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Being a cat parent, I feel guilty about the times that I leave my cat alone, but my cat is an independent being. She grooms herself, does her business on her own without bothering me, and so I wonder sometimes: Do Cats Get Lonely?
Yes, cats do get lonely. Cats desire companionship when left alone for hours. Signs of lonely cats include frequent meowing, misbehavior, purring, excessive shedding, depression, and separation anxiety.
So, let’s dive right in to know when your cat gets lonely, the signs you should look for, and what you can do to make sure that your cat does not feel lonely.
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Do Indoor Cats Get Lonely
Yes, indoor cats get lonely.
Stray cats usually like to stay by themselves when eating or hunting, but indoor cats or pet cats crave companionship. They usually develop a strong bond with their owners, you must know. Therefore, indoor cats get lonely when left alone for a long time.
Cats tend to mark their territory for hunting, but nature only develops once they become an adult. If you got yourself a little kitten, then it will probably bond easily with you or any other pets you have. It is also possible that your little kitty gets lonely when you aren’t home.
Your cat’s loneliness might be a result of separation anxiety. It is not that evident in cats as dogs, but you can sense it when it gets severe. Your cat will start to wander around you, asking for your love and attention and making the meow sound more often than usual.
Make sure that you provide proper care and love to your pet in times like these.
Do Cats Get Lonely Without Another Cat
Yes, Cats do get lonely without another cat. In most cases, cats enjoy the company of another cat. Cats are social animals who like to make strong bonds with fellow felines.
If your cat shows changes in behavior like sleeping and eating patterns, then it is probably time to get a new friend for your cat. There might be other reasons for the changes in its behavior, so monitor its actions closely and take it to the vet if the condition doesn’t get any better.
Here are some advantages that you will have on getting a new friend for your feline:
● They will keep each other company when you’re not at home
● Having a playmate will keep your cat active and thus healthy
● Loneliness triggers aggressive behavior, and getting a companion will reduce all the scratching on your furniture
● It allows your cat to be comfortable since there is another of its kind around it
● They help keep each other clean, which means less work for you
Here are some things to consider before getting another cat:
● Get a cat of the same age so that there is no difference in their energy levels while playing
● Make sure that the other cat is friendly and does not spend its time hiding from your cat
● Get new toys for your other pet since cats do not like to share their toys easily
● Do not favor the new cat in front of your old pet unless you want scratches all over your body and apartment
Do Cats Get Lonely When You Go To Work
Yes, cats do get lonely when you go to work. However, if they are accustomed to the routine, your cat has probably adapted to your work schedule by now and does not get lonely when you go to work.
If your work schedule has changed, or your working hours have increased, there is a chance that your cat feels lonely.
If you have a little kitten, it is not recommended to leave it alone for more than 6-8 hours. Adult cats can stay alone for about 24-48 hours if you wish to go on a short work trip without your pet.
If you need to leave your cat by itself for more than a day, you should ask your neighbor or friend to check in on your cat and make sure it has everything it needs.
Do Cats Get Lonely At Night
It is unlikely for a cat to get lonely at night if you provide a safe and comfortable environment to live in. If you leave your cat for more than 24 hours, only then will it get lonely or miss you.
If you are planning an overnight trip, then you must take care of certain things like:
● Stock up the cat food and ask your neighbor to feed your cat according to its feeding schedule
● Ask your cat’s water to be changed because it gets stale after a while
● Set up more litter boxes for your cat to do its business
● Get someone to spend a little while with your cat, so it does not feel lonely
If your cat has never been alone without you or suffers from separation anxiety, or has any other medical issues, then it best for you to get a cat sitter.
The sitter will make sure that your cat remains safe and gets its medications on time. The sitter will also ensure that your house remains clean with the cat running all around.
If you do not trust a stranger to take care of your cat, then you can have a friend or your family members check up on your pet. It will give you more satisfaction and also save you from spending on hiring a cat sitter.
Do Cats Get Lonely When Another Cat Dies
Yes, cats can get lonely when another cat dies. It is common for a cat to grieve when its feline friend dies. Your cat may react differently, trying to cope with the loss of its companion. Their behavior is no different than humans mourning the loss of someone.
You might see these changes in your cat’s behavior after its companion dies.
● Your cat might feel depressed and decline to do any activities
● It might choose to sleep for most of its day
● There would be a loss of appetite
● There would be no jaunt in its walk, and it will just walk slowly than usual
● Your cat may spend its time hiding under the furniture wanting to be alone
Do Cats Get Lonely During The Day
It is less probable for cats to feel lonely during the day when you leave for work or to get some chores done. However, if you leave your cat alone for more days, your cat will likely start to miss you and feel lonely.
Cats need to interact with humans or other pets to function properly emotionally. You will see your cat develop behavioral changes when it does not have any companion to play with or spend time with, even during the day.
There has to be at least a little interaction during the day; then, your cat may exhibit signs of loneliness. If your cat does not like to stay completely alone, get a sitter to play with it and tend to its feeding needs.
Cats measure time according to their schedule. They know what time you wake up, what time you provide it with food, and when you leave for work. The cat gets accustomed to this routine, and it needs to be consistent.
The routine also consists of the time that your cat spends interacting with you or other animals, failing which, your cat starts to feel lonely. Cats take time adjusting to any new schedule, so if your working hours have changed, your cat might feel lonely during the day.
Do Cats Get Lonely When Owners Go On Vacation
Yes, cats do get lonely when owners go on vacation. As important as it may be for you to take a vacation, it is not as joyful for your cat to leave its comfortable environment. It is difficult for cats to change their schedule and even harder to change their environment.
Any change in the environment can cause stress and lead to behavioral challenges in your cat.
Cats can be alone for short periods, which should not be mistaken to leave them alone for several days. Do not make the mistake of leaving your cat alone when you go on a vacation because your cat will become depressed.
Here are some tips to go for a vacation without your cat:
● Instead of taking your cat to a new location, get a sitter for your cat so that it can stay comfortably in its safe environment
● Give your cat time to interact with the sitter
● Organize a few meetings between the cat and the sitter beforehand so that your cat becomes accustomed to the sitter
● Make sure that the sitter adheres to your cat’s schedule
● Stock up on your cat’s favorite food and treats in case of any tantrums
● Get a scratching post for your cat so that there no harm to your furniture
Are Cats Happier In Pairs
Yes, cats are happier in pairs.
Cats like to socialize, and they wouldn’t be happier than to have a feline friend to play with. It is beneficial for cats to stay in pairs because they play together, develop together, and learn from each other.
They will keep each other company, and your work will reduce a significant amount.
Here are the benefits of having two cats:
● They will have a companion to interact with, which helps them develop socializing skills
● You can leave them alone, and they won’t even notice
● If your cat gets alone, it will run around the house, ruining your furniture, but if it has a play buddy, it will stay entertained
● It is not much more expensive than owning one cat
How Can You Tell If Your Cat Is Lonely
As a cat lover, you must take care of your cat’s health. Cats do not stay in packs like dogs, but they can’t stay alone either. They need companions to play with and stay happy. Here are some signs that will tell you if your cat is lonely.
Below are the four primary reasons that can indicate if your cat is feeling lonely or not.
Increase in Sleep
Cats sleep for most of the day since they are nocturnal animals. Although your cat is sleeping more than usual, it can signify that your cat is feeling lonely or depressed.
If your cat does not want to play with you and keeps sleeping, it means that your cat feels lonely.
If your pet does not have a feline companion or someone to play with, it may get bored, stimulating destructive behavior to release the stored energy. This will end up with your furniture scratched and things broken.
If your cat shows signs of aggressive behavior, then it might be because your cat is lonely.
Problems With The Litter Box
If your cat does not pee inside the litter box, it may be because of either health issues or behavioral issues.
After ruling out any health issues like urinary tract infection or kidney stone, it will be apparent that your cat is suffering from stress. This stress can be a result of boredom or loneliness.
Increase In The Meow Sounds
If there is an increase in your cat’s vocalization, it can mean that your cat feels lonely. Cats tend to be more chatty when you get home from work or don’t have anyone to spend time with.
Ways To Help A Lonely Cat
No pet owner would like to see your feline friend lonely and agitated. Hence, follow the below seven ways to help your cat if she is lonely.
Make A Comfortable Corner
It would help if you made a cozy corner for your cat where it can feel relaxed. Make sure that the corner has perfect light with comfy pillows and a blanket to snuggle in.
If that place is facing outside or has a view of the entire house, then it will keep your cat entertained for a while.
So, even if she is all alone, your cat can entertain herself by looking at the trees outside, or maybe the people passing by!
Some soothing music can help distract your cat from depressing thoughts when they are alone. You can use classical music or keep your TV on when your go to work.
Soothing music will calm your cat’s nerves, thus lowering down her stress and anxiety levels. Opt for melodious classical music rather than some heavy metal or pop songs.
We have already established all the benefits of having another cat. If your cat has a feline friend, then you won’t have to worry about your cat feeling lonely anytime.
It might take time for your pet to get along with the new cat, but once they get chummy, there’s no separating them.
It is best to introduce your two cats to each other gradually and then leave them to play!
Getting a companion for your cat might be some extra work and expense for you.
If you do not want to get another cat for any reason, you can get interactive toys that will keep your cat busy while you’re at work. You do not want your cat to sit on the couch all day without any friends to interact with.
You can get a moving toy shaped like a mouse to chase around or a toy that makes different sounds. Either way, it will keep your cat entertained. This way, your cat will also get some exercise.
Another alternative to getting a feline companion is occasional socializing. You can set up playdates with your neighbor’s cat or take it to the park to socialize with other cats. This will keep their interaction needs satisfied and keep them from getting lonely.
Take your cat for an early morning walk before you leave for work. This will help your cat to release the extra energy and will tire your cat out. This will lead to more naps in the day and a very cheery friend when you get back from work.
You can also play active games with your cat if it does not like to walk. Setting up tree poles and tunnels is an excellent source of exercise and entertainment for your feline friend.
Consider Coming Home During Lunchtime
If you live near your office or have plenty of time during lunch, you can consider coming home and meeting your cat on some days. This will make your cat feel special, and there would be no depressing thoughts in its mind.
If you can’t get away, get a friendly face to visit your cat for a little while.
Things To Consider
Before you deal with a lonely cat, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions.
Does Your Feline Miss You When You Go To Work
Cats seem like aloof kinds of animals, but they are very social and emotional when forming solid bonds. You must have noticed that your cat is attached to you a lot, even if it plays it cool in front of you.
They notice all the changes that happen in your life and also notice when you come and go. If they know that you’ll return in a little while, then they won’t miss you, but if you get a little late from work or are on vacation, then your little pet will surely miss you.
Tips To Keep Your Cat Happy When Alone
● Hide treats around the house and let your cat know that it can find them after you’re gone
● Add extra bowls of food and water just in case
● Give your cat its favorite toys to keep it happy
● Create a cozy place that your cat can call its home
● Spend as much time as possible before and after getting home
Alone Time Is Also Important
Cats do need companions to spend time with but alone time is also essential for them. You must have observed that your cat keeps to itself most of the time. This is because overstimulation may sometimes cause them pain, and then they start to bite or become aggressive.
Just like you need some alone time to relax, your cat also needs some personal time to bond with itself.