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Home > Cats > Can Cats Get Lonely? Common Reasons, Signs & What to Do

Can Cats Get Lonely? Common Reasons, Signs & What to Do

lonely cat up close

Cats are fun animals to live with. They tend to be unpredictable and usually have no problem communicating how they feel. They seem to be independent animals, yet they easily show their love and affection for their human and animal family members. These things can lead us to wonder: Can cats get lonely? The short answer is yes, cats can get lonely, just as we humans can. But why do cats get lonely, and what can we do about it as cat owners? Here is what you should know.


Here’s Why Cats Get Lonely

Cats get lonely from spending too much time alone. They are not totally solitary animals, and while they can survive living on their own as strays, they cannot thrive in that life. Cats need camaraderie, affection, communication, and a sense of being to have a happy and healthy life. If your cat spends most of their time at home alone, you might notice either that they are extremely sociable and affectionate when you are home or that they tend to stick to themselves in their areas of the house.

Anytime your cat is at home alone, they are likely to feel somewhat lonely. The more time they spend alone, the lonelier they will get. It’s important to take steps to ensure that your kitty will not spend most of their time alone at home while you are dealing with your busy life. The first step is to understand why your cat might get lonely and to look for signs of loneliness, which include:

  • Increased sleep
  • Destructive behavior
  • Aggression
  • Litter box accidents
  • Exaggerated vocalization

Loneliness is not something that cats do well with. They love attention and communication, and they will do just about anything to get it. So, you shouldn’t have a problem identifying when your kitty feels lonely, as they will likely let you know in various ways.

sad looking cat lying down
Image by: pasja1000, Pixabay

Can Other Cats or Pets Ease the Loneliness?

Cats can benefit from having another cat in the house, depending on the situation. Older cats may not appreciate another younger cat being around, as they can easily get harassed with playful and curious behavior. Kittens and younger cats can certainly benefit from having another cat around, especially when human family members aren’t around as often as they’d like them to be.

How to Help Your Kitty Feel Less Lonely

If your kitty seems lonely, the first thing to do is ensure a clean bill of health. Schedule a checkup with your veterinarian and make sure they are healthy. From there, try introducing a new cat to the mix. Perhaps ask a friend or family member to bring their cat over for a playdate. Once they become friends, leave them alone to see if your cat seems less lonely and more content.

If your cat seems to respond to the experience positively, it might be a good idea to consider adopting a second cat of your own so the kitties can keep each other company. It is also important to spend more time with your cat, whether another animal is in the picture or not. Consider coming home 10 minutes earlier from a date or night out.

When you spend time at home watching movies or reading books, call your cat over for cuddle time. Spend at least 10 minutes a day playing with your cat and communicating with them in some way. The more time that you spend with your kitty when you are at home, the less likely they will feel lonely when you aren’t. Create and maintain a routine throughout the week. Make sure your cat knows when to expect your departure and arrival. Give your cat a treat and spend 5 minutes cuddling whenever you get home, so they have something to look forward to.

nebelung cat getting checked at a vet clinic
Image by: Juice Flair, Shutterstock

What to Do When You Know You Won’t Be Around for a While

If you are planning a vacation, an extended long-distance work commitment, or anything else that will keep you away from home for a while, there are a few things that you can do to make sure your kitty doesn’t feel lonely while you are absent. First, make sure your kitty has plenty of toys and activities to keep them company. This is especially important if your cat doesn’t have a fellow pet companion to spend time with. It is also important to spend one-on-one time with your kitty before you leave, even if it’s just 1 or 2 minutes. Spend that time looking in your cat’s eyes and letting them know how important they are to you. Maybe throw a small ball around for your kitty to chase so they can get out some energy.

It’s also important to ensure that your kitty has plenty of clean water and fresh food to enjoy while you are away.


Final Thoughts

Cats are interesting creatures, and they work hard to effectively communicate with us. They want nothing more than our attention and camaraderie. If they can’t get enough of our attention, they can become lonely and display signs of that emotion. It’s important to keep an eye out for loneliness problems so you can nip them in the bud quickly.

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Featured Image Credit: veverkolog, Pixabay

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