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Cat's emotional health

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I assume that most members here have 2 or more cats. but for those who have only 1 cat (example: me), do you worry about your cat's emotional health?? What words of wisdom can you share about solitary cat care? Does guilt rear its ugly head every now and then? I try my best to shower my cat with lots of attention because she's solitary and I work a 40 hour work week. my commute to work is only 30 minutes so that's a plus but still... i don't know. can you help?
post #2 of 17
I did start thinking of getting another cat only last week, but decided not to. The reasons were, i felt that it would have been easier if i were there most of the time, so that Rosie and another cat could bond properly, but like most people, i'm at work all day.

Also,i'd hate for her personality to change as she's such a loving, affectionate cat, and i'd hate it if she thought her nose were pushed out, yet i know that eventually, she would adapt,i think i'm just that little bit scared!.

I always put time aside on an evening to play with Rosie, and it's as if she knows it as well!, as soon as i pick her small sponge balls up she sits waiting at the bottom of the stairs for me to start throwing them up.

post #3 of 17
My family has always had 1 cat at a time. My parents looked on cats/dogs as pets, not members of the family. When I got my own apartment, my roommate and I had 2 cats. When we moved, she took 1 and I took one. I wish now I had taken both, but thats another story.

My cats were always very well adjusted even tho they were solitary animals. I made sure they had something to keep them occupied during the day, and I gave them lots of loving at night when I got home. I would spend the first 30 minutes or so with my cat, then start dinner. After dinner was snuggle time too, but she was a lap cat.

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Susan: I know exactly what you mean

Sandy: What kept the cat occupied during the day?
post #5 of 17
I know what you both man. I have two cats but, I feel so guiltly all the time about leaving them. What do I do?

1. I circulate toys. Even though they have a ton, I only put out three per day and I change it day to day. These must be very safe toys that don't need supervision.

2. I hide cat treats around the house and they are always gone when I get home, and I check to make sure so that nothing spoils.

3. I spread birdseed on my balcony because I know the birds will come for hours and my cats get tons of entertainment.

4. I have 3 covered aquariums, large, medium and tiny. The size doesn't really matter. The activity of the fish really capture my cats' attention. Just make sure there is no way they can move the tank or stick their little paws inside...

I hope that maybe I gave you some new ideas!
post #6 of 17
What brilliant ideas you've gave us!.

Rosie has a stack of toys, and only just last night i found her playing with one that she's never touched in months!, so i'll take a few away and keep changing them over.

Also hiding her treats is a good idea. And she goes beserk trying to catch rain drops so the bird seeds a good idea as well.

I've thought of getting a goldfish, as a chap in my office got one and said his cat could'nt take his eyes off it!!

post #7 of 17
My solo cat used to love balls so she always had 2 or 3 in the kitchen. The kitchen has a large open floor for her to chase them around. She also had several windows she could sit in. When I lived in my last apartment, my landlady used to ask what she was chasing cause she would run from 1 end of the apartment and back. It was just the birds outside.

A crazy-circle is wonderful! Its self contained with a ball inside for them to chase around the track.
post #8 of 17
LOL! This makes me laugh, because if Rosies having one of her mad half hours upstairs, she runs from room to room, and it's like hearing a child running around than a cat!
post #9 of 17
Whenever my one cat goes crazy running everywhere as if he is chasing something, I always think that it is my little angel kitten, Lilly, that I lost a few months ago coming back to play with my new cat..

Just a thought.
post #10 of 17
Oh! And I also have windowsill attachments that my cats can sit on to view the outside world. You can also get these at Petsmart and petco and other smaller retailers. Mine are really pretty fabric that the cats can get cozy on.
post #11 of 17
I swear by the ball bin. A large cardboard box, with cat-sized holes cut in the side (off the ground level) and a few ping pong balls tossed in. My cats spend hours in their ball bin, and Mike is going to build a real one for them upstairs in the cat room this summer. My idea is to put a small cat condo in the corner, then build up sides of the condo at the bottom using plexiglass. Cut holes (ping pong ball size) in the condo levels, so the cats can carry the balls up the post and drop them through the holes below to the enclosure- sort of like Kitty golf- will it work? I don't know, but I am anxious to put it to the test.
post #12 of 17
I only have one cat. I also am empathetic to c1atsite's general situation. I'm basically in the same boat. I work 40 hours and have a 30-minute commute. When I leave for work in the morning, she runs to the door, lays on the floor, and meows at me. When I get home, she runs to the door to greet me. I always make time for her when I get home. After dinner, I also will play with her. She loves to play and will constantly try to initiate playtime until I do so. I have a variety of different toys; scrunchie (her favorite), balls, string, pens, wooden clothes pin, etc. I know she does play when I'm at work because toys have been moved.

I did notice one behavior problem related to NOT getting attention. I was ready to play with her and she got into her normal stalk position. Then the phone rang. During the time on the phone (45 minutes), she kept waiting...and waiting..and waiting. As time passed she made her presence better known by lightly nipping my hand and arm. Eventually, she "demanded" attention and charged me. She immediately calmed down and returned to her normal "happy cat" self once I started playing with her.
post #13 of 17
We had an older male cat who was very "social", meaning he brought his friends home for dinner all the time, when we adopted JC at ten weeks. JC never made up with him, although Straycat really made an effort with him, and attacked any visiting cats (most don't come around any more). We can't allow him to see any other cats at the vet's office, as he becomes a maniac. After our older cat died, we thought we'd try to introduce an orphaned 6-week-old kitten. We followed all the prescribed steps, and thought things were going to work out. The first time JC felt he wasn't being supervised (I was in the next room), he decided to try the "death bite" on the kitten. Luckily I got to the kitten in time, but it had to be rehomed. So a second cat is definitely out of the question. Luckily JC doesn't have to spend too much time alone because of our different work schedules.
It's just cats (and young children) he doesn't like - dogs, ferrets and rabbits (provided the latter are as big as he is) are perfectly acceptable to him.
Straycat had lived on the fringes of a feral cat colony for about eight years before we took him in, which would explain why he so readily accepted other cats. It used to be funny going to feed him in the morning, and finding that 6 or 8 other neighborhood cats had come in the cat flap and expected breakfast, too.
post #14 of 17
My parents have had ChiChi for 15 years (since I was 16) and she's been an only cat for about 12 of those years and she is just fine! I guess it depends on the cat. I felt really bad every time I'd go to work and leave Zoey alone because she would chase me before I left for work and she would eat her toys during the day when I wasnt there Now that I have Saki she is STILL affectionate with me, even more so but she also doesnt complain when I leave for work anymore

I would just do as the others suggested. Make sure there are cat trees and plenty of toys for kitty to play with during the day. Although they usually SLEEP during the day so I wouldnt feel that bad about leaving kitty alone. I'm sure you give her lots of attention at night.
post #15 of 17
I guess its like having only one child - some times they win and sometimes they lose! How can you miss what you have never had? If the one cat gets quality time and real affection they should be as stable as the next!!!!!sometimes it is difficult with more than one (who just do not get along at all together, tolerate rather than like) you have to split the play times and the scritches time and all the other little things between them.
post #16 of 17
The “only child†concept is something I had not considered. If you never knew something existed, how can you miss it? Between TCS and some others I know who have cats, they continually suggest introducing a second cat because cats are social creatures and need social interaction. I do know several people that only have one cat and they aren’t planning to get another one any time soon. My cat definitely loves to socialize with me and other human company. Does it matter where the socialization originates as long as the cat is receiving it?
post #17 of 17
I have 8 cats and I still feel guilty about leaving them alone. They know when I am getting ready for work, Amber will follow me from room to room. What makes it even worse? When you back out of the drive and see one or more of your cats sitting in the front window looking at you like...where are you going?
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