

Okay, I know that you know that cats are the most intelligent beings on earth. We have to be to be able to tell time without wearing a watch! While felines in the wild are naturally attuned to the daily cycles of light and dark, we domesticated cats link much of our behavior to your schedule. For example, when I hear Mother stirring in the morning I run to the bedroom to greet her. Partly because I want to say good morning, and also because I know breakfast is coming and the rumbling in my stomach will come to an end.


Cats Like Their Routines

Mother’s schedule isn’t written in stone and she doesn’t leave or come home at the same time every day.  But Lola and I can usually count on breakfast by 8:00 am and dinner at 8:00 pm. (Would you believe sometimes I have to remind Mother that it’s dinner time? At 8:00 pm precisely I will come into the living room and stare at her until she says “Is it 8:00 already?”  Unbelievable, I know.) I get my petting and headbutts in the morning, and Lola gets hers during evening TV time. We respect each others' routines.


Does the time change affect my cat?

For humans who have a regular schedule, your cats get used to you arriving home at the same time every day. Getting home after the sun has gone down could cause some anxiety for your cat. And if you're not getting up when kitty's internal clock says you should already be filling their bowl and giving them attention, be prepared for some meowing or for your cat to be sitting on your chest, nudging you out of bed. 

Whatever your cat’s schedule is, this slight change in the time can throw them off. We have to adjust to that hour difference just like you do. (And trust me – my stomach knows dinner is an hour later.) We might get a little stressed, or even seem to be a little confused.


does the time change affect my cat?
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How To Help Your Cat Adjust To The Time Change

Extra attention can help us through this adjustment. This can mean additional lap or play time, snuggles, chin scratches – or treats. Treats make everything better. (Okay, I admit that bit about the treats didn’t come from the “experts”, but I like treats.) Another idea is adjusting your cat’s feeding schedule in 15 minute increments a week or so before the time changes. For example; if dinner time is at 8:00 pm, serve the meal at 7:15 pm for two days; then 7:30 pm for two days; then 7:45 pm for two days; and then at 8:00 pm. (Remember: The clock may say 8:00 pm, but your cat’s stomach is saying it’s 9:00 pm.)


does the time change affect my cat?

You may also want to run a few errands so your cat is used to you coming home when it's dark. Luckily for Lola and I, we're used to this because of Mother's schedule. She always leaves a night light on for us, which is very helpful. 

With a little extra attention, your cat will be back to their usual selves and a regular routine.

How is your cat adjusting to the time change? 

Lexy





31 comments:

  1. My human's schedule is pretty loose, so we're never 100% sure when breakfast and dinner are! And on therapy cat days, breakfast is early. So the time change doesn't affect us as much as it might other kitties.

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  2. Interesting. I'd never considered this since our cats free-feed and their wet food treat isn't at the same time every evening. I HATE the time change. It makes no sense and just ends up being a pain. Lola, I'm telling you ... you send that picture of you to all our Congresspeople and that adorable face will convince them to end the nonsense.

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  3. Da Boyz and The 'O' Cats have already forgotten that there was a time change, but Angel is still firmly ensconced in Daylight Saving Time...*sigh*

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  4. L & L.....we canna stand day lite savinz time....ther we waz at de food dish pron toe at oh 5 hundred...N de FSG had de NERVE ta yell ....YELL....at uz.. it waz onlee oh 4 hundred...go bak ta sleep ~~~~~~~~~~ faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    ☺☺♥♥

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  5. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information. It has so really good tips for when daylight savings time starts. The time change can be stressful for some kitties when dinner is a certain time. Great post. Have a great rest of your day.
    World of Animals

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  6. It sure messed us up some but it totally messed up our ferals, they're still confused about meal times.

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  7. this is a great post for NORMAL cats! I love it (for NORMAL cats!!) As I am writing this, it is 4:28pm...........to Cody it is 5:28 pm......(he eats at 5pm)...he has been driving my husband and I INSANE with his whining since 4:45pm..........and....he gets lunch at noon.....yep you got it, at 10:30 on the new time he is starting up....I have given him extra treats but so far, to no avail......lol

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  8. We didn't seem bothered by the time change this time.

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  9. Very interesting! Mudpie hasn't been bothered by it at all this time around.

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  10. Our cats seemed fine this time, no one tried to wake us up.:)

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  11. Carmine has always done okay with the time change. I don't leave everyday for long periods of time, but when I need to run somewhere that will take a while, I leave a light on for the kitties, too!

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  12. Great tips ! Claire makes sure we get some food around 4 AM thanks to a food dispenser, so we're fine whatever time it is in the morning when she wakes up. Purrs

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  13. Mom almost forgot to change the clocks back on Sunday. I purr-sonally think that humans should get rid of all their mechanical clocks and just go by pussycat clocks, 'cause we're far more accurate and true than any mechanical device. Humans just can't make up their minds, 'cause they're always changing the time forward or back. No wonder they are stressed a lot. Tee hee hee. Hugs.

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  14. Very good tips! I don’t mind the fall back much, but the leap forward is hard! I think my cats have been okay this time.

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  15. I make sure that I get my dinner on MY time, Lola and Lexi😸With a little luck from the Government our Country and maybe all of Europe, are going to quit this stupid DST next year, because all of the animals...and people's biological rythms, are upset of this useless DST event. Thank Cat we got our hour back this Winter😺Pawkisses for a Happy Weekend to all of you🐾😽💞

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  16. I don't have cats but the time change used to definitely affect my dog Chester (I feed Gretel at random times now so the actual time doesn't really matter to her). The funny thing was that he would want food an hour earlier or later, depending, for about a week and then he would go back to wanting to eat at the correct time. I know that my feeding him at the "right" time had something to do with that but the way it happened always made me feel like there was something more - like his internal clock actually reset too.

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  17. Our guys have never seem bothered by the time change, but this year they do seem to be a little confused. I do get up early but everyone has been waking me up an hour earlier this week - at 3:30 am gulp!

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  18. The time change has been great for me, I'm getting out of bed earlier, and it hasn't seemed to affect my dog Jack. Now that you say that about cats, I do think they were affected by the time change, a bit out of sorts for a few days. Your idea of adjusting their feeding time by 15 minute increments is a good one. I do remember one of my cats Mini standing on top of my husband if he wasn't getting up early enough, and when he didn't respond she would poke him in the nose. That got his attention...and her breakfast!

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  19. It's simply amazing how much of a concept of time our pets have. Especially when it's time to eat!

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  20. Ha! The time change didn't really affect Karma-Kat that much, as I feed him in his puzzle toys (mousies) so he eats as he wishes. Bravo didn't like the meal delay, though!

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  21. I never knew that but Layla is lucky as I work lot from home lately and she free feeds which we have been doing since day one, so she is never starving LOL.

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  22. I don't have cats, but my dogs always seem impacting a bit by the time change. They want their walks and meals at the times they are used to getting them and don't understand why they have to wait an extra hour. Luckily they're pretty easy going and don't drive me crazy about being "late" with the food/walks. I think the time change impacts me more than it does them. I've been waking up an hour early ever since as changed the clocks last week.

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  23. Ugh - the time change has been really tough on my puppy. She doesn't realize that mama wants to sleep a little longer...or that she has to wait a bit for dinner!

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  24. It's so true, pets are really in tune with the time. The time change wreaked a bit of havoc on our dogs. We lived in Arizona most of their lives and they are on MST constantly, no time change there! I loved that. So when the clocks changed the dogs were confused at the earlier darkness & dinnertime. I fed them dinner in 15 minute increments leading up to the ultimate new 5pm mealtime. Icy does not like her dinner to be late! She will sit and stare me down until I feed her LOL!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  25. We are lucky with Cookie. She takes her cues from us rather than the time of the day.

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  26. Kilo the Pug has an internal clock- he knows exactly when it is 4pm(play and treats) and 6pm (dinner). He was starving an hour early so we moved gradually from 5.30pm. What a good idea to start before daylight savings to get ready.

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  27. I don't think I even thought about this. I was wondering why the girls were jumping on my bed earlier in the morning for their treats!

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  28. These photos are too precious! Hopefully you guys have adjusted to the time change - but it doesn't hurt to put in that dinner order a bit early!

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  29. Our cat was extremely mellow and possibly had some neurological issues, so he didn't seem too fussy about dinner time. Our dogs on the other hand, are unhappy with daylight savings time! They know when it is mealtime, even my clock says otherwise!

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  30. Yes! The time change definitely affects all of us including the four legged family members. I think I'm still getting adjusted! Lol

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  31. So very true! I adjust my Huskies' schedule, also, with the time change. Especially for the gal who is on meds. Now for me...I'm with Kamira! I don't think I've adjusted yet! LOL!

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