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Kitty living alone...

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ever sense I got my sweet Sunshine last July when he was just about 7 weeks old I've been fretting about the pros and cons of having him be an only kitty. I am gone to work all day and am too tired to do much playing with him when I get home; he's still a kitten and needs to play a lot, especially after being alone all day. I leave the front window in my second story apartment open all day (exept in the dead of summer, when I have to put thick insulation in my windows to keep the heat down.) There is a tree outside for him to watch the birdies. Sometimes, I'll open my bedroom window to give him a new view. I've put a kitty tree next to the livingroom window for him to rest on when looking out. I've hung mice from doors, got him lots of toy mice and balls etc. I found him a neato toy that is a big ball with holes in it with a smaller jingle bell inside. I try to find him unique toys whenever I'm at the store. He used to like to play fetch, but now that he's older he doesn't do it much. His favorite fetch toy now is his real-fur mice. I try to take him to his favorite outdoor trail to walk at least twice per month, if not more, when the weather is good (he'll walk on a leash ONLY on these trails.) I take him in his car seat when I go places he can go... which is not very many places now that he's older and sheds like crazy and my mom just got two dogs. I do take him on the occasional overnight stay when I visit out of town. When I go shopping in Vegas he rides in his front pouch carrier... though as he gets older, I'm not sure if he likes it as much as he used to. He seems more shy and timid.

Do you have any advise about keeping a kitty happy when he lives alone, especially when I am too tired to play as hard and long as he needs to in the evenings? I've read so much research about how cats are more social critters than we used to think and I just feel so bad about leaving him alone. I want him to be happy, but am not sure I want another cat. I'd have to stop taking him places most of the time (though I'd try to get them both trained to walk on a leash on the special trail.) I'd have to stop getting him Science Diet and go to a cheaper food. I'm not sure if I could afford a second cat savings for emergeny vet trips.


post #2 of 12
I found a laser light at petsmat that is not really a laser but a sharp strong red dot (safe for pets eyes) and use it to play with my cats. This is much easier on me because I have to exert little to no energy after a long day at work and school and the kitties get tuckered out from chasing it. You might try to find one in your area.
post #3 of 12
That's a tough one.

On one hand...another cat would be perfect for your baby as they would keep eachother busy which could make your kitty a whole lot happier.

On the other hand....if you are at risk of not being able to afford food, then I would say not to.

I personally think that it's better to have your one cat on a good quality food and healthy than have two cats on a "grocery store" food and potentially unhealthy with no left over funds for medical care (if needed).

post #4 of 12
That's a tough question. On the one hand, your cat is young enough to accept a companion, and you could probably solve the problem of quality cat food vs. supermarket food by buying in bulk on the Internet. That of course leaves the veterinary costs.
We have an "only cat" now, because he won't tolerate any feline competition. However, because I'm a teacher, with daytime hours and school vacations, and my husband works late/weekend shifts, JC doesn't get left alone all day. He's an indoor cat with constant access to a secured balcony, and I take him out for a walk on his leash every day. I order cat food from a number of Internet shops, and because I do so for a few neighbors and special-needs shelter cats, I order by the case and get quantity discounts and free shipping and handling. You would obviously have to have enough storage space to do that. If you check out a number of Internet shops and sign up for their newsletters, you'll be able to take advantage of their special offers. In my experience, some vets/animal hospitals will also give "quantity discounts" if you have a number of pets and bring them in together for regular check-ups and inoculations. That said, if your cat isn't exhibiting behavioral problems and basically seems content, perhaps Sunshine is satisfied with the present state of affairs.
post #5 of 12
I think about this too, I have one who was living on the streets for a long time and I dont get the feeling he needs other cats to be happy. But I wonder. I work a regular day and do play with him at night but wonder if another cat would be good. I have limited space and have to consider cost too. Plus I have been allergic to some cats and don't want to push my luck, I feel lucky I am doing ok with this one allergy wise.
post #6 of 12
My kitten is an only cat as well since my apt doesn't allow more than one per. I sometimes feel sad that he is here by himself alot, but he has plenty of toys and good places to nap. When I am home, I try to cuddle with him as much as possible (he likes to curl up on my lap when I study after I get home from school). I hope he's not lonely all day, but then I think of the fact that he now has a good home with everything he needs. I got him from a good but over-crowded shelter where I am sure that he got less attention. I hope that he is as glad to have come live with me as i am for him to be here, even if I cant spend a huge amount of time with him playing... If you can't afford another cat, I would say to just feel good knowing that the one that you have is well taken-care-of. As a suggestion though, my cat gets great fun out of me cooking dinner. As I am standing at the stove cooking, I kick his toys across the linolium for him to chase. He loves it, and when he chases them back in my direction, I send them flying again. Its not alot of work for me, plus I am getting dinner ready at the same time. Or, get a long piece of string and play with him with it from the couch. This also works well if you are trying to study or read... Good luck!
post #7 of 12
I've thought about this too b/c my cat is an only and will probably be one for a while b/c I'll likely be moving out of my roommate's house soon and into my own apartment, which will be a lot smaller. I don't want to smoosh two kitties in a small apartment. I feel better knowing that Cupid sleeps for most of the day, as your kitten probably does too. Eventually I'll need to get a job and start school and he'll be alone more.

He will only play with things that involve me. He will paw a ball around once or twice then get board with it. He'll play with things attached to doorknobs for a few minutes then get bored with it. He will also only stay in the room I am in, so I'm worried he's too dependent on me.

Anyway, I think your kitty will be fine. I've found that when cats are REALLY in the mood to play, they can and will play with just about anything. I've also found that cats like to play mostly at night, when it's their human's bedtime. So I think he'll be getting all the exercise he needs b/c even if you were home ALL day, you would still sleep at night. Just keep toys, trees, etc there for him to play with if he wants to.
post #8 of 12
You could get another pet but not a cat.. something.. cheaper...

get a fishtank with fish that they could watch (get a good cover for it )

a smaller animal, like a guinea pig or even a house rabbit might keep them company as long as they don't play too rough with them. I had a house rabbit for 14 years and loved him. You could keep them in a cage inside and let them lose when you are home. I'd stay away from gerbils or mice as well.. they make a tasty cat snack!
post #9 of 12
I've heard that rabbits and cats make really good friends, and rabbits are cheap to feed, just grow a flat of wheat or oat grass.

post #10 of 12
Rosie is my only baby, and i play with her as often as i can.
I've thought about getting another to keep her company, but i'd hate for her personality to change.

Keep him occupied and he'll be fine.
post #11 of 12
Dori is my only kitty and I too worry about her being lonely. I work full time during the week and have school 3 nights a week. On the nights I have school I don't get home until 10 pm. Another animal is not an option for me right now. She does have a ton of toys but she rarely plays with them. When I am home she seems to be happy and I think she sleeps most of the time I am not there. But there are many times that I just go straight to bed when I get home and feel terrible about it because I haven't seen her all day. I cuddle with her when I walk in the door and she sleeps with me, but I worry about the play time, as I know it is important for kitties.

I did like Kristi's idea about playing with her while cooking dinner. It made me realize that there are so many times that I could play with her while I am doing other things, so I have been working on that. Her favorite toy is a really long string, she is happy when I just drag it along the floor when I walk around!
post #12 of 12
One thing I do on weekdays is to get up much earlier than I have to so that JC gets his cuddles and games. My husband says he watches out the window for a while after I leave, and then goes back to bed. I started doing it because JC only likes to cuddle in the a.m.. The idea with the rabbit isn't bad. When we first got JC, our next-door neighbors had two rabbits and a ferret (in addition to their dog), and JC liked to play with all of them in the backyard. Unfortunately, one rabbit has died, the other moved out with the oldest daughter, and the ferret was given to a friend because she was destroying the wires, hoses, etc., in the house.
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