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Do cats get lonely?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
hi there!

It's been a while since I last visited. I'm currently cat sitting my neighbour's 3 year old Persian. He has a gorgeous temperament and is generally really chilled. My neighbours have been gone since Sunday and I've noticed that every time I come round that Whisper comes dashing down the stairs to greet me and doesn't leave my side all the while I am there. It's gotten to the point where he's almost tripped me up in his eagerness to stay with me. Also, when I leave, he gives me such a sad look that it breaks my heart to leave him. As much as I would love to take him home with me to take care of, but I can't as I don't think my 2 furbabies would appreciate it!

You always hear how cats are supposed to be solitary creatures but I think whisper might be lonely. Can this be possible?
post #2 of 14
I wouldn't bet against you.
post #3 of 14
It sounds like he is lonely, poor guy.
post #4 of 14
Yes, they defninitely get lonely. My solitairy cat always bugs my roommate for scritches when I'm gone for more than a couple of days. Ordinarily she'd never go back to my roommate's bedroom.
post #5 of 14
Is this the first time that Whisper has been left?

I think "loneliness" depends on the cat's temperament. My first cat wasn't very social, and as long as the food was there and the litter box cleaned daily, she didn't mind when I left her. Several of my sitters tried interacting with her, but they reported that she wanted no part of them.

However, my current boy is the most social cat I've ever met. He just loves people, especially anyone who will fuss over him. Since I'm retired now and home all day, when I go on vacation next month I have someone who will actually live in the house to "sit" for him. But since she goes to work, I also have a neighborhood teen who will come in each day just to "love" him for an hour. There's no way that I could just have sitters come in for him as I did for my first cat. If I hadn't been able to make these arrangements, I had planned to board him at a local pet "spa" where I could have paid to have someone play with him each day.

So you might want to tell this cat's people when they return that you think the cat is lonely. This might be a case where it would be better to board the cat that leave him alone with a sitter.
post #6 of 14
I think they do get lonely. When we leave for work, Nova lays in front of the door as a kitty barricade, and she refuses to move. She also does like your neighbor's cat and runs to the door when we come home, and follows us around. Maybe it happens more in homes where there is only one cat.
post #7 of 14
I'm a professional pet sitter (have been for over 10 years) and often see this behavior. I certainly think they get lonely and would say that Whisper sounds like he misses his "mom and/or dad." The more you sit for him though the less he'll act like that. It helps if you're able to go in and out at about the same times everyday. They get less panicky when they know when to expect you. For that reason, I generally do things in the same order at all my sits. Animals like the predictability.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
No, this will be the third time he's been left. I've looked after him everytime they have gone away (and they look after my girls when I go away). However, the first time, he had a friend - a chocolate persian called Mr Scrappy. Sadly Scrappy ran away back in June and never came back

The second time I looked after him was about a month ago. Whisper was a little bit clingy but not enough to cause me concern.

I know I am a bit of a soft touch when it comes to cats but you've all pretty much confirmed my fears that he really IS lonely. I only live next door so it isn't a problem for me to spend a lot of time around there (my husband keeps our girls company when I am out ) I'm seriously considering spending a couple of nights over there just so that he has a lot of company...

Is there anything I can do to alleviate his feelings of loneliness? I try to go around at the same times everyday - 7.45am til 8.30am, 6.45pm til 8pm, 10pm to 11pm. He is such a sweet little boy and I really do enjoy spending time with him. I just hate leaving him when he looks so sad

I should also mention that my neighbours and I are very good friends and we spend a lot of time going in and out of each other's houses so all the cats know us quite well
post #9 of 14
Sometimes they just want the routine and presence of their family. I know it's hard! I see it frequently too! All you can do is your very best. I might try giving treats or cat nip on your way out of the door to soften your leaving.
post #10 of 14
I would just give him extra hugs, kisses, and attention when your there! Exhaust him with play and annoy him with love till hes had enough if that's possible! If possible for you to spend a night with him, it definitely will help. Cats are solitary animals in the wild, but when domesticated, they depend on ritualistic feeding and interaction, some more then others!
post #11 of 14
I often wonder about this with my kitty. At times he seems very happy to be the centre of our world and loves all the attention. But then I sometimes think he would like a play mate and company. Al greats us at the door when we get back. I think he might be lonely at times but not a lot. Cats are quite independent. I will be getting another kitty in the New Year so he won't be on his own for much longer!!
post #12 of 14
Sorry, but this reminds me of when I cat sat for three cats that were once four. They were all cats over the age of 17. Two were the husbands, two were the wife's before they were married to each other. ( was a late in life marriage)

Well, one of the cats passed a few months before I cat sat for them. Fritz was so depressed he meows this lonely meow the whole time I am there. But he won't come down the stairs, he just stood at the top yowling. Than he would sleep, than yowl. I brought his food upstairs so he could eat. He only nibbled.

The thing was it wasn't even the cat he grew up with, the cat that passed was from the wife's pair. It was sooooooo heartbreaking! He was sooooo sad.

The good news is I cat sat about a year later and he had recovered. He had gained back weight and was playful and cuddly. I just hadn't seen anything like it when he lost his friend. He was INCONSOLABLE. I definately think that we will never know the depths that some animals can feel emotion.
post #13 of 14
On the plus side, you could always suggest to your friend that they begin looking for another cat. Maybe another kitty could have a good home!
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by howtoholdacat View Post
On the plus side, you could always suggest to your friend that they begin looking for another cat. Maybe another kitty could have a good home!
That's a brilliant idea! I think I will mention it to them when they come home. Thanks for that

Whisper seems to be a bit happier today - I've given him loads of kisses and cuddles and tonight, we even had tummy tickles! I still feel awful leaving him but at least he doesn't look as sad as he has done
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