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Do Cats Get Lonely in the Same Way That Humans Do?

Cats are fun creatures to spend time with. Many of us would gladly spend all day, every day, with our kitties at home, but it is usually not possible due to work and other obligations. Therefore, our cats end up spending at least some of their time alone at home throughout the week. While cats tend to be independent and fine with being by themselves, you may wonder whether your furry friend ever gets lonely, like we humans can get at least occasionally. The short answer is yes, they can. The long answer and other insights can be found here.

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Yes, Cats Do Get Lonely

Cats are independent creatures, but they are social and would rather live in a pack rather than alone. PetMD points out that cats can get lonely even if they are used to being left alone every day. They may not get lonely in the same way that humans do, but they do yearn for the stimulation that companionship from humans and other animals provides them with throughout the day. There are a few signs that you can look for that might indicate feline loneliness.

cat lying on humans lap
Image Credit: Piqsels

Signs That Your Cat Is Feeling Lonely

Some, though not all, cats display signs of loneliness that we can pick up on. Knowing what to look for can help us identify when we need to take action to relieve a cat of their loneliness. Here are the most common signs to look for:

  • Destructive Behavior: Your cat might start tearing up the curtains, scratching at the couch, chewing on shoestrings, or even ruining paperwork that they find on a table somewhere in the house.
  • Excessive Grooming: Cats that get bored and lonely may spend their time excessively grooming themselves, which could cause bald spots and dry, brittle hair.
  • A Loss of Appetite: Your furry friend could turn their nose up at food when they get lonely, which we might perceive as a form of protesting being left alone so much.
  • Increased Vocal Communication: Your cat might inundate you with vocal communication when you walk through your front door and for a while afterward.
cat meowing
Image Credit: Stanimir G.Stoev, Shutterstock

If you do notice signs of your cat being lonely, there are a few things that you can do to try to alleviate their loneliness so they can live happier and healthier lives.

What You Can Do to Keep Your Cat From Getting Lonely

Loneliness is never fun, even for cats. But it does not have to be a life sentence, and your kitty doesn’t have to continue experiencing being lonely. If you think that your cat is suffering from loneliness, try utilizing one or more of the following ideas:

  • Consider a Boarding Facility: Sending your kitty to a boarding facility that makes interaction with humans and other cats a priority can help curb any lonely feelings that your cat might have. Even getting boarded just once or twice a week can make a big difference.
  • Recruit a Cat Sitter: If you aren’t interested in taking your cat to a boarding facility, consider recruiting a cat sitter or two to keep your pet company a few times a week. Maybe a friend’s teenager can come by twice a week to spend an hour with your cat, or a family member can stop by during their lunch break to spend a little time interacting with them.
  • Invest in Interactive Toys: Introducing new interactive toys, like motorized mice, into the household while you are away can help keep your cat busy so they feel less lonely until you get home.
  • Spend Quality Time With Them Daily: Make it a point to spend at least 10 uninterrupted minutes interacting with your cat anytime you return from being away from home. This will help ensure that they are getting the attention that they need while you are around so they feel less lonely when you aren’t there.
  • Think About Getting Another Cat: If you have the room and money to take care of a second kitty, you should consider doing so. The cats will be able to keep each other company and eliminate loneliness no matter how often you are home or away.

Try different tactics as time goes on to figure out what works the best for your cat. You may find that you must implement more than one of these tactics to get rid of your cat’s loneliness once and for all.

cat playing with owner_Dora Zett, Shutterstock
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

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A Final Recap

Yes, cats can get lonely, especially if they happen to spend most of their time at home alone. However, there are things that we can do to alleviate loneliness and make our cats happier in life overall. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will provide you with the ideas that you need to get rid of your kitty’s loneliness and to keep it from developing again in the future.

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Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

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