As the seasons transition and daylight saving time comes to an end, many pet owners may be blissfully unaware of the subtle shifts occurring in their furry friends' routines. However, the changing of the clocks can significantly impact the behaviour of our beloved feline companions, remember adjusting for summer?
In this article, we'll delve into the affects of the time change on your cat's behaviour and offer some tips to help them adjust smoothly.
Your Cats Biological Clock
Cats are known for their remarkable sense of time, and they meticulously adhere to their daily schedules. These schedules include feeding times, play sessions, and sleep patterns. The transition to standard or winter time can disrupt your cat's internal biological clock. Just as with humans, the extra hour lost can throw your cat's schedule into disarray and cause stress.
A Shift in Mealtimes
One of the most noticeable effects of the time change is the shift in mealtime. Your cat's stomach doesn't have a "clock" to adjust for the time change. If your cat is accustomed to being fed at a specific hour, they'll be waiting for you and may start demanding their meal an hour earlier, this 'wait' could cause anxiety.
Some cats may become restless or vocal about the change in routine, while others might appear more aloof, as their feeding schedule becomes inconsistent.
Altered Playtime and Attention
Just as mealtime is disrupted, your cat's playtime and attention needs may also be affected. If your cat enjoys interactive play sessions with you, they might start nudging you for these activities sooner than you expect. You may find that their energy levels fluctuate as they adapt to the new schedule.
Changes to Your Cats Sleep Patterns
Cats are champions of napping, and they have their napping schedule down to a science. When the clocks change, your cat might struggle to adjust to their usual napping and sleep patterns. They may become more active earlier in the morning, leading to disrupted sleep for you as well. It's essential to help your cat adapt to the new routine while minimising disruptions to your own sleep.
To keep your cat entertained whilst you enjoy the extra hour in bed you could try some puzzle or activity feeders!
Helping Your Cat Adjust to the clock change
Gradual Transition: If possible, start adjusting your cat's schedule a few days before the clocks change. Shift feeding, playtime, and bedtime by 15-minute increments to ease them into the new routine. Particularly important if your cat has any regular medication that needs to stay consistent.
Maintain Routine: Cats thrive on routines. Stick to a consistent schedule as much as possible, and provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them occupied during the adjustment period.
Provide a Comfortable Sleeping Space: Ensure your cat has a comfortable and quiet sleeping area. This can help them settle into their new sleep patterns more easily.
Patience and Consistency: Be patient with your cat as they adapt to the time change. Consistency is key, and they will eventually settle into the new routine.
The changing of the clocks can have a noticeable impact on your cat's behaviour. However, with a little patience and understanding, you can help your feline companion smoothly transition to the new schedule.
Remember that your cat relies on you for care and consistency, so maintaining their routines as much as possible will help them adjust with minimal stress. Look out for the signs of cat stress - from overgrooming to scratching your sofa or peeing on the walls - if you cat is having a hard time adjusting check your FELIWAY Optimum diffuser is plugged in and turned on, maybe it's time to order a new refill and give them some extra support to help smooth things out.
By being mindful of the effects of the time change on your cat, you can ensure they continue to lead happy and content lives.