Sunday, March 13, 2016

Your cat probably hates Daylight Saving Time as much as you do

Maggie the cat posing with a clock
Did you lose an hour of sleep last night? Chances are, you did. And so did your cat. Yup, it's Daylight Saving Time in America once more, and humans and kitties alike are struggling with the transition.

How do I know that? Because this sweet and charming face, belonging to Maggie, held a look of sheer confusion at breakfast time this morning. I prepped her food, but she thought it was coming much too early. She wasn't quite sure she should eat it or skip it.

Perfect topic for a Sunday Selfie, sponsored by The Cat On My Head, right? So I plopped Maggie down for a clock photo session, and I dug into the research on cats and time. What I found is a little fascinating.

Maggie the cat in profile with a clock behind her

According to the latest research, as reported by ABC News, most animals (with some exceptions) do not experience time in the same way that we do. They don't have the ability to match a specific event to a specific point in the day. That means your cat doesn't really know that it's food time at 8am. It just doesn't work that way.

But, cats do have the ability to measure the distance between two events. So your cat probably knows when several hours have passed between meals. And your cat probably knows when that distance is either excessive or brief, compared to the normal distance between two events.

So if your cat always eats at 8am and 8pm, and you try to move that meal up to 7am, your cat will be confused. It's coming too soon, when compared to your typical meal-to-meal interval.

Maggie the cat in a selfie with a clock

We can't keep daylight savings changes from happening, as much as we might try. But there are things we can do to make it easier for our cats to adjust. That means really paying attention to intervals. The distance between meals should remain the same, and you should use a timer to mandate that, if needed.

If those intervals are the same, in theory, our cats should learn to adjust to the new time. Until we change it again.

Fascinating, right? I thought so. And I'm thankful Maggie was willing to sit next to that clock for our photo shoot. The green of her eyes really made the green of that clock stand out. I always want to take great snaps for this hop, and I think it worked!

Please leave me a comment, so I'll know you were here. And as a bonus selfie: It's me and Sinead. I'm planning a special followup blog post tomorrow, all about her mast cell tumor treatments and appointment with the oncologist. Do check back, so you'll know what she has going on.

Sinead the Boston terrier and the author of the blog
Thanks for looking!


  1. Great selfies with the clock, Maggie. We were confused by our breakfast time this morning. We don't like DST.

  2. Mee-you Maggie an Maggie'ss Mumma it iss a pleasure to meet you an Sinead all so!
    Mee an Ladymum enjoyed yur bloggie post an wee agree thee time change fing iss crazee!!!! Mee looked at LadyMum as if shee was outta her tiny then mee went off to play....mee did eat later. Mee did not eat me snack an mee not sure when mee iss goin to have sup-purr; not even sure if mee iss hungree....mew mew mew...
    Mee knowss mee iss sleepy tho' ;)
    Sinseerlee, Siddhatha Henry =^,.^=

  3. Those are all lovely selfies. We get the time change in 2 weeks time.

  4. We enjoyed your clock-talk! That was really fascinating! Even more fascinating than your green eyes and white and green clock. Good luck tomorrow, you guys.

  5. Nice selfies with that clock, Maggie! :)

    We always try to ease the cats into the "new" time, rather than all at once. "Springing forward" seems to go a little better than "falling back," though.

  6. Maggie's selfies are meowvolous. She does have exquisite green eyes. We particularly like your selfie with Sinead. We are so sorry to hear about her illness. We'll be keeping her in our purrs and prayers, and we'll be back tomorrow to check out what's happening with her. Thanks for hopping.
    XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  7. Great selfies with the clock Maggie. I hate springing ahead- I want my hour back. I hope Sinead is responding to treatments.

  8. Oh friends - great pictures. We all here *hate* the time change. We miss snuggle time with mom. It's not right - stomping hooves. XOXO - Bacon

  9. Granny doesn't like the change of time either, but I don't have a problem with it, I just wake up Granny and Grandpaw an hour earlier ;) Purrfect Selfie, Maggie and doggie and da mom :) Pawkisses :) <3

  10. Oh man everytime it changes, buddies in the USA, buddies in Europe and THEN here in NZ AGGHHH!!