We always hear cats are much more independent than dogs. But surely living alone wouldn’t make a cat suffer, would it? We assume cats would be happy living alone, but maybe they’re not; they could be lonely. So you might be asking yourself: Do cats get lonely?
Do cats get lonely?
Cats are very social animals, and they crave companionship. If your cat is alone for long periods of time, it may become depressed or anxious. If a cat is isolated from its family and can’t see other people, it may start to behave differently—like refusing food or drinking water—to express its frustration. It’s also possible that your cat could develop behavior problems if left alone for long periods.
How do you tell if your cat is lonely?
- Destructive behavior
The most obvious thing to look for is if your cat is destroying things in their environment. This could mean anything from ripping up the couch to breaking window. So if your cat has been chewing on something or licking stuff up off of the floor, you may want to consider it a sign of loneliness.
- Loss or increase in appetite
Loss of appetite is a symptom of many conditions, but it is especially common in cats who are grieving. Cats display loss of appetite when they are grieving over the loss of a loved one, whether that’s their master or a family member.
Loss of appetite is also common among cats who have been separated from their owners for too long or who have been taken away from their homes by animal control authorities.
- Change in litter box habits
When cats are alone all day, they start performing behaviors indicating they want attention. If you have noticed your cat behaving differently than usual around the house—such as urinating outside the litter box or sleeping in one spot all day—this behavior could be a sign of loneliness.
- Excessive or minimal self-grooming
If your cat is grooming himself excessively or not at all, you should take note of this behavior. The reason for this is because it could be a sign that he feels lonely and wants to connect with you. You can do this by playing with your cat or giving him attention if he shows signs of being lonely.
Cats are naturally social creatures and need interaction with other cats to feel fulfilled. If your cat is lethargic, you should consider whether it might be missing the companionship of other cats in the household.
Cats are very sensitive to their environment, so they want to ensure everything is going well for them. If your cat feels lonely or depressed, it may take longer than usual to get out of bed in the morning and go outside to play.
Recognizing when your cat needs more attention and affection than usual is important. Lethargy can sometimes be a sign that your cat is feeling neglected or unloved, so if you notice this behavior, try speaking with your veterinarian about how best to help your pet adjust to life in your home.
Steps to take to help your cat feel comfortable
1. Fill both the food and water bowls.
Filling both the food and water bowls will allow your cat to eat when he’s hungry and drink when he’s thirsty. It also allows him to eat at his own pace, which helps prevent overeating or under-drinking.
2. Clean Litter Box
Cleaning your cat’s litter box can be a great way to help your cat feel less lonely. The litter box is their home; if it’s dirty, they don’t feel comfortable there. You can make cleaning the litter box a regular part of your routine and make sure that it’s always clean.
3. Provide amusement
Cats have an innate desire to hunt and play, so providing them with toys will help them feel less empty inside by giving them something to do while they’re home alone.
4. Provide a Cozy Sleeping Area
If you aren’t able to give your cat a good sleeping spot, it can make them feel depressed and unloved, which can lead to behavior problems, including separation anxiety and aggression.
By offering your cat a comfortable place to sleep, you’re giving them the opportunity for companionship and cuddling—two things that are essential for cats’ mental health and happiness.
5. Arrange for Cat Care Assistance
Having a cat alone for long periods can lead to depression, anxiety, and stress. By having someone come in and spend time with your pet, you can help them relax. This will help them feel better about themselves.
If you have a single cat at home that spends most of the day alone, it might be a good idea to get help from an animal shelter or rescue organization. If they are available, find one near your home so that there will be someone around if something happens while you are away at work or school.
6. When you get home, spend time with your cat.
It’s important to ensure you don’t overdo it, or else you could end up doing more harm than good. But setting aside 20 minutes for your cat each day will help them learn that it’s okay to be alone at times. This can make all the difference in their overall health, as well as their behavior.
What do cats do when they are alone?
Cats are solitary animals, so they do their best to keep themselves entertained. That means they’ll often pick up on their surroundings and figure out how to make the most of their alone time. Here are some things that cats do when they’re alone:
- They’ll stretch
- They’ll groom themselves
- They’ll play with toys or other objects
- They’ll watch you cook or clean (or anything else that makes you happy)
Is it OK to have just one cat?
Absolutely! You don’t need more than one cat for your household. You can have 1 cat or 100 cats—as long as you’re happy with your situation and living with the cats you have, there’s no reason you can’t have just one.
Do cats get sad when alone?
Yes, cats can get sad when alone. However, it’s important to remember that cats are social animals—they thrive on attention and don’t like being alone for long periods of time.
Do cats get lonely without other cats?
Some cats seem to get lonely if they don’t have other cats to play with, but most will adjust just fine. If you’re worried about your cat’s ability to get used to living alone, you can always try having another cat or two join in on the fun.
Cats do get lonely, but there are a few things you can do to prevent this or minimize the effects. If you have cats, it’s best to make sure they’re socialized with people as kittens and that your home includes a number of safe spaces for your cat to rest and relax. This way, your cat will learn to adjust its activity level when alone and have coping mechanisms for dealing with stress.