Any pet owner will tell you that the welfare of their beloved furry friend is of the utmost importance to them. It obviously follows therefore that the same is the case for cat owners who only ever want their feline mate to be happy. However, it is often believed that cats and their independent nature make them easy to care for as you need to do very little for them other than put out food or put out kitty litter. Sadly, this is not always the case in reality.
Here, in this article, we look at this oft thought belief and challenge whether it is true. We question do cats like being alone and more specifically do cats get lonely at night or do cats get lonely when you go on vacation. These are all important questions to answer, particularly if you think your cat is depressed – or even if you are thinking of getting a cat and you want to check whether they are as low maintenance a pet as they are made out to be.
Do Cats Like Being Alone?
So this is the ultimate question and perhaps the ultimate misconception about cats. Because, whilst they definitely are an independent pet, they don’t like being alone all the time either. So while they are definitely a pet that you can leave for longer than you would a dog, that is not to say that they like long periods of time in their own company.
It has actually been seen that cats that are left alone with no company for extended periods of time can actually become quite seriously depressed. As a species they are prone to anxiety over the smallest things, like furniture moving or their regular brand of pet food changing, it does make logical sense that they don’t like being alone for too long either.
So do cats like being alone? Even when you may witness behavior such as your cat keeping themselves to themselves when you are at home? No, not necessarily. Plus it does not automatically follow that your cat is happy when you leave the house just because they are happy to be in a different room to you. They are most probably taking comfort in the fact that you are simply around. Cats are far more loyal than people give them credit for.
Do Cats Get Lonely At Night?
The question, do cats get lonely at night, actually combines two of the biggest misconceptions surrounding cats. One is, as previously mentioned, that they are happy in their own company all the time. Two is that they are nocturnal animals.
Cats are not actually nocturnal at all. While they may be more active than a sleeping human at night, they certainly do not live their entire life when the sun goes down. Bearing this in mind, how does it impact the question do cats get lonely at night? Well the answer is, they actually probably don’t – if you are in the house. That is because they draw comfort simply by having you close, but also because they are actually spending a great deal more time sleeping at night than it is often thought.
Do Cats Get Lonely When You Go On Vacation?
Many cat owners will ask themselves do cats get lonely when you go on vacation, because life would be so much easier if they didn’t. Given the advent of food timers and automatic cat feeders, if you are going away for a certain amount of time, cats will absolutely survive in the house on their own while you are away.
Unfortunately, it is not always the case that they will be happy when you are away. In fact, with some cats, particularly the very sensitive ones, it could be a very stressful time for them. Cats do like some form of company at some point which is why when owners go on vacation, if they can, they should leave their feline friends with neighbors or in a cattery. While this too may be stressful to a cat, it is believed it will be less upsetting to them than if left in an apartment on their own.
However, if leaving them with friends or taking them to a boarding cattery is not an option, you will need to think of other ways that you can go away without causing them undue stress. You could get a cat sitter perhaps, or even a friend or neighbor to come in every other day or so to feed them, as well as play with them for a little bit. This will hopefully take the edge of you being away.
Additionally, think about the length of time you are going to go away for. If you absolutely must go away, the shorter the vacation the better. Other ideas for how to stop them from getting lonely when you go on vacation is to leave them a whole host of toys and interactive playthings out. Additionally, ensure they can look out of a window as so many cats like to do. Take a look at our review of the best cat toys for more options.
Do Kittens Get Lonely?
Again, the sad answer to do kittens get lonely is yes. It is often thought that they don’t as they spend so much of their day asleep, but they do still need social interaction from humans or other cats. Without such interaction, you are in danger of your kitten becoming depressed and suffering from higher bouts of anxiety than necessary.
If you are worried about your kitten getting lonely or the fact that they are bored, consider ways to tire them out so that they sleep even more so they are well rested. Again, like with adult cats, you can leave out playthings, a scratch post or interactive cat toys to help keep them interested when you are out. When you are in, spend as much time as you can stroking them when they are awake and bestowing them with attention. You will reap the rewards later on in their lives as they will be a far more contented cat.
Do Cats Get Lonely Without Another Cat?
There is a reason that many people who own cats buy another one. They really do help take care of each other and keep each other company. Without two cats in the house, there is a danger of your cat becoming lonely when you are not home. While some cats may deal with this fine, all felines do prefer some company some of the time.
Plus, a cat is such an easy way of giving them this company and taking the onus off you as the owner. And while there may be some extra financial costs associated with having two cats, it does make life so much easier for cat owners when they have two or more cats at home.
Some homework would be needed into how to introduce cats so that they can live together happily – like at what stage in a cat’s life should they be given another cat to play with or where this introduction should take place. Additionally, the mix of gender should be investigated as to what is the best combination to have as well as neutered cats versus unneutered ones.
While a little homework is therefore needed before buying a second cat, it is definitely worthwhile to do so as there really is only one answer to do cats get lonely without another cat? And sadly, it is yes.
Do Cats Like Being Alone – The Bottom Line
Answering do cats like being alone may proffer up some uncomfortable answers for a cat owner – especially if they are an owner who is out a lot due to work commitments or ties elsewhere. As such, if you are considering buying a cat for your home, you should really ask yourself whether you can give it the time and commitment that it deserves so that it leads a happy life. The misconception that cats are totally independent creatures that do not care about their owners is unfortunately very common and very untrue. So if you are buying a cat thinking that they are low maintenance, it is best to think twice.
While they are relatively low maintenance in comparison to something like a dog, they by no means need no attention at all. They need some form of companionship from either their owner or another cat a lot as well as regular grooms, regular playtime and regular feeding. The bond that a cat owner gains from owning a feline, once they realize they need attention as they most definitely do get lonely, can be life affirming. It’s just not a decision to rush lightly into!
- Do Cats Like to Be Alone? – PetMD