Feline Wellness

Is Your Cat Lonely?

May 13, 2024

While you go off to work or school, your cat is home all day and it’s normal for them to get bored or a little lonely when nobody else is around. While they are often perceived as solitary creatures, they definitely are not. Cats typically enjoy having people or other animals around and when the rest of the family is out having fun, your cat may feel a little left behind. 

Here are some signs that your cat is feeling lonely:

Decreased Energy

If your cat is sleeping more than usual or playing less often, they may be feeling depressed or lonely. You’ll want to rule out any medical issues, but if the vet deems them otherwise healthy, they may be feeling bored or blue.

Litter Box Troubles

If your cat has stopped using the litter box, that is a sign that they are feeling stressed and are making you aware.

Overgrooming or Not Grooming

If your cat has groomed themselves to the point where they have bald spots OR have stopped grooming and have developed matts, they are likely stressed or depressed.

Acting Extra Clingy

If your cat becomes extra clingy and can’t bear to be apart from you, they are likely feeling lonely and they want more attention and time with you.

Vocalizing More

If your cat suddenly becomes more vocal than usual, it could be a sign of loneliness or distress. 

Weight Loss or Gain

Just like humans, lonely cats may experience changes in their eating habits, either eating more or less than usual. 

Sleeping More Often

Lonely cats may sleep more often if there’s nothing to do or nobody around while they are awake.

Hiding Out

While it seems counterintuitive, a lonely cat may hide out and avoid interaction. 

Destructive or Aggressive Behavior

Lonely cats may act out and claw furniture, chew cords, or act aggressively toward other people or animals in the home if they have pent up negative energy. 

How to Help a Lonely Cat:

Spend Quality Time Together

When you are home, spend quality time with your cat. This means being actively engaged with them. Play with them for 10-15 minutes and really tire them out. Groom them, cuddle with them, feed them treats, and show them how much you love them.

Provide Enrichment

When you are not home, try to keep them occupied and engaged with Cat TV or classical music. The sounds will help them feel less alone and drown out any unwanted household or street noises. 

Hang bird feeders by their favorite window so they can watch and listen to birds and tiny critters outside. 

Buy a cat tree with multiple levels, cubbies, ropes, and scratch posts. Cats love being high up and surveying their surroundings. You can also buy shelves for your cat and fun tunnels or bridges to connect them into a very fun cat wall.

Interactive Toys

Give them something to do that forces them to use their brain and solve puzzles. Interactive toys and puzzle feeders are great as the cats get rewarded with a treat when they figure it out. Interactive toys make them solve a problem, which keeps them active and engaged. 

Adopt Another Pet 

If you are able, adopt another pet. Many cats are happiest with another cat in the home. They can play, groom, cuddle, and nap together. Even if they don’t become the best of friends, they enjoy having another cat around. 

If you notice signs that your cat is lonely, it's essential to spend more quality time with them, provide plenty of enrichment, and possibly consider getting another pet to keep them company. We know you love your cat, but you have a life outside the home while their whole world is YOU. It’s your responsibility to make sure your cat is happy and fulfilled so you can enjoy many more years together filled with love.

Love, Nala