Most of the cats are famously independent and resourceful. They are generally lower maintenance than other pets like dogs, so their cat owners feel comfortable leaving them alone. The truth is that cats need social interaction and crave companionship. They do require affection and play with humans or other animals to be happy.
Therefore, cat parents need to identify signs of feline loneliness and know how to deal with it.
Cats experience the feeling of loneliness.
Dr. Carlo Siracusa is the director of Ryan Hospital’s Companion Animal Behavior Medicine. He reported that your cat would be lonely if it has the impossibility to share time, proximity, and space with his buddy.
This expert added that cats are becoming social with successful domestication, and cats come from a solitary ancestor that is not a social species, so they do not have enough dogs’ well-developed social behavior.
Dr. Siracusa explained that cats tend to share their affection in a “feline” style, that is, sharing the couch or some rubs. Keeping proximity is a natural way that cats express affection. When the cat owners want to communicate with their cats in human style, such as prolonged petting, kissing, and hugging. Many of the felines find this action unacceptable and rude, and then they run away. The cats will allow us to know when they would like to have a couple of strokes.
Rita Reimer emphasized that when their owners are away, they feel lonely. Still, they are acting more different than dogs are doing.
Signs of cat loneliness
Cat behavior problems can occur during the owner’s absence, says Reimers.
When cats are left alone for long periods, they might have some wrong actions like using your own bed as a litter box, knocking things over, tearing everything up around your house, and more seriously, they will become antisocial and reclusive, she says.
After the journey, you come back home to witness how your lonely feline has destroyed everything inside your house. You will get distressed that will just be contributed to your cat’s sadness. Unluckily for you, your cat cannot show how bored they got that they destroyed the new chair instead of heading to Netflix.
If your cat has the impossibility of sharing time, proximity, and space with his buddy, he will be lonely.
Dr. Siracusa emphasized that when cats are confined or left alone for a prolonged period, they can get anxious and stressed.
Additionally, cats will be stressed if their surroundings are under-stimulated – when they cannot play or interact. And this condition might cause behavioral issues like aggression and frustration.
How to deal with a cat loneliness
Reimers has recommended a variety of ways to solve feline loneliness.
When your beloved cat is lonely for a long time, you should prepare cat-friendly surroundings with pretty cat trees near the window and various self-playing cat toys, she notes.
Like Frisco’s 52-inch cat tree, the cat tree creates the opportunity for your cat to do exercise, thus helping him burn off energy and relieve stress. The window will bring a view of the sky, passing birds, and pedestrians.
With independent toys, your cat will have various enjoyable or creative activities. Significantly, the self-play toys will prevent your cat from touching your personal belongings that may be off-limits or dangerous.
According to Reimers, turning on the radio or TV to create the reassuring noise of human voices or music is also suitable for your indoor cat.
Furthermore, when you leave the house, you can put your dirty clothes on the bed, so your lovely cat can smell your particular scent. Cats will feel reassured and comfortable from the existence of your scent on your clothes, which will give them an extra-welcoming feeling on your bed.
It is better to have a pet sitter to take care of your cat if you leave your cat alone a lot.
Reimer says, hire someone who does more than just feed, dashes out the door, and scoops a litter box.
Cats need much attention and playtime to relieve stress, so a good pet sitter will genuinely concern your cat’s health and try to spend much time on your cat and checking everything around your house to make sure the cat is safe. An intelligent one may play your voice recording so that your lovely cat can listen to the familiar sound and realize that you will be back soon.
Both Siracusa and Reimer agree that having another buddy will make your cat feel less lonely.
Several cats will play well with others if you maximize the opportunities. They are getting along very well and adopt two similar aged cats or two kittens with similar litter, Siracusa suggests.
However, that does not always fix automatically.
Dr. Siracusa highlights that the cat’s loneliness level depends on the cats and their owners’ relationship. If your cat is very attached to you, he can be lonely in your absence even if he lives with other felines.
Indeed, all your lonely cat truly wants is you? If you leave litter, water, and food while you are busy and spend little time on your cat, perhaps you might have to rethink why you want to have a cat. Nevertheless, if you carefully establish an environment with stimulation and give a lot of one-on-one time when you stay at home, you can reduce the pangs of loneliness and have a deeper appreciation that your cat devotes to you.