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May 13th 05, 10:42 PM
Our new cat (5 years old) has learned how to open the back window. She
sneaks outside and jumps the fence around 3pm daily. I was very worried
when I saw her do this as I thought she was gone for good. She comes
home around 7pm. How does a cat know to come back home at the same time
and how do they find their way home? I'm sure smell is a big part of
it. But do they also recognize visual land marks? Does a cat know that
is has to come home for food and sleep?

Ted Davis
May 14th 05, 01:55 AM
On 13 May 2005 14:42:37 -0700, wrote:

>Our new cat (5 years old) has learned how to open the back window. She
>sneaks outside and jumps the fence around 3pm daily. I was very worried
>when I saw her do this as I thought she was gone for good. She comes
>home around 7pm. How does a cat know to come back home at the same time
>and how do they find their way home? I'm sure smell is a big part of
>it. But do they also recognize visual land marks? Does a cat know that
>is has to come home for food and sleep?

Cats are no different from other territorial animals: they pay
attention to their surroundings and remember where home is - they just
have more and better senses than people do, and they pay attention to
them better. Even so, most people who take a walk away from their
home can find their way back unless they get too far out. In my
experience, cats don't go far the first few times out - unless they
are trying to escape back to a previous home, and only gradually
extend their wanderings.

As for time, I suspect its not clock time so much as sun time that
they observe. Right now, they are usually around the back yard about
7:00 PM and most that are going to come in are in not long after full
dark.

--
T.E.D. )