Many people may argue that cats are lazy and don’t have a routine, but more often than not these people have not spent a great deal of time with cats or looking after one. In fact, cats actively seek and need routine, breaking an established routine can lead to your cat becoming sick!
Getting into the Groove
Generally, cats are reasonably independent, they can look after themselves and sometimes don’t need much attention to get through their day. However, they do work off an internal clock and expect things to happen regularly. They feed, play, sleep and hunt at the same time during the day and night.
It is important to remember that all cats are different and while some may follow similar routines often, they can be quite different. If you have a two (or more) cat household, you may find that one likes to eat in the morning and only snack at night and the other is the exact opposite.
Finding out your cat’s particular routine and fitting that into your day is a great way to bring peace to your house and ensure that everyone is doing what is right for each other.
Most cats will eat a morning meal and a night meal (kittens will need three meals a day until about six months old). Feeding your cat consistently at the same time each day will keep them happy and healthy.
If you are running late with a meal, your cat will usually offer several reminders, such as rubbing against your leg and meowing (cats only meow for attention from humans). If their requests are not met, they will move to more extreme measure like darting across the room or clawing your leg.
Get into the habit of feeding your cat at the same time each day and they will thank you by stopping any sort of annoying behaviour. If you need to alter their routine from what it usually is, try moving their mealtimes ten minutes at a time, until you get to a time that suits you better.
The King & Queens of Napping
After a meal, most cats will sleep it off (known as going into a ‘food coma’). Depending on your cat they may prefer doing this indoors or outside, up high or buried in your bed. If they like to go outside, it may be best to install a cat door so they can come and go as they please – for best results invest in a purpose-built cat enclosure so they are protected from other animals, traffic and other potential hazards.
Cats are mostly nocturnal, and it is during this time that they are most active. Many cats prefer to spend time outside, however, if your cat is an inside cat you might find that regular home sprinting is a thing. Don’t worry they are just burning off some energy and it will soon stop.
Usually, this is a time when your cat is actively looking for something to do. To avoid this turning into undesirable activity, such as scratching the furniture, you can try making it into a play or grooming session.