How cats know the owner is coming home soon: interesting facts

Yulia LoseynkoLife
Hearing, smell, and sense of time help cats know when their human returns

One of the most pleasant features of pet behavior is the habit of greeting the owner at the door when he returns home and being very happy. Dogs are more prone to this, but also many cats, despite all the myths about their independence, are happy to show tenderness to their humans after a little separation. They go out to wait in the hallway in advance for a particularly beloved owner. But how will they know when you come home?

OBOZREVATEL asked the opinion of experts on the behavior of animals. It turns out that there is a coincidence of several factors.

Time orientation

The cat's internal biological clock is very finely tuned. Otherwise, how would an animal know that at exactly five in the morning it is time to have a concert with the demand to give food? Jokes are jokes, but cats can adjust to their owners' habitual schedule and memorize the typical time of their return home. Even worry if a person is not on the doorstep on time.

The signal of this clock can be a feeling of hunger if food is served to the cat according to a certain schedule. Fluffy may also get used to a certain time to play with the person when they come home. A combination of these signals can signal the human's imminent return.


Although cats' sense of smell is not as powerful as that of dogs, it is still significantly more developed than that of humans: 6 million receptors in humans, 80 million in cats, and 300 million in dogs. Therefore, a purr-fly can really sense the smell of its owner from afar. This peculiarity is especially strong when a person returns home from the side, where the windows of the apartment face. Just open the window and the cat will feel the owner about 20-30 meters away. After that, he will immediately go to the door, from where, as the animal knows, his favorite two-legged creature appears.


Cats' hearing, on the other hand, is much sharper than that of dogs, let alone humans. For comparison, a human cat hears sounds in the range of 16 to 20,000 Hz, while a cat hears sounds in the range of 45 to 64,000 Hz. If an animal can hear a mouse squeak from about 20 meters away, it will have no trouble recognizing familiar footsteps from the entryway.

A combination of these factors works best. Knowing when it's time for the man to come home, the cat starts listening and sniffing. And when it senses its owner approaching, it will rush to the door.

In the past OBOZREVATEL told you how to call a cat so that they will pay attention to you.

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