The answer is quite simply yes and no. In the wild, cats (and other members of the feline family, including tigers and lions) have solitary and territorial instincts. They don’t like to share their place with other animals.
Due to their wild (solitary and territorial) instinct (and cats’ independent nature and ability to hide their emotions), many believe cats don’t need a companion and can live or survive independently. It may be true about wild cats, but what about our domestic feline friends?
Do Domestic Cats Get Lonely Without Another Cat?
As mentioned earlier, the answer can be “Yes” or “No.” Though domestic cats may not be as social as some other pets, our felines are much less solitary and territorial than their wild counterparts.
However, a cat will get lonely or not depending on its personality, temperament, and environment he is living. Generally, cats develop a strong bond with their owners. Cats love to be around them, spend time with them and play with them.
Many cats miss their owners when they are alone at home. Some cats even develop separation anxiety when they can’t see their favorite person for long. Other cats are so social that they can go well with other pets (like dogs, rabbits, etc.)
So if you own a highly social cat, he will feel lonely and sad when no one is around or he has nothing to do. However, if your cat is a loner or introvert by nature, he will not mind being alone.
How To Know If Your Cat Is Feeling Lonely?
If a cat feels lonely, he will show the following behavioral symptoms. However, all cats may not necessarily have all the signs; the presence of any few of these indicates that your feline friend needs a companion.
- Usually, cats don’t make noise; they make noise only when they want to attract your attention. It could be because they need food and water or want you to spend time with them. The third option is valid when their first two requirements have already been met.
- Change in eating behavior can also be a sign of loneliness. It can go both ways, which means if a cat’s appetite increases or decrease suddenly, it could be due to loneliness.
- A lonely or anxious cat will spend more time grooming itself than usual. It is a catty way to kill time.
- A lonely cat will start avoiding the litter box and pee outside, on the floor, carpet, sofa, etc. Again it’s their way of attracting your attention.
- If your playful, cool, and calm cat suddenly becomes aggressive and tries to bite you, it indicates that he is unhappy and needs someone to spend time with him.
If you don’t respond timely, a cat that is left alone for a long can become destructive. Your cat may start chewing electrical cables, scratching furniture, or even tearing off the sofa, curtain, bed sheets, clothes, etc.
Point To Remember
It’s crucial to remember that all the signs mentioned above can also be due to other reasons (or medical issues). You must know how your cat usually behaves and never forget to seek a vet’s advice.
How You Can Prevent Your Cat From Getting Lonely
If you think your cat is getting lonely, the best option is to arrange a companion for him. It can be another cat or another pet that can go well with cats and vice versa.
Suppose you want to avoid adding another pet due to a lack of space or affordability issues. In that case, you can take the following steps to keep your cat busy and make him avoid loneliness.
Spend at least 15-20 minutes, twice daily, with your feline friend.
Take him out for a walk.
Arrange a lot of cat toys.
Rotate the toys regularly.
Providing food puzzles or hiding food items in different places is a great way to keep your cat busy when you are not at home.
Wild cats are solitary and territorial, but domestic cats are different and social. So domestic cats do feel lonely, get bored, and may develop anxiety when left alone in the home.
The best way is to provide enough entertainment, or bring another cat or pet, that your feline friend spends time with and doesn’t feel lonely.