Behaviour

Lonely cat? What can I do to make my cat feel less lonely?

Bengal cat sat on a table

Is your cat lonely? Here’s how to tell

Are you afraid that your cat lonely? Is your furry friend meowing or lonely at night or during the day? Identify the factors using our guide and use our solutions to make your lonely cat a happy cat!

Our guide will tell how to tell if your cat is lonely and what you can do to make them feel better based on scientific research and veterinarian advice.

Some cats will happily go out and about, then return home and demand that you feed them, before leaving again.

Meanwhile, another common scenario is that your cat is staying in and not eating. Worse still, your feline friend might be tearing things up your house. A less than ideal scenario.

There are many signs you can use to identify if your cat is lonely. We’ve compiled a list of common signs and ways to address them, below.

How to tell if your cat is lonely

There are some basic and straightforward reasons why your cat might be lonely. Such as:

  • meowing at night
  • cat or dog friend died
  • a human friend moved away or the cat changed home

If your cat has experienced any of the above, then it may be obvious that your cat is lonely. However, other symptoms of a lonely cat include:

Stress

Just like dogs, cats tend to overgroom themselves when they’re stressed.

You should be on the lookout for excessive licking. However, if your cat doesn’t groom itself when you’re around, be cautious about giant furballs being thrown up. When a cat throws up large furballs, it’s a sign that they’ve been overgrooming, which is caused by stress.

Another sign of stress and that your cat is lonely is that they will always look for attention. If you find that your cat meows a lot for food or wants a fuss, it could mean that they’re getting bored.

Instead of meowing, some cats might choose not to eat their food until their owner is back home. If that’s the case, it could be a big indicator that your cat is stressed and lonely.

Separation anxiety

Have you ever been over greeted by your cat? The times you come in from work and your cat doesn’t want to leave you alone? It could be a big sign that they’re lonely when you’re not around.

Other signs of separation anxiety in cats are:

  • vomiting (in your presence)
  • destructive behaviour
  • scent-marking inside the house
  • not using the litter tray
  • urinating on your belongings

A clingy cat is a lonely cat

Do you find yourself tripping over your cat? A significant telltale sign of cat loneliness is when a cat is overly clingy, getting in your way and being very demanding.

Not only is this likely to get fur sticking all over your trousers, it’s a sign that your cat is lonely and wants your attention.

In this case, we recommend finding ways to distract your cat through new and more challenging toys, giving them food puzzles, more playtime, or by playing soothing sounds.

Read on for more solutions!

Solutions to make a cat feel less lonely

Make them feel at home

Just like us, cats love having a roof over their head and a comfy place to sleep. Our first solution to make a cat feel less lonely is to make sure that they have a place to snuggle and sleep. Ideally, somewhere where they can see the whole room or the outside, as cats love being the dominant species.

If you’re using a blanket or pillow, make sure that your cat has a scratching post as to ensure that they don’t sharpen their claws on your furniture after waking up!

Soothing sounds

Some cats simply don’t like silence or certain noises outside. For example, Coco (my Bengal cat), had a fight with another cat while a rubbish truck was driving past. Since then, whenever she hears the noise that the truck makes, she gets stressed and starts to growl. I can only imagine how she must feel when no humans are home and she can’t reach the source of the noise.

Whether it’s a natural development or caused by a previous life of an adopted cat, a solution is to play some classical music or TV in the background.

I also know of dog owners who leave the radio on for their pups. This will help distract your feline friend from other things going on in their surroundings, and will keep their mind distracted; thus, making your cat feel less lonely.

Catnip sock hunting

You said whattt? That’s right! Buy your cat some dry catnip, take a pinch and put it inside of a rolled-up sock. Place your socks in a few areas around the house and rest assured your feline best friend will have plenty to do while you’re away.

Not only will this activity keep them distracted, but they’ll also be moving and exercising for hours! If your cat gets bored of this trick, be sure to spread its use out over time and only allow them to play like this every few weeks.

Another thing you can do is leave some treats around the whole house. To make it challenging for Coco, I place dry treats on drawer handles, windowsills, inside cardboard boxes and on top and inside of her play towers. When I’m gone, I know she’ll be hunting around the house, stretching to reach the treats.

Furry friends

Some cats simply need some social interaction and more playtime – whether that’s a paper ball or plenty of toys, they need things to keep them occupied.

If you have a house cat and work long hours, the only solution might be to get them a full-time feline friend! It can be challenging to add a new pet to the family, particularly if your cat is already grown up and used to ruling your whole empire. However, once they’re used to each other, they’re bound to be best friends that will keep themselves occupied while you’re away.

We have written an article on how to introduce two cats together.

Interactive toys

If adding another cat to your household isn’t an option to make your cat less lonely, then consider getting interactive toys. Whether it’s an automatic food-dispensing toy or a chasing toy, they’re bound to keep your cat moving!

Think about it; would you want to sit around on the couch for 12 hours a day with no friends? Then still be expected to sleep the whole night. Cats crave stimulation, just like humans. Interactive toys are more expensive than classic toys, but the cost will ensure your cat feels less lonely during the day.

If you introduce a food-dispensing toy, the added bonus will be that their eating will be spread out across the day – maintaining healthier digestion and weight, especially those that make them chase their food!

I’ve personally tried a Kickstarter product called Varram, but there are plenty of others out there. Alternatively, you could try teaching your cat a few cat tricks!

About the author

Kacper Jednorowicz

Hi, I'm Kacper! I have a four-year-old female Bengal cat, called Coco. She's an active and friendly indoor cat that lives with us in the UK, but also enjoys several hours a day in the garden. Just like any responsible and loving cat owner, I want to ensure that she's a happy and healthy cat! My articles cover guides and reviews based on professional vet advice, our own experiences with Coco and plenty of research!

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Our furry friend is a four-year-old Bengal girl called Coco – she’s crazy, has plenty of energy and is VERY noisy!

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