Do cats get sad?

There is a common misconception that cats can be left alone at home all day. This is why cats are the common choice of busy pet owners…owners that would not be able to devote much time interacting with the pet because of busy schedules. However, cats can get sad too. Who wouldn’t be if there is nothing to do inside a very quiet house? Not many pet parents though are aware that cats are subject to emotions. Kitty can get depressed, angry, threatened and sad too.

Cats are solitary animals noted for their independent personalities. As such, there is a common misimpression that cats being tough animals can happily exist without interacting with humans. Humans are only the cats’ tickets to comfortable existence. True enough, cat owners would provide the pet not only with its basic needs but also with all imaginable things that would make the pet comfortable. It is even believed that it is not possible to own cats. Cats will never have a master as these animals own the masters instead. This kind of behavior gives the wrong impression that cats do not have emotions. Cats would not get sad.

However, we have heard of situations where a cat that was parted from a loving owner would pine, would not eat and would have no interest in its surroundings. Cat owners have observed how a cat would have teary eyes and how it would howl and brood after the death of another cat. The cat is sad because of the absence of the owner. It is obvious that the cat is grieving because of the death of the playmate. Skeptic would say that these actions are not manifestations of sadness but the owner’s tendency to attribute human emotions to the pet. However, studies on cat behavior have revealed that cats can get sad. The same situations that would depress humans would cause depression in humans too. The cat may be accustomed to being left alone at home all day but a gloomy weather, the demise of the owner or the transfer to a new house would be too much for the cat to bear. Cats do not wear watches nor do they know how to tell time but these animals are accustomed to doing the same activities at the same time. Any disruption to the routine would have an effect on the emotions of the pet given that cats are creatures of habit.

A change in behavior would make the owner aware that all is not well in the pet’s world. A sad cat would be restless. Cats are fastidious groomers but a sad pet would be noticed to groom halfheartedly…if they groom at all. The cat would sleep excessively and lose interest in food. Cats are not big on showing affection but sadness would make the cat even more aloof. The cat may even tend to hide from the family members. Sadness would make the cat develop destructive behaviors. The cat may forget to use the litter box thus owners would be concerned with the cat’s habit of house soiling. A sad cat would manifest attention-getting behaviors like scratching and gnawing.

What should a cat owner do to prevent the pet from getting sad? Contrary to the common impression that cats have cold and aloof personalities, cats really need to interact with their human friends. Cats really appreciate the attention given by the owners. The cat’s sadness can be prevented by giving the pet extra attention. More bonding time will make the cat feel that it is loved. Cats need mental stimulation. Toys will stimulate the cats mind while it is alone at home. A sad cat may be longing for company. Another pet will provide the cat with a companion.