Simple answer: of course, they do!
And here down you’ll find the details.
Getting a new pet to your household requires serious preparation. After all, having an animal under your roof is a huge responsibility. Therefore, many of us have similar doubts. Do I have enough money to support its needs? We wonder if it’s possible to take proper care of a new pet, by the way not slowing down with our crazy-busy life. People often choose cats over dogs or other animals because they picture them as loners so they imagine they’ll suffer less home alone. There’s some logic behind it. When you think of dogs, you picture a pack. With cats, however, we automatically assume they feel better alone. Like, for example, all those tigers which we watch on the tv. They hunt and fight for the territory on their own.
Well, many cats indeed are like their ancestors and feline family members. But it is believed that now, the domestic cats are much more sociable than we would imagine. Look at all the funny and cute videos on the internet in which cats are playing together or cuddling each other. They don’t look like if they’d like to be left alone, do they? It’s because they do get lonely. We often don’t think about that but leaving our cat for long periods of time doesn’t only create problems like ensuring they have food and a litter box changed. We should also be concerned about how our leave may have a bad influence on them and lead even to their illness. How can we know if that is exactly what happens with our cat?
How can you tell if your cat is lonely?
Do cats get lonely? Some of them surely. But before you start worrying about your little friend, make sure that your fear is reasonable. Simply, do watch your cat. As their owner, you’ll know how they are like. If your cat is lonely, you’ll probably see it. They’d be unhappy, depressed, scared or aggressive. And they express their feeling in different ways. Your cat may follow your every step. They may meow a lot as a sign of panic when you leave. They may welcome you in an overemotional manner. They may even try to bite you or attack in an act of anger to show you their desperate need for a company. They may avoid food. The emotions showed by your lonely cat may differ but one thing will always be the same – sadness.
It’s important to mention that every cat is different and has their own personality, character, and tastes. Some of them may enjoy being left home alone and it’s totally ok for them, while the others really suffer because of being lonely. That’s when you could think about getting a nice friend for them. So here appears the question:
Two cats or one?
Hey, we all have to work, that’s all right. But we do need to make sure that our kitty left alone is fine and comfortable. And if they are the sociable type, there may be a cheaper way than hiring a pet sitter. Like simply getting them a new feline companion. So when we already decide to buy a cat, we can buy two right away and bring them home together. That is if we can afford it and have the right conditions that meet both cats’ needs.
The case is a bit different when it comes to feral cats which are more self-reliant. They spend less time at home so they don’t have time to get too lonely. They do whatever they want so if whenever they need some company, they simply find it themselves. If a kitty is just moving into the new home, they should have around 4-6 weeks to adapt to the house before they start exploring the outdoor area.
But the house cats depend on their owners. So it’s your job to make them used to other kittens because as they are kept alone they have no chance to make any friends with other animals.
Leaving kitten alone
Keeping your cat alone at a young age can lead to wrong development and mental issues. Later sudden contact with other cats can mean enormous stress and excessive shock for them. Due to the lack of contact with fellow species, behavioral disorders can develop. These range from aggression through fear to depression. For example, a typical consequence of keeping cats alone is extreme attachment to humans. It may seem to be cute when our cat has a strong bond with their owner but it’s not necessarily healthy for them as it can become unnatural. As a result, we could miss the fact that our cat is lonely for real. The cat is looking for a replacement for the missing fellows. However, a human cannot normally live up to their expectations and needs. A person cannot spend as much time with them as a second cat could. It’s simple as that. A feline companion will always be ready and available to brawl or play with. The single cat quickly becomes bored and lazy as they miss challenges in their life.
How long can you leave a kitten alone
That’s a question we all ask ourselves. How long can you leave a cat alone? Generally speaking, it shouldn’t be more than three days. Yeah, three days are an absolute maximum but remember that we speak about adult cats here. And, of course, we need to make sure that our kitty has enough food and water to survive. It may be a good idea to buy a cat water fountain to prevent our beloved pet from dehydration. If you want to go away for a longer period of time, it will be necessary to make sure someone visits your cat to refill their bowls, change the litter box and play with them a bit. So another good idea could be to get a pet sitter. Those people are usually experienced pet-lovers who enjoy spending time with animals and the most important thing is that they LIKE to take care of your kitty and they don’t only give them food and clean the litter box but also make sure they don’t feel lonely.
However, kittens are quite a different story. A little cat may get lonely much faster than an adult kitty. They need more company and have to be watched more than grown-up cats. While they are babies, their brain is still developing so they need to feel the closeness and shouldn’t feel lonely. Leaving a kitten alone may also develop bad habits in them which will be hard to get rid of in the future. So remember, it’s not enough to just get someone who will take care of our cats in terms of giving them food or even change litter boxes. They need someone who will make sure they won’t feel lonely anymore. And more cats to keep them company is also a great way to make our pet feel good.
How to socialize kittens?
When a kitty leaves their mother at the age of eight to twelve weeks, its socialization is far from over. That’s why the little kittens need contact with cats of the same age with whom they can play, scuffle and cuddle. The kittens learn many important behaviors from each other in order to develop healthily. So keeping a kitten alone is not a good option for a happy and optimal growing up. Some cats become depressed if they are kept alone. They stop playing, move less and sleep more. The reduced activity over a longer period of time can also lead to obesity and other problems. However, there are cats that are loners. For example, if a cat was not sufficiently socialized as a small kitten because it was separated from the litter too early. Even with an older cat that has been living alone for a long time, socialization is rather risky and very likely to have problems. These individuals are alone, without any kind, more satisfied and should actually be kept individually. A reunification can bring great stress and permanent problems so that the existing cat only suffers and withdraws. The type of cat could be kept alone and it is advisable because of the possible problems.
Choosing the right kitty
If you want to buy two cats at once, either a mixed-sex couple or a sibling pair is recommended. A mixed pair is recommended if you don’t get the cats from the same breeder or location, or if you don’t want to buy the second cat until later. If you choose two cats from the start, you can choose a functioning sibling pair from the breeder or the delivery point. With sibling couples, it is not critical whether it is a same-sex or a mixed-sex couple. These cats grew up together and therefore already know each other and there are usually no complications.
What to consider when a new cat moves in
If there already are animals in your home (such as dogs or cats), it is particularly important to make them known to one another in an as stress-free way as possible. If you can take your new kitty home, be sure to move it to a separate room. The cat should stay there for a few days. Give the other cat the new cat’s transport box so that they can sniff it and familiarize themselves with the smell of the newcomer. After a day or two, you should swap the animals’ rooms for an hour or two. This way, the new cat can familiarize itself with the rest of the apartment and spread its smell there too. Your other animals can once again thoroughly absorb the smell of the intruder. They also give off their scent to the room where the newcomer will stay for a few more days. Repeat this procedure for two to three days. You should then leave the door to the new cat’s room open for a while so that the new roommate can come out, but not your other animals. If you have another cat in your household, only open the door so far that the cats can see and sniff, but are unable to attack. So the animals can look for direct contact. Never leave the animals unattended. If this happens without any complications, you can leave the door open longer and longer in the next two days until you can finally be sure that the animals are getting along. Then the time has come when the cat can now move completely into the rest of the apartment.
Could cats and small pets live together?
However, if you have small pets such as rabbits or guinea pigs, it will be easier to get the cat used to these roommates. The best way to do that is to take your cat on your lap and sit with her in front of the animal cage. Talk to the cat soothingly. After ten minutes you should finish this procedure and continue the next day. If the cat shows no signs of fear or aggression after a few days, you can now put one of your other animals on your lap and let the cat watch you stroke the animals. Here, too, the first contact should not take longer than ten minutes. Now alternately stroke the small animal and your cat. This way you create a group smell that signals the cat that the other pet is not prey. If, after a while, you consider getting a new playmate for your new cat, proceed as described above in the same way as for animals that already live in your home. In older cats or cats that have been poorly socialized or have behavioral problems, they should rather refrain from this thought. This is done for the benefit of both animals, but above all, the mental well-being of the already existing cat. Of course, it can also happen that a cat has lived with a companion for a long time and, for example, he has died. In this case, you should consider very carefully whether you are bringing a second cat or a companion for the cat now living alone into your home. The cat may suffer from separation or being alone, but an incorrectly chosen partner can cause more suffering. The new companion must fit in character and best of all age. Therefore, take enough time to choose this partner and then nothing should stand in the way of a happy connection.
Let’s sum it up!
We already know how to find out if our cat is lonely. We also know what you could do to prevent it or make your friend feel better. You also know that being a good owner doesn’t even mean to only give our pet food and change the litter box. Oh, this litter box! It’s really not the only responsibility we have! We do need to make sure that anytime or pets get lonely we can take care of them properly. So if you see that your cat is lonely, don’t hesitate to help improve their well-being!