If it’s one thing I’ve noticed about my cats is that they get very irritated when their routine is messed up. They have the most amazing internal clocks…they know exactly what time it is! The times I’ve had to change when I feed them, when we go to bed, when we play, when they get their special attention time…well, you get the idea…they get very fussy.

I have to admit to be somewhat cat-like myself when it comes to my routines. I like things to flow smoothly and find it comforting to have a routine. For all of you more adventurous, free-spirited beings (who I sometimes envy!) this probably sounds boring and it is, to some degree! But for cats in particular, a routine is essential to their well being. They truly are creatures of habit.

My cat Chloe

Chloe, looking irritated, because getting her picture taken is not part of the morning routine!

This can have a positive side effect though. I have realized that some of the things I do as a routine are great “training” aides. It hit me the other morning when I got up and started making my bed. Chloe, who always sleeps with me, was curled up on her pillow, and when I started making the bed, she got up and went to the chair, as she always does, that’s in my room. After making the bed, I always go over and give her a kiss on the top of the head. When that happens, she jumps down and goes to the kitchen to wait for me to get the food ready.

I have noticed this more and more lately, that these routines are signals of sorts. All of my cats know what I’m going to do by what I’m doing. They know what’s coming next and are ready for it. They like everything to be the same and on time. When something unexpected changes these routines, they are thrown and become perturbed.

Sometimes when people make a move or other major change in their lives, they will say that their cat is acting strange. It can go as far as the cat not eating, hiding, suddenly biting, or vomiting. They become worried and, after a check-up at the vets that says their physically ok, they get really worried. Most of the time it’s due to the change in their life as well. They aren’t taking the cat’s emotional response into consideration. The cat’s behavior usually goes back to normal once they adjust to that new situation.

The best thing for your cat is to keep things on schedule and as normal as possible. We can’t always do this, of course, but remember when there is a new change, your cat will react too. So be sure to give extra attention and try to make them as secure as possible until things settle down. Routine is so important to their emotional well-being.


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