Do cats get lonely on their own?

If your reason for choosing a cat for a pet is because of you do not have too much free time to interact with the pet then you may have made a mistake with your choice. There is a common notion that cats do not need to interact with humans and with other animals because cats are solitary animals with independent personalities. It is a common belief that cats do not mind being alone. However, cats can get lonely on their own especially if they are left alone for quite a while.

Anyone that has had cats for a pet would know that these animals are not big on showing affection to their human friends. It is not possible to own a cat as these animals own the owners instead. It appears that owners are only important to the pets because they are the providers of the basic needs of the cat. Cats are known to have aloof personalities thus they are often viewed as pets that want to be alone. A cat that is left alone at home would spend the day grooming or sleeping or watching the world go by while perched on a window seat. Cats are calm animals. Cat parents can leave the pet alone at home all day without worrying that the pet would become a one-pet demolition team when it runs out of things to do. This is a common concern of dog owners. However, the silence inside the house can be deafening…the inactivity can be boring. The tough cat will get lonely.

The idea that cats prefer to be alone is a myth. At the end of the day, dogs will exuberantly meet the owner at the gate with energetically wagging tail and sloppy kisses. The dignified cat may not meet the owner with similar demonstration of affection but a cat owner that has formed a bond with the pet will know that the cat appreciates the presence of the human friend. This should give the owner the idea that the pet can get lonely on its own. What would give the cat owner a cue that the pet is lonely?

After the grooming and the sleeping, a cat needs to play. Toys, another cat or the owner would provide the cat with the body and mind-stimulating activity. If these are not available the bored and lonely cat would develop destructive habits like climbing and ripping curtains, scratching furniture and breaking the owner’s things. Indiscriminate urination is another sign that the cat misses its owner. The cat would usually pee on the owner’s blanket, on the owner’s clothes and on other things that has the owner’s scent. Cats show different signs of loneliness. Some would demand the owner’s attention while other would sulk, hide and ignore the owner’s presence. Overeating or under eating, excessive vocalization and aggression are some of the behaviors manifested by a lonely cat. The cat may groom excessively or may have no inclination to groom. These behavioral changes can point to a health concern. The cat must be taken to a veterinary facility. If the pet was given a clean bill of health, the unusual behavior the cat is showing would be signs of loneliness.

The loneliness of the pet can be avoided even if the owner needs to be out of the house all day. The pet must be provided with mind-stimulating activities. Toys and a playmate would reduce the boredom of the pet. Another cat would be the playmate of the pet. Owners would keep the cat safe by keeping them indoors. Loneliness can be prevented by keeping the cat’s environment exciting. Provide the pet with a window perch where it can observe whatever is happening outdoors. The entertainment will prevent the pet from getting lonely.