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Do cats get lonely?

(13 Posts)
derektheladyhamster Wed 20-Aug-14 15:05:22

We've had our cat for 4 years, and during that time I worked part days 3 times a week. Since Easter however I've had a full time job, and the cat seems quite put out by this!

I have long summers off work and since July he's demanded food at all sorts of silly times (dry food is always down, it's the 1 pouch of wet food he wants), I will give him the food after about an hour of him constantly meowing and dashing into the kitchen everytime I look like I'm going to leave the living room, but often he'll only eat half of it. And then an hour later acts like he needs food again!

We went on holiday for 10 days and since then he's been even worse. He follows me around a lot more than he did when I worked part time.

I'm back at work next week, so he'll get his pouch of wet food when I get in (about 5pm) and hopefully he'll get back into a routine.

Normally he's very laid back, we got him at 20 weeks and he'd been born into a family of 4 adult cats + the kittens, he's not territorial and quite happily tolerates other cats in the garden, and as a young cat had a very close cat friend - they'd always be together doing cat things.

In a very roundabout way, do you think he'd be happier with another cat in the family? My only concern is that he might get bullied by another cat (bit of a wimp)

JuniperTisane Wed 20-Aug-14 15:07:15

He's not Burmese type is he? They are notorious for wanting company, chatting, following you around etc?

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 20-Aug-14 15:07:27

But my cat is lonely for human company when we're away.
When he was with another cat he was ambivalent.

marne2 Wed 20-Aug-14 15:09:44

We have one cat, he never seems to get lonely, he will chose to sleep all day upstairs, will come down late afternoon for a cuddle ( with me or the dog ) and then go out.

Hassled Wed 20-Aug-14 15:10:53

I have 3 cats, and I don't think any of them actually give a damn about whether or not the others are around. They cohabit, but largely ignore each other. Your cat may well be lonely for human company, but another cat wouldn't necessarily help.

shushpenfold Wed 20-Aug-14 15:15:40

We have 2 cats and both are very much family cats - love being with us and pine when we're not there. We have learnt to give attention but not too much when they're really following and miaowing for no reason (on advice from cat behaviourist....yes really!) We also put down a litter tray (despite my protests) and it has significantly helped one of them. She hardly uses it but on rainy days, she does prefer to not get too wet and it stops her following us and best of all, stops the occasional wees on in the washing/ironing baskets! We also make sure that we keep them out of the hall when we're not there as there are too many doors.....apparently timid cats hate having several exits/entrances to guard at once and will get worried by them. Smaller run around space helps. Good luck. P.S. NO idea about another cat but gut reaction is that would not necessarily help and could make it worse.

derektheladyhamster Wed 20-Aug-14 15:20:42

I do think that the lack of routine is bothering him, the fact that we're now in and out at all times (during the holidays) I think he'll be much more settled when we leave in the morning, come home in the evening/after school and then he gets his prized wet food.

Settled until the next school holiday however!

It is nice to hear that cats tolerate other cats but don't 'bond' as such with them

patienceisvirtuous Wed 20-Aug-14 15:26:13

It's a tricky one. We both work full-time and have a house cat; we worried she was lonely all day on her own. Against objective advice that another cat probably wouldn't help, we got one anyway. A kitten of the opp sex is supposedly a good idea (least threatening, as per advice online) as it turns out we found out she is the same sex but as they get on it's neither here nor there grin

Anyway, best thing we did. After a stressful start (introducing a new cat to a resident cat isn't for the faint-hearted) but following all the advice re slow introductions, they're best buddies. We often come home from work to find them cuddled up together on the chair.

I know what you mean re being bullied. Our cat is timid. And the kitten dominates her. But she stands up for herself when needs be. And as long as you give them both attention, and have separate food stations and litter trays there'll be no stress re food/toileting.

Why not go to a rescue and see if they have any cats they recommend? You can always trial it. I would do it at a time when you have some time off work though. And you'll need a room to keep the other cat separated for a while.

patienceisvirtuous Wed 20-Aug-14 15:28:19

Ps, what about a food timer, where he can have half a portion at say lunch time, followed by one at tea-time?

That's what we do, because my cat likes to have a serving during the night blush

Here are my two, btw.

FreckledLeopard Wed 20-Aug-14 15:28:29

Our three cats just about tolerate each other but there's an awful lot of hissing, swiping and growling between them. I think they'd be very happy if the other cats left home and they were the only cat!

Two of ours are brother and sister and I had thought that would make a difference, but they loathe each other.

I think cats enjoy human company, but not that of other cats.

BarbaraPalmer Wed 20-Aug-14 15:39:53

we rehomed a pair of cats who were apparently "inseparable"
boy cat used to bully girl cat mercilessly, and pick fights with next door's cat over territory. He was always sporting war wounds and used to spray all over the house to reassert himself. We never saw girl cat.

we ended up rehoming boy cat with a couple who had no other cat, and no nearby cats. boycat is now so much more relaxed, no spraying. girl cat is now confident in her own space, chatty and affectionate, and we see so much more of her. They are both soooo much better as the only cat in the house.

CrimsonSilk Fri 22-Aug-14 21:47:39

My 4 arrived at different times - different ages, different personalities. They live in almost perfect harmony together.

twizzleship Sat 23-Aug-14 17:21:23

mmmm, i think maybe he would feel lonely if he was used to having another cat around? from what you describe it sounds like he's protesting at the change of routine grin

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