Have you ever walked out the door to go to work and wondered if your cat missed you while you were gone? Cats are rather famous for being independent, solitary creatures with maybe just a bit of an attitude (okay, a lot of attitude). Despite common misconceptions though, cats can get lonely sometimes. If you’re wondering how you can tell, here are some warning signs that your cat is lonely.
Excessive or Increased Meows
Your cat’s meow can tell you a lot. Specifically, if she generally doesn’t meow all that much but suddenly starts to vocalize, she may be lonely. Different cats will use different tones for meowing, and some may howl or yowl as they wander the house. Pay attention if your kitty starts meowing a lot more, as she may be trying to tell you she’s lonely.
Your Things are Being Destroyed
Are your favorite shoes suddenly full of teeth marks? Is your couch in shreds one day? Destroying things can be one way that cats will let their humans know that something is off. In fact, if your cat starts clawing things he shouldn’t be, you may want to give him some extra love and see if that helps calm his destructive behavior. He may be signaling to you that’s he’s lonesome and needs your attention.
Sudden Hair Loss
Cats are known for being clean animals and will groom themselves several times throughout the day. Typically, healthy grooming won’t lead to an excessive loss of fur. However, if your cat is lonely, she might start to groom herself too much. When this happens, look out for bald spots or more hairballs than usual. This will alert you that something’s up, and you can try giving her some extra cuddle time to see if this alleviates the behavior.
Sleeping Too Much
Yes, cats require lots and lots of sleep. It’s not unusual for me to spot my own cat napping several hours at a time, multiple times per day. If you find that your cat is sleeping even more than normal, this may indicate that he is lonely. Try to entice him when he’s up and about with his favorite toy to show him that you’re paying attention to him.
You Have a Kitty Shadow
Cats might follow their humans around the house on a whim or if they want to play, but generally they don’t follow us constantly. If your cat starts becoming your small, furry shadow, she might be trying to tell you that she’s lonely. It’s nice to enjoy extra time with your cat, but not at the expense of her feeling lonesome!
Some of these signs of loneliness can apply to other issues, including health problems, so be sure to keep an eye on your cat if you notice them. Try to spend some extra time petting your cat, if he enjoys that, or waving around her favorite toy for a few extra minutes a day. Of course, you do need to leave the house occasionally, but being proactive about preventing loneliness can help your cat and ensure you experience less guilt when you have to leave kitty home alone during the day.