Many people have the view that cats are antisocial; however, that isn’t true. Cats are very affectionate creatures; they socialize in ways different from ours. While we show affection to our cats by petting or cuddling with them, cats tend to socialize by sitting near or rubbing up against us.
When we go to work, how much do our cats miss us? Do they even notice? Cats can get lonely when you are away at work. For advice on how to spot the signs of loneliness as well as how to help your cat cope, keep reading below.
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Signs of Loneliness in Cats
Lonely cats can experience behavioral changes. If you want to know whether your cat is lonely, there are some signs that you can watch out for. However, it is essential to note that some of these signs can also indicate a medical condition. If your cat displays these signs, take him to the vet to rule out a health concern before assuming it is due to loneliness.
1. Sleeping Often
Cats sleep a lot, so frequent napping is not generally a glaring concern. However, there can be instances where increased sleeping results from depression due to loneliness. If you have noticed that your cat’s sleeping patterns have significantly changed, it could indicate that he is sleeping to cope with loneliness.
2. Destructive Behavior
No one likes to see their cat destroy their things. If your cat makes a habit of destroying your stuff while you are away at work, this could be due to the stress of being away from you.
If your cat has experienced a shift in behavior and personality, especially toward aggression, this is a sign that something is amiss. However, aggression can come from many sources, so be sure that you rule out the possibility of other medical or environmental problems as the trigger.
4. Not Using the Litter Box
There are several possible reasons that your cat may not use his litter box, and the stress and anxiety of being apart from you are among them. If you come home from work and see a mess on the floor, it could signify that your cat is lonely without you.
5. Excessive Vocalization
Does your cat meow, yowl, or cry often? If so, this could be due to a desire for attention after you have been away for a long time.
How to Keep Your Cat Entertained While You Are at Work
Keeping your cat entertained won’t get rid of his loneliness, but it can distract him from it until you return. It may seem impossible to entertain your cat while you are away from home, but there are ways that you can help keep your cat distracted even when you aren’t around.
1. Interactive Toys and Puzzles
Interactive toys and puzzles are a great way to exercise your cat while keeping him mentally stimulated. These products can give him plenty to do while you are gone, especially if treats are involved.
2. Leave Bags or Boxes for Your Cat
You’ve probably seen plenty of funny pictures or videos on the internet of cats ignoring their new, expensive toys in favor of playing with the box or bag. Cats find boxes and bags entertaining, so why not leave a few out for your pet?
However, make sure that the bags are paper, not plastic. If he gets caught in the plastic, he could suffocate. Likewise, you should remove any handles on the paper bag before leaving them for your cat. He could get his head stuck in the handle, which could be a choking hazard.
3. Purchase Cat Furniture
Although boxes and bags are a cheap and effective option, they won’t be able to entertain your cat forever. If you have the budget and room, consider purchasing some cat furniture. This includes cat trees, scratching posts, and scratching benches. Not only will these give your cat some entertainment, but they may also protect your furniture from your cat’s scratching!
4. Leave the Blinds Open
If you make a habit of closing all of the blinds while you are away from home, you may want to reconsider. While your cat is alone, it can be difficult for him to find his own entertainment, even if you leave out a bunch of toys for him. He may want to pass the time by looking outside at the world. If he can’t, he may feel under-stimulated and resort to destructive behaviors.
5. Take Advantage of Cat TV or Remote-Control Toys
Have you ever heard of cat television? There are videos on YouTube and DVDs that you can purchase that provide your cat with something to watch. It may sound ridiculous to leave the television on for your cat, but some cats find these programs really interesting!
If cat television isn’t the right fit for your cat, consider using remote-control toys. Several remote products allow you to check in on your cat with a video feed and even offer them treats.
Do You Need Another Cat?
If none of the above suggestions seem to ease your cat’s loneliness, you may consider getting him a feline companion. Of course, introducing a new cat into the house should be a delicate and slow process, as both cats need to grow accustomed to each other. However, once your cats grow used to each other, they may become increasingly fond of one another and keep the loneliness away.
It is impossible to be with your cat every second of the day; even if it were practical, it probably wouldn’t be something he would want. But when you are away from him for prolonged periods, he may grow lonely and act out. Curbing this behavior can be as simple as providing him more mental stimulation while you are gone or as serious as purchasing a new four-legged family member. Whatever you decide, we hope you can come to a solution that benefits both yourself and your cat.
You Might Also Be Interested in:
- Will a Cat Get Lonely Without Another Cat? How to Tell
- How to Care for a Cat While Working Full-Time: 7 Simple Tips
- Do Cats Get Lonely When You Go on Vacation? Everything You Need to Know!
Featured Image Credit: Melanie Hogue, Pixabay
- Signs of Loneliness in Cats
- How to Keep Your Cat Entertained While You Are at Work
- Do You Need Another Cat?