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How much do they miss US-as individuals?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I am wondering how attached cats get to their owners as individuals. I mean as opposed to just needing petting or needing company in general.

I have one cat, I have had him about 2 months. Lately he gets really sullen when I am getting ready for work. I think he has figured out when I walk around closing windows and turning on the radio to classical music (I do that for him)I am going to be gone all day. He goes to my place on the couch and sits there looking sad. Doesn't even run to the door when I open it.

Now my question is, does he miss ME or just the chance to go outside for 8 hours (I don't let him out if I am gone) I can't figure it out, and if a cat companion would help. I have pretty much decided to not get another right now for various reasons.

But actually just curious about cat pshychology. Do they really create unique bonds with people? Or just need stimulation and routine? I mean mine is very outgoing and I could see him being happy in any home. He does seem to come to me if I call him or go out to get him and I feel it's cause it's ME and he would maybe walk up to a stranger he wouldn't want to go home with them...
post #2 of 11
I read something on the 'net that gave a lot of answers about this sort of thing. I'm sure there are many different views, but here's one.

"Cats are aware that a familiar person/cat is absent and may search for that person/cat. It may change an established hierarchy as well as being the absence of a familiar companion. It is not grief in the human term, but the sudden absence of something familiar is distressing to many cats.

The absence of a familiar part of the environment causes sadness. The continued absence of that person or thing can lead to stress. In the context of a bereavement, this stress is termed grief.

As with affection, humans must analyse exactly what causes and sustains human grief before arguing that animals do not feel a comparable emotion. Grief is a reaction to the sudden absence of something or someone which caused happiness/satisfaction."

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, that is a good article and your point is wise i think.

I do think we put human emotions on them that don't exist for them, but still....they know and feel things.

It's funny it's not always what we would expect, for instance I just read how cats will sometimes go to the lap of a person who doesn't "mess with them" as much, thus perhaps the cat hater in the room! And bypass the lap of the person who loves them the most! My cat does that, he will jump on my lap and I give him a scritch and a hug and he leaves like "ah, that's enough"
and jumps off. He used to jump on my lap all the time!
post #4 of 11
Based on my experience, I would say cats do miss us as individuals. My girls are outdoor and indoor and whenever I must leave them for more than 24 hours, every single person that has taken care of them in my absence tell me they show how much they miss me. Oh, they eat their meals, and the regular stuff; but one thing, they would sit, nap and even meow infront of my bedroom door. They would look at it expecting me to come out any moment. They do this everyday in the morning and at night while I am gone. I hope it never occurs to them to look for me outside the property!
post #5 of 11
Guinness knows when I am going to work because this is the only time that he tries to bite me or even bite my coat / bag! He has been doing this for a few months now (I have had him since beginning of December). He will also run to the front door when I am leaving and flop all over the place for a stroke, it is quite cute yet I know he does not want me to leave.

He also hates it when I am in the bathroom too as he scratches under the door. Sometimes during the night, he sticks his toys under my door lol. I have this wand with feathers on the end that he has somehow managed to work out how to stick under the door. He just wants to wake me up so I can play!

So yeah, I do think they miss us
post #6 of 11
Yes, I truly believe that our cats miss us when we are gone. Mine are always at the door greeting me as soon as I get home. I work shift work, so when I am on afternoons, our cats are most happy. I am home in the morning, but when I leave for work, my wife comes home about an hour later, so she is there with them in the evening. Then I get home at night,so they have a lot of time with us. But, when I go to day shift, my wife and I both leave at about the same time, so they are home alone for a good 9 hours. I can really see that Amber is very upset, now that I have gone to days. She has been sulking this whole week. I am not here to play with her all morning. She is happy today, because I am home with her.
post #7 of 11
For your answer, look at your cat's behavior when you get home from vacation. Depending on how long I've been gone, I either get the cold shoulder, or they're all over me demanding love. So yeah, I'd say they miss me. They've had all their basics met. And my caretaker is even willing to sit and play with them. But its not ME .

post #8 of 11
Tiki actually has conversations with us. If I come home and she's sleeping and has missed us, she'll turn her head upside down and meow (kind of like she's asking "you're home?" If we make noises back at her, she'll continue to talk back.

She definitely acts differently when we've been gone. She's much more affectionate. And she likes my girlfriend and I, but she's afraid of strangers, so she **definitely** knows the difference between individual people.
post #9 of 11
Without a doubt they miss us.
I just posted this on another thread regarding the noises cats make. Rosie makes these chattering noises to me nearly every morning while i'm getting ready for work as if to say 'dont leave me', but the strange thing is she doesn't really do it on weekends, even if i go out for a couple of hours. It's as if she knows that i won't be long until i'm back home?!.

When i've been to work all day, the minute i switch the alarm off i can hear her crying. The first thing i do before i even take my coat off is to go and let her out where she weaves in and out my legs purring, but if i'm only gone a couple of hours, she's still napping!
post #10 of 11
Since my two cats are scared to death of any other human being (they run in terror and hide if they hear a strange car driving in the driveway), I know that it is me they miss when I'm gone. Yet one of them would sit on my lap twelve hours a day, I think, if I'd let him he is such a lap kitty. And the other is always so starved for petting that I've timed it and he will ask for up to a consecutive 45 minutes of petting before he signaled it was okay for me to quit. (Meaning he no longer reacher for my hand or gave me another head bump.)

Both of mine had been strays, and I suspect at least one of them had been subject to abuse in his early years. But their current total dependence upon me for human interaction does present a problem when I leave. I plan to be gone for two weeks this summer, and know they are going to be two very unhappy kitties.
post #11 of 11
Actually - I think it depends on the cat.
I have had cats over the years who have been real "people" cats.........tolerated friends feeding them if we were away, but didn't interact with them, and one special boy who moved around a lot with us and really didn't care where he was at as long as he had his people. These cats tend to make eye contact and "talk" to you other than just for food.
I have had other - equally loved - cats who really couldn't care less who fed them or whose lap they sat on. They tended to be very "place" orientated and didn't deal so well with moving.

Breed qualities also differ.......Siamese are particularly inclined to bond with one person. Many have been known to grieve and pine if their owners dies even if remaining in the same environment.
They are all different.......much like folks!
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