What Do Cats Think About All Day: 4 Interesting Facts

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

what do cats think about all day

Unlike dogs, cats are often unsocialized and reserved, making identifying what they think or feel demanding. Their lack of communication skills makes it challenging for pet owners to connect with them easily. But, what do cats think about all day?

Cats have an excellent long-term memory, giving them the capacity to think about previous events. They also think about food, toys, and often, their owners. Let’s explore a detailed answer to “what do cats think about when they just sit there?”

4 Things Cats Think About All Day


1. Past Events


Have you ever asked yourself, “are cats brains similar to humans”? The answer is yes. In fact, their brains have a 90% similarity rate with humans, making them capable of thinking and recalling previous events.

Cats thinking and cognitive abilities enable them to possess long-term memories. They have keen senses, especially smelling, seeing, and hearing. Along with those senses, their heightened minds allow them to learn, store and use information in various occurrences.

Felines regenerate their minds through sleep. When sleeping, they rejuvenate themselves, keep themselves healthy, and encode knowledge and recent memories into their brain. Cats are also more prone to recalling impactful, traumatic events.

Therefore, when you catch them staring into the air, they might just be recalling and old event.

2. Food


Cats have lived in the wild and are undoubtedly excellent survivors. So, they always think about food, wondering what to eat next. Although they can survive for weeks without nourishment, some domesticated cats want free access to food.

Thus, it is safe to say that food is what cats think about when they stare. After all, it is a critical component for their survival, and their instincts will tell them to grab every opportunity for a meal when they see one.

Cats’ cognitive skills also enable them to determine where to access food and how to get it. They can also learn about humans’ behavior and understand gestures to find out how and when we will give them food.

3. Their Owners


Do cats have thoughts about their owners? Yes, cats think about humans and sometimes perceive them as mothers or fathers. If you see them waiting for you by the door, excited whenever you come home, they were most likely thinking about you the whole day, wondering where you went.

Interestingly, cats always stare at their owners even while you sleep, exhibiting their curiosity about their humans and observing their emotional states. Meanwhile, some felines stare at humans as a form of communication, reminding them it’s meal time or helping them respond to certain situations.

4. Toys


Just like dogs, cats appreciate it when you buy them toys. They will play with it over-excitedly and even exhibit a hunting behavior while playing.

Cats will often constantly think about their toys whenever they are not within sight, which explains the staring eyes and wandering around the house.

Like canines, felines understand that things still exist even when they cannot see or hear them. This ability is called object permanence, allowing cats to actively seek their toys. So you might want to help if your cat’s toys are hidden somewhere because it will try to find them without giving up.



How do I know what my cat thinks about?

There are things we can figure out or guess if we spend enough time with them. If they think about food or their owner, their actions might be rather straightforward, asking for food and attention.

Cats have cognitive skills that allow them to learn from previous occurrences and may use them to communicate with you if they want something. So, maybe pay attention.

What do cats think about when they stare?

The thing is, we do not know for sure what our cats are thinking at one exact moment.

If cats are staring at their owners, they may observe their body language and reaction and simply follow what they are up to.

On the other hand, if they are gazing at a moving object, they may think about lunging at it, and their hunting instincts will take over.

Direct stare also exhibits a feline’s dominance, posing themselves as threats or predators to other animals.

In some cases, cats would stare at nothing for too long with their eyes half-closed. In these instances, they may not be particularly thinking about anything. Instead, they may be sleepy or try to show their owners affection.

Do cats mind being alone all day?

Unlike dogs, most felines enjoy being alone. So you can leave them playing with their toys or wandering around the house by themselves for a few hours. They can surely take a short separation from their owners.

However, if you plan on leaving your cat alone at home, it would be best to give them easy access to food, water, and toys to keep them occupied. Make sure to put away any hazards around the house to provide them with a secure and comfortable environment.

You can check crowdsourcing outlets, such as Reddit, on how owners make their cats feel comfortable when they are unattended.

Or it is also a good idea to hire a pet sitter or invite a family member or friend to keep an eye on their felines when you are away.

Do cats get bored?

Yes, they do. We might notice it’s feeling bored by the constant nudging for attention or distant staring.

Many might think cats may seem like unbothered pets that prefer napping all day. Still, they are adventurous animals that get bored sometimes. When going for too long without stimulation, cats might get bored and even depressed.

Therefore, make sure you offer them some challenging toy games or puzzles to keep them engaged and intellectually stimulated. Those activities are good for their physical and mental well-being.


Cats are intelligent creatures, and humans do not often give them enough credit for it. They are always misunderstood for being distant and unapproachable but now that we’ve answered the question, “what do cats think about all day,” our perception of them should change.

Their enigmatic personalities are why humans love and adore them. Cats think about music and their environment and are very loving pets who always observe, think, and look out for their owners’ reactions and emotions.

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