Cats are by nature really territorial, and they see you as part of their territory, they really easily attach to humans not only for the bond it creates but it is also a survival instinct for them, they see their owners as a giant protector.
Now it has to be said, cats are not a pack animal like dogs, but they do need a social life!They need to meet and interact with other people and indeed other animals.Let’s be honest, we all have hectic and busy schedules trying to juggle work and personal life, so there are times that you will need to leave your cat alone. So there is a good chance if you have just a one cat household and your cat is an indoor cat it will get bored. And a bored cat will unfortunately get lonely.
According to veterinarian Dr. Arnold Plotnick, cats can show signs of anxiety when they are separated from their favorite human and left alone for a longer period of time. Yes, I know that it may seem that when you do go out and come back in, your cat can act pretty indifferently, sometimes it is almost like they did not even realise you had gone out and come back again, but believe me they know, and they definitely do miss you when you are not there for some time.
Thankfully, with the advent of technology there are some cool interactive cat toys that can stop a lonely cat from getting bored, however you should still always make time to play with him or her when you can. Now, as most of us cat owners know, they are really expressive little creatures and can easily show you how they feel. Because cats can so easily let us know how they are feeling, there are some warning signs that will allow you to spot if your cat is becoming bored and lonely.
Cats meow for a huge amount of reasons, but if they keep meowing and it sounds quite low pitched, it will almost sound like he or she is in pain. According to WebMD, cat can excessively meow for several reasons and one of them is loneliness. Non stop meowing is often the form of crying for attention and telling you that they are lonely.
Becoming clingy and needy
Cats, as I said above, can almost be a bit indifferent, but there are times when they love to run around your feet and jump on your lap for some cuddles, which is great for both of you. However if you notice your cat will not leave your side and is constantly sleeping on you or sat on your lap, this could be a sign that they are lonely.
Hairballs and constant, heavy grooming
Cats love to look good, they are very clean animals and like to look after themselves by grooming, and because of this they occasionally cough up a nasty little hairball from the licking. But if you notice that your cat is overgrooming itself and is constantly coughing up hairballs, there could be a chance that they are lonely.
If your cat is indeed over grooming it is a good idea to take it to the vet, to rule out any possible skin infection. If there aren’t any, your vet will probably ask you a few questions to discover the underlying cause such as loneliness and boredom.
If your cat starts to move or destroy things (that they would not normally play with) when you are out this is a good indicator that they are lonely and bored.
Change in behaviour
The majority of cats are really pretty placid and fun to be around. If you notice that your feline is starting to “act a bit strange” towards you and becoming aggressive, then they are probably lonely.
This is a sure fire way to tell if your cat is lonely. If you notice that they are squatting and spraying away from their litter tray, this is their way of telling you that they are bored and lonely.
Loss of appetite
Another strong way to tell if your cat is feeling lonely, they will go off their food. If you do find yourself leaving your cat alone and they are not eating, they could be lonely!
Now, if you are unsure, or you feel that your cat could potentially be ill, always take them to the vet, because there could indeed be an underlying health problem that needs to be sorted.
Like with all animals, and indeed with us humans, all cats are different and have different personalities. So only you know your cat the best. If you think that they are lonely because you are out the house often, and you notice any of the above signs, do not despair.There are ways to change their behaviour and make them happy and keep them stimulated.
As mentioned, there are some fantastic automated and interactive cat toys that will keep your cat amused while you are out of the house. However there are also some other things that you can do to make sure that your cat is entertained, especially if you are on a budget.
- Leave some of your cat’s favorite toys out
- Make sure there is a window with a sill or a perch for your cat to sit on and look out
- How about putting a bird feeder on the window to attract some birds so your cat can watch them? Though, if you do this of course make sure that you do keep the window shut, otherwise your cat could not only escape, but a bird may have had its last meal!
- If you do have to go out for sometime, try leaving the television on or even a radio or music playing, this can definitely help your cat to become less bored
Always make time to play with your cat every day, they really do love to interact with you, even when they get older and may seem a bit more “grumpy”, unlike kittens who just want to play all day. And finally, consider adopting a friend for your cat so that he or she has someone to play with in every moment.
About the author
Monika is a cat mama to 2 beautiful cats. She is the owner of a pet blog called Animallama where she and her colleague write about pet care, pet tips and advice.
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