How to Get Your Cat to Tell Time

Cats are smart creatures. Although they cannot read a clock, they have a biological clock like all animals. This article will tell you how to train your cat's biological clock so your cat is on time.


  1. Image titled Get Your Cat to Tell Time Step 1
    Feed your cat at a particular time in the morning. For this article, the example will be 7 am. Have the cat's food prepared prior to calling the cat.
  2. Image titled Get Your Cat to Tell Time Step 2
    Call the cat using a positive and cheerful call. Your cat will think you have a treat for him.
  3. Image titled Get Your Cat to Tell Time Step 3
    Place the food bowl down for your cat to eat. Make sure you provide only enough food for the cat to finish the meal in 15 minutes. Place any leftovers back in the food box (if dry) or in the refrigerator (if moist).
  4. Image titled Get Your Cat to Tell Time Step 4
    Repeat this for a week or so. Your cat's body clock will begin to recognize his feeding time and he will come to eat at that time.
  5. Image titled Get Your Cat to Tell Time Step 5
    Feed 2 to 3 times each day, if you have a hungry cat, his body clock may not work based on time, but just whenever. If he is not starving, but due for feeding, his body clock will eventually prompt him to eat close to each set time.


  • Feed a really yummy meal for the first week of training, as this will make the meal more enticing.
  • Rituals help establish a sense of time for any time increment chosen: a few minutes, daily, weekly, monthly, etc. The longer the increment, the longer it takes to create or change the pattern of behavior.
  • Helping your cat develop a sense a time will help him better conform his behavior to the household expectations. For example, scooping the litter box at the same approximate time every day will help your cat avoid "accidents." Using a good-bye ritual when you leave for the weekend communicates to the cat so he knows when to expect your return and will not begin to mourn in your absence.
  • If your cat does not learn a sense of time from mealtime rituals, consider establishing other rituals during the day. Possibilities include a brief good-bye ritual when you leave the house for the day and a different good-bye ritual when you leave for overnight. Also consider bed-time rituals, wake-up rituals, grooming rituals, medicine administration rituals, or litter box changing rituals.


  • If your cat has a medical problem such as diabetes, he may eat in response to internal, biological events -- such as fluctuations in his blood glucose level -- and not to an externally created sense of time. If your cat shows signs that he feels unwell when you control his access to food while trying to train him to sense time, consult a veterinarian.
  • Never force him to eat at the time you want him to eat. If he doesn't want to eat then and you are relying on your cat to remind you about something, use an alarm clock.
  • Do not punish your cat if he does not want to eat at the appointed time.
  • Cats don't know what daylight saving time is so, if you compensate, your cat won't. Feed time will still be at the time for which you set your cat's body clock. If you maintain the feed time to your time, the cat will then re-adjust and will have a new body clock time.

Article Info

Categories: Cat Training