Two cats lying down and relaxing together.
Two cats lying down and relaxing together. Photography by AspenPhoto/Thinkstock.

Do Cats Get Lonely or Are They Fine Without Other Cats?

There’s a misconception that cats are curmudgeons who don’t make friends with other cats. So, do cats get lonely and do cats need other cats for company? It comes down to a few different factors, like personality and age.
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Tigers live as solitary hunters in jungles. Lions live in prides in grasslands. But what about our domestic cats? Are they loners like tigers or social like lions? Yes and yes, and no and no — depending on the cat and the situation, experts say. We talked to some of those pros to try to answer the age-old questions: Do cats get sad and lonely? And do cats need other cats?

do cats get lonely? , sad cat
Do cats get lonely or are they fine flying solo? Photography by ivanolianto/Thinkstock.

Do cats get lonely? Or are they happier in single-cat households?

The first step in answering, “Do cats get lonely?” is knowing that domestic cats are solitary when it comes to hunting and eating. Dogs may have a reputation for being more social, but that is only because they hunt in packs. Not so with cats, who don’t like eating too close to each other. Many parents in multi-cat households put their kitties’ food bowls next to each other, but this is a mistake, says Marilyn Krieger, a certified cat-behavior consultant in the San Francisco Bay area. “Cats have to eat, so they will, but they’re not very happy. It’s a little stressful,” says Krieger, who is also known as The Cat Coach.

Outside of mealtime, though, most cats have social needs. While some cats hate their own kind and must be the household’s only pet, feral cats form colonies, and many pet cats befriend each other.

“They have several complex social and cooperative behaviors such as caring for each other’s young,” says Dr. Leticia M.S. Dantas, D.V.M., M.S., Ph.D., a faculty member at the Athens-based University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s Behavioral Medicine Service, and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, says about feral cats. “The confusion comes from the fact that strangers are usually not welcomed. The group is usually formed by a family line — a queen and some of her litter that chose not to leave, not newcomers.”

And what about pet cats? Are cats sad when they’re the only cat in the household? “Domestic cats are a social species,” Dr. Dantas says. “Yes, you can have cats that are buddies because they really like each other and not because they have to be,” Krieger says.

Still, cats are able to survive as solo creatures, Krieger says, even if that isn’t their preference. And adult kitties have a territorial nature.

The answer to “Do cats get lonely?” is likely yes — if they’re kittens.

That territorial nature doesn’t typically kick in until adulthood. Kittens crave playmates, and they especially bond with their littermates. But even if you adopt kittens from separate litters, they will likely become instant besties.

“For most kittens, the way they learn social skills is by interacting and playing with each other,” Krieger says. “Most kittens do quite well together.”

Still, though kittens tend to be more socially flexible, “just with any species, some individuals are born not being comfortable around strangers,” Dantas cautions.

Matching your cat to a second cat

Do you have a cat-hating cat who must be by herself (a situation that might result from a kitty that got separated from her littermates at an early age) or a lonely cat who wants a buddy? It may be difficult to tell, as your cat might be clingy and needy with her human but not necessarily do well with another cat around her, Krieger says. It helps to know the history of both cats — the resident and the potential newcomer — if you want to predict whether the two will get along.

“Having grown up with others is not a recipe for success, since cats are individuals and some of them simply do not get along,” Dantas says. “Cats who are playful with other cats, were socialized to other cats as kittens and throughout their lives and do not have clinical signs of fear or anxiety have more chance of success.”

When choosing a feline companion for your cat, look for one that is a similar age, and therefore has a similar energy level. If you have an older cat, a kitten will torment and pester him with manic energy. “The kitten’s job is to be playful and explore their world and attack things,” Krieger says. “The older cat’s job is to take a nap.” If you have an older cat and want to adopt a kitten, get two kittens so that they can play with each other and let their older uncle relax in peace. Otherwise, look for an older best friend for your adult cat.

Introducing cats

The next question you’ll have when asking, “Do cats get lonely?” is, “How do I introduce two cats?”

“Cats do … form very close bonds with each other,” Kreiger explains. “Even adult cats can become close companions if they are introduced correctly.”

Related: How to Introduce Your Cat to a New Cat

Introduce cats correctly by keeping them separate at first, Dantas says. This lets them get to know each other’s sounds and smells and gives their brains time to hopefully decrease the neuroendocrine stress response. Each cat needs her own food dish and litter area, and positive experiences should come with introductions, like treats.

Getting a new companion for a grieving cat

Are cats sad and do get the lonely— after their longtime feline companion passes on? When a cat dies, the loss leaves a void in both your life and your remaining cat’s life. The question is how soon cat parents — and their resident kitties — should seek new companionship. Dantas and Krieger recommend giving your cat (and yourself) time to grieve and stabilize. This may take a month or several months.

“Cats form bonds, but they only crave the company of the cats they are bonded with,” Dantas says. “A bond cannot be transferred from one individual to another.”

Krieger also discourages bringing in another cat right away. Even though your bereaved cat is lonely; this is stressful for your pet, as the new cat is an alien. “They know this cat is not their buddy,” she says. “They smell different, they look different and everything about them is different.”

Originally published in 2017.

Thumbnail: Photography by AspenPhoto/Thinkstock.

Read Next: How to Make Your Cat Your Workout Buddy

125 thoughts on “Do Cats Get Lonely or Are They Fine Without Other Cats?”

  1. Hi

    We have the opportunity to adopt 3 kittens from the same litter. Grayson, Horton and Ivy. Their Mother was a stray and she was run over and killed after being scared off. Cats Protection are marvellous and helping us prepare. But my husband just wants two – we just lost elderly brother and sister Bob and Frida (19) so are used to two – but he feels three would be too many. I have done calculations on cat food costs, insurance costs and even cat litter costs and can actually reduce our previous costs through subscriptions. My son who is 10 has agreed to go on a feeding and care rota with me, so my husband doesn’t feel there is additional work. Is there a behavioural/science argument for 3 cats over two? (The kittens are 2 brothers and a sister) Would really appreciate your help as we have 2 days to decide! Thank you, Emma

  2. Kimberly Leddon

    I am hoping you can help me. We have a 18 months old male cat and I found female that is now 6 months. We have kept them apart this whole time because when he gets around her he bites her. She is a very scared cat and doesn’t defend herself. Im scared they will never get along. Do you have any suggestions?

  3. Can you help me find more information. I have a 1 yr old rare breed ( Chantilly tiffany) and my step daughter has 2 cats and brings them when she comes to visit. My cat attacks them viciously all the time which I was very very surprised. Also she displays from early age some odd behaviour where she literally beats herself up. I’ve tried everything I can think of to stop her. She does this several times a day. I sometimes think it’s because she can’t get her tail to stop moving when she focuses on it and other times I think it’s because she wants my attention when I busy and many times I try to observe her to understand what prompts this behaviour. I hate when she does what I call her ‘crazy’ it bothers me because I feel it’s unhealthy for her mental health
    Stephanie

    1. Try looking up FHE – Feline Hyperesthesia, see if the symptoms are similar. I have a cat who has had this for years. When it starts to bother her, she screeches, bats at her tail – which twitches, and is angry. When it gets bad for her, I have medication to give her that calms her down. I hope this helps.

  4. Cats most definitely get lonely if they’re by themselves. That’s why it’s better to have my than one especially if they’re indoor cats. After I lost my first cat, I was distraught for quite a while. So my girlfriend went online and found two eight week old kittens at an animal hospital and we immediately hopped in my car and went out and got them. Before I got them home, she made me promise her that I would never let them out. She really didn’t have to because I already knew I wasn’t!
    But anyway, it’s always better to have more than one because while you’re out, they can play with each other and keep other company so you don’t have invest in a lot of toys for them. Of course, there are folks who go to the extreme by having multiple cats. If they want put in the work of having multiple cats, then good for them! Besides, some folks would rather have cats than children.
    My two (are brother and sister American Shorthairs), just turned 11 last week and they’re still just as playful with each other as they were when they were eight weeks old!

      1. Hi Lorraine.
        Wondering if you can give me some advice here.

        I’ve had two cats for 6 years. This past Friday, I had to put Mickey down due to cancer. There is a sad stillness in the apartment. Mickey was always the outgoing cat. Now everything is so quiet and still. I stayed home with other cat Mia all weekend crying my eyes out and bonding with Mia.
        Mia has never been alone. she always had Mickey to keep her company at home. Mia has always been independent. she always slept in the livingroom while Mickey slept on my bed with me.I am not sure if she misses him and it pains me to leave her home alone.

        I rescued Mia first and got Micky a week later to keep her company. All these years Mia would volt off my lap when Mickey approached. She would swipe at him most of the time but not aggressively- more like get out of here!. She didn’t want him near her. But there were a few times when they chased and played with eachother.

        I returned to work today Monday and feel guilty about leaving her alone. I am not sure if she misses him. She’s looked under the bed for him. She is now more affectionate and has slept with me on the bed these past 3 days. I cannot replace Mickey. I am relocating out of state in a few months. It will be much easier to travel with one cat on the plane.

        I am just wondering if I should spend more days at home with her or rush home after work to be with her. Will she get used to being alone? I feel so sad for her. She has a cat tree in front of a window. I left the TV on and treat everywhere for her.
        Thank you Lorraine.

        1. Hi, Lucy. I can empathize with you. I am in somewhat the same situation. I had to put my older kitty down this past week due to untreatable medical issues. My other kitty seems sad and looks for her. It has only been three days and we are both missing Gracie terribly. I’m so close to rushing to the shelter to get another cat, for my sake and hers. But I’m torn. I just read that we both need time to grieve before introducing another cat into the home. Is there a right or wrong answer, I wonder………….

    1. I see you don’t let your cats out?? You have to take them out every once in a while. But get a stroller to take you furbabies out in. My baby is a indoor cat, but she love going outside on the balcony everyday and her and I do get out ever so often. Just for exercise.

  5. After my first cat was killed, I adopted two eight week old kittens from an animal hospital and they’re now 10 years old and I’ve never let them out. I’m very glad I decided to get them both because cats do get lonely, and having two helped replace the loneliness. And even at ten, they still frolic and play with each other like they’re eight weeks old!

    1. So happy to hear you got 2 cats at once. I had 3 rag doll cats. They got along so well. I lost my female rag doll at 5 1/2 years old. She had diabetes. I just lost another one at 13 1/2 years old. The last one is so lost and lonely and very depressed. But I am at the age not to get another cat as I am older. My other cat when I lost the 1st cat was also depressed after her death. He was so determined to find her. But he ended up being very clingy to me and we grieved together. As we grieve with the 2nd ones death. They truly were best of friends! All 3 of them. We NEVER let those cats outside. I truly believe if you have an indoor cat you should NEVER let them outside. I’ve seen to many run over on the streets knowing they were most likely someone’s pet. We are blessed with pets, and Humane Shelters!!!

      1. I understand not wanting to get a kitten or young cat.

        I volunteer at a shelter and it’s so heartbreaking seeing the senior cats over looked. Most that come in to adopt want kittens or young cats.

        However, there are a small group of people that come in especially to adopt the senior cats so they can live out their days in a loving home instead of a cage. ????????

        Please consider adopting a senior cat. ????????

      2. Thanks for sharing your story.I just lost an Ocicàt at age 17. I still have 2 cats that are rescues that get along fine..It is so hard to loose them.Indoor cats do live longer

  6. Oh thats so sad. Her poor little brother been left there all alone, I couldn’t do that. And now you want another one? You didn’t think this through very well.

    1. I agree. Its something I could never do.
      Having the power to separate the kittens is a power a person should not act upon.
      He would have missed her terribly.
      Two cats are as easy as one to take care of.
      I’m shocked that the rehoming centre allowed the kittens to be split up.
      Most wouldn’t.

  7. Cats most certainly do get lonely when you go to work. Especially if you don’t have any toys to play with. They only act solitary and aloof when you’re home because they feel comfortable with you you being there. But for me, I’ve have two ten year old brother and sister American Shorthairs since they were eight weeks old. I found that it was better to get two because they play with each other while I’m out and that relieves the stress of being bored.

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  9. Help your loved one stay social by looking for ways they can get out and enjoy the fresh air with friends–such as in a gardening club or exercise group–or getting involved in the community.

  10. Yes I agree my dog tries to herd the cats at times and it’s a miniature Shepherd the cats clean the dog in the dog cleans the cats I never thought that would be possible but as I am getting older and I am learning I see that it is possible

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  12. When you decide the time is right to get a new friend for your feline companion be sure to introduce them on neutral ground. Pick a place that will be new to both of them and watch carefully how they interact with each other before opting to adopt a companion. That’s usually the best way to ensure success. Putting them in separate carriers but next to one another is a close second as far as ideal conditions go for a first impression. Rule of thumb is it’s only comfortable if both kitties are out of their comfort zone.
    Best of luck!

  13. My kitten had a brother at the pound with her the day I got her. They were playing and were obvious buddies. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel horrible about taking that bond away from both of them. It was a joint decision between my bf not wanting two cats and neither of us wanting a boy. Well she turns four soon and everyday I feel I need to get her a buddy but she is super clingy to me and loves me and all of my attention but she is skittish and scared around others and my sister brought her old mangy cat over and my cat growled and hissed at her nonstop. My cat is a playful type, she wants to play every moment of everyday- she never grew up. I don’t really want another cat but I also don’t want her to live her whole life lonely. I do not want a dog…. Any advice?

    1. Hmm, we went to pick up a kitten which was located out of town. I knew what I was naming our new family addition before I even saw her, she was to be Lola. She would be a buddy for our soon-to-be 1 year old kitten/cat who is male, Cholo is his name. Well, when we arrived to pick up Lola I could not leave her brother behind! There were just the two of them!
      Regrets…don’t ever live with that regret, nor resent your partner for the decision made.
      We have slowly tried integrating our “threesome”(2 months trying) but our year old male wants to eat the 3 month old male. We may yet have success, but there is the possibility this does not work. I do not want to send Nikko, the baby boy packing and he is a cuddler! Lola is no cuddler, but melts you with one sideways look. See our dilemma, your decision at the time is one you need to accept. Your kitten’s sibling has a good home, just not yours ;) be happy!

  14. I wish I had known this. My momma kitty outlived her baby who suffered rear leg paralization and we had to put her down. So momma never saw her best friend/baby again, dead or alive. It’s been 4 years and she’s still grieving. So sad.

    1. You “had to” put her down because of rear leg paralization??? were there other issues??…..I mean…it would probably taken some time out of your days to care for it but wouldn’t it have been beneficial to them both if momma cat was so attached??
      I would have gone about this in such a different manner…but that’s just me I guess….sad ????

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    1. I do rescue. Cats form attachment easily. I had one stop eating after my husband died. She was down to 3.5 lbs before the vet put her on Buspar. Her recovery took 3 months.

      Now o have a cat mourning his brother who drowned. He is nothing but bones and he just started on Buspar. He won’t go outside now and he barely eats.

      Another feral I rescued has an attachment to a dog I’m fostering. The other cats don’t care for him much but the dog absolutely adore him. And he also was attached to the cat that drowned.

    2. Yes I agree my dog tries to herd the cats at times and it’s a miniature Shepherd the cats clean the dog in the dog cleans the cats I never thought that would be possible but as I am getting older and I am learning I see that it is possible

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      1. not the grammar police

        Anonom. if you noticed the CAP typers’ line, the “i” is not in caps, which means they did not know CAPS was on, and this is indicative of a “search n peck” typer method, one who looks at the keyboard to type, then hits enter, then reads the typos afterwards. Are you the grammar police? I suggest you stick to the topic , and not bother people with your pet peeves

          1. Good lord, stick to the subject matter all and stop trolling. So many other sites to troll and police grammar natzis.

  25. Thanks , I’ve recently been looking for information approximately this subject for ages and yours is the best I’ve came upon so far. However, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the source?

    1. This is my answer to the question: EVERYONE NEEDS A FRIEND, by: mariafilkoschmidt
      Our kiddy was alone-Now he has a friend – a real friend -a cat friend. Humans are fine – but not good as an another feline. Another cat walked into the yard – they looked at each other and their friendship got its start. He realized “wow” this one looks like me, and there was an instant joy easy to see. Before long their frriendship was strong – they run, jump and play – she comes over every day. They have created their own play date, she comes every day and is never late. a few hours go by, she goes back home, it’s an instinct; THEY DON’T EVEN NEED A PHONE. That’s why we all strive to have a friend that we look alike.

        1. Come on, does it REALLY matter how spelling, grammar, etc. is? If you have a problem with it, either don’t read comments or get over it. I know how to spell kittie as opposed to kiddie & know which is applicable. Your problem with correcting someone else is YOUR PROBLEM.

          1. matthew hardcastle

            It’s doesn’t matter if spelling or wording is correct as long you can understand the comments. But if it’s legal reasons then yes that wording and contents are truthful then I will stand by that

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  27. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you so much, However I am encountering issues with your RSS.I don’t know why I can’t join it. Is there anybody havingsimilar RSS issues? Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond?Thanks!!

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  29. I have Charlie(cornish rex), who’s 10, Syd, (Austrialian mist) 3, who are best of buds. Mazzee 4(Cairn), Milo(chi) 4, Mya (chi)1 inside and they all sleep together, play together and get onry with each other and were adopted at different times. And its like a mob because they follow us everywhere. I have 2-outside , who i tamed Jack and Petunia, who are probably 6-8 years old. Everytime I take Mazzee out, Jack and Petunia follow us all the way to and from. Neighbors, i am sure think we are all a bit off as they’ve never seen cats follow. All animals are so wonderful.

  30. On leap day 10 years ago (Feb. 29) Mommy Cat gave birth to 7 kittens..
    We lost the 1st born kitten 4 days later, but the others thrived..
    They were born in my bedroom in a big banana box lined with towels & a blanket we had set up & ready..

    We kept all the kittens & 4 years later, I moved out & took with me, 2 of the (now grown) cats, Little Boy & Leo..

    They were absolutely inseparable.. The only thing they never did together was use the litter box at the same time.
    They slept together, they ate together (I had a rectangular bowl for them) they even drank their water at the same time, though they would eat & drink by themselves at times..

    Then just before Thanksgiving, my Little Boy died.. in my arms :(
    I cleaned him up & brushed him thoroughly (he hated to be brushed from the time he was a kitten)
    I wrapped his head in a bandana, gave him kisses & wrapped him in a sheet & blanket.
    I laid him in his carrier until I could find someone to take me to his vet for cremation (I’m disable & don’t drive)

    Leo never left his side, laying in front of the carrier door.. Sadly after a few hours of waiting for a ride, I had no choice but to transfer my Little Boy to my freezer. It was heart wrenching & I cried & told him how sorry I was..

    My frig has the freezer on the bottom (I of course removed everything from the freezer)
    Leo laid by that freezer door the whole time. My Little boy died on a Sunday but I never got anyone to take me to his vet until Tues. morning..
    I couldn’t even go into my kitchen, let alone open the frig or freezer for 2 days.. It was haunting. I lived on snacks I had in a cabinet in my dining room..

    For weeks after, Leo would sit in front of the front door crying & laid in front of the freezer door crying relentlessly..

    It will be a year in Nov. and Leo still cries (me too) and has become so clingy & needy with me. I literally can not go anywhere in my house that he’s not right behind me… NOWHERE!
    In bed at night, he literally lays on top of me with his head buried in my face or neck..

    I feel guilty when I have to go out for appointments or shopping. He sits by the door as I’m leaving & is right there when I come home & come through the door..
    I don’t know if he actually sits by the door the entire time I’m gone, but his litter box & food dish appear untouched when I come home..

    Do cats get lonely? A resounding “YES”
    Do cats grieve? In my opinion & as far as my Leo… “ABSOLUTELY”
    Sometimes I put Little Boy’s wood box with his ashes, on the bed by Leo but oddly.. there is no reaction at all.. I think considering everything else, that is very unsettling to me..

    Everyone tells me to get another cat for companionship but I can’t do that because I never want to go through that heartache again, though I know someday I will when Leo crosses the Rainbow Bridge someday..

    1. Thank you for sharing. We tend to underestimate the range of emotional processes nonhuman animals can experience… especially cats, they are a very misunderstood companion.

    2. What a deep and heart wrenching story, I am crying right now. I am glad you and Leo still have each other.

    3. Thank you for loving your cats so much. All kitties deserve that. I am also grieved for your loss. When I lost my Poodle it took 5 years to get better. Instead of another cat just throw all your love to the one left. Sounds like he needs it too. I have a cat now that I had to save her life for I never wanted to go through this again. It will get better the more love you throw to the kitty you have. Bless you

    4. Yes the grief is unbearable I also dread the day I lose my kitties. But the unconditional love they give me Is priceless and cant feel blessed enough to have them in my life. I will always have two kitties until the day I die as they need me as much as I need them. Share your love and try to be live in the moment! I know it’s hard for us at times but there are many loving cats who need loving people like you,! Prayers for you and Leo????

    5. Yes the grief is unbearable I also dread the day I lose my kitties. But the unconditional love they give me Is priceless and cant feel blessed enough to have them in my life. I will always have two kitties until the day I die as they need me as much as I need them. Share your love and try to be live in the moment! I know it’s hard for us at times but there are many loving cats who need loving people like you,! Prayers for you and Leo????

    6. i have never replied before. I hope you are doing well. I am in a similar situation. I have had cats all of my life and I’m tired of hearing how you are supposed to separate them at first and have their own litter box. Open the darn carrier and let them fend for themselves. They become best friends eating and playing and going at the same time every day. Don’t say this is your last. Keep getting them. Who cares. It’s your life, your happiness, their happiness. It’s just a big bunch of happiness!

    7. I lost one of my babies on Jan 17, 2017. I was so heart broken. I went to friends of strays on March 20, 2017 and a little kitten chose my grandson and myself. He was playing with 2 other kittens but when I held my finger next to his cage he grabbed hold and pulled my finger to his face. He did the same to my grandson. We took him. The next day I had appointment with our vet. As I was sitting in the waiting room I looked over the papers from FOS and I see Orio’s DOB. I started to cry. His date of birth was January 17, 2017. My Case (kaysee) sent him to me. Orio is so loving and so very smart.

  31. When I had my three, Cleo, Arnie and Tripod, I had only one litter box and one food/water dispenser; they got their canned food on a plate. They didn’t seem to mind sharing. They actually stood/sat in line to get dry food or water! Cleo first, because he was the alpha male, then Arnie and finally Tripod. Wish I had a picture of them in line at the dispenser. Very patient, too! Cleo and Arnie were buddies, though sometimes Arnie would hump Cleo in a bid to take over as alpha male–they were fixed–and Tripod was their baby sister. When I brought Tripod home, Arnie hissed at her, while Cleo sat and looked at her, she looked at him–and then she walked up to him and licked his face. Then Cleo’s like, “Okay, she can stay!” Arnie hissed at her for three days until he finally decided she wasn’t leaving, then he tolerated her. When Tripod went into heat before we could get her spayed, Cleo would hump her to get her to shut up awhile. Remember, both boys were fixed. They’re all gone now, and I miss them very much.

  32. Originally I had two cats adopted separately from my niece. Then took in a feral cat from back yard. Took a long time for them to all get used to each other, but it happened. In the past 3 years I lost the original two and the feral cat was by herself with me. I befriended another backyard feral cat who had been fixed throughout a few months. During a very cold spell I made her mine. These two get along so well, you’d think they grew up together. Obviously Baby was grieving and I didn’t realize until I kept Punkin from freezing last winter. We are all thrilled with each other and hope we have many more years together. Helped that I introduced them through the back door and with Baby in a cage in the back yard, which she loves in decent weather while I’m doing yard work. Punkin is content inside now, but Baby still enjoys going out for some fresh air in my arms or her cage. We are a very happy cat family.

  33. one footnote: if one of your cats dies, make sure the other cat(s) get to nuzzle her. they’ll understand death. if you just remove the body (such as euthanasia at a vet), bring the body home so they’ll all know she died, and didn’t desert them thereby creating stress and sadness. sounds odd, but a vet told me cats understand death as we do.

    1. We always fostered oldies, abused and terminally ill cats for a local charity and when it came to one going to Rainbow Bridge we ALWAYS brought them home and ‘laid them in state’ in their bed for a couple of hours so the others all had a chance to nuzzle them and say goodbye before we took them away and buried them. Cats, as all animals do, certainly DO understand death and it does help them to see that their playmate/housemate has gone. Yes, I found they still ‘moped’ and were sad & subdued for a few days but they never went looking for the missing cat. I’ve told my husband that if, heaven forbid, anything happens to me he MUST let our three see my body so they know Mum hasn’t just abandoned them!

    2. So true about letting cats say good bye. We placed our sweet cats in boxes to bury them in our yard. But we let them be in our living room for a while (with some sort of plastic or pee pads under them in their burial box) so that the other cats could say good bye. When they are close, the living cat will go and groom their friend. When they are not close (one of my male cats was a bully to the new female cat so they had to be separated), she hissed (silently, of course!) when she approached his box carefully, but then she knew he wouldn’t pounce on her any more and she could enter that part of the home without fear. Now, we have 4 indoor cats and they all get along well. I let my female grieve a while before bringing in new play mates for her. That is important for them and us.

    3. I wish I had known this. My momma kitty outlived her baby who suffered rear leg paralization and we had to put her down. So momma never saw her best friend/baby again, dead or alive. It’s been 4 years and she’s still grieving. So sad.

    4. I thought I was the only one who felt this way about cat death . I had 3 ferel cats living in my garage. We lived rural & they were great rodent control .I got all three at different times because people would drop them off because we lived by a creek . If they hung around they got fixed .When my old male had to be put down I took him back home & let all the cats smell him before I buried him in the fruit tree orchard .I feel it kept the other 2 – his girlfriend & their adopted boy who was a little bit off in the head somehow from leaving home to search for him .They got fed & warm kennel heaters in the winter but none of them wanted to live in the house .We tried . I loved them just as much as if they cost a lot of money.

  34. I have 4 cats, mom and her 3 kids. They get along great. They often hang out together. As for eating, all the food is in one place and they don’t care if anyone else is “already there” they want to eat too. Often, all 4 will be crowded around the food eating at the same time.

  35. for single pet cats, attention and “being there” is crucial–you’re part of her Pride. we left home for nearly a month and had our adult grandson cat-sitting at our house. when we returned Patches avoided us and generally was mad at us for about 2 weeks. had to tell the gs that when you clean out the clumping litter box, you must put more in. she had maybe 2 cups of litter left in her box. i don’t blame her.

    1. I rescued a stray cat in November. He nearly jumped in my arms when I came home from work. We have 2 older Jack Russells and they all get along well. Our cat is a year old, around that age the vet said. He loves to play, but the dogs don’t play much anymore. I feel sorry for Baxter, our cat. I am considering adopting another cat from the APL, but am hesitant. I’m afraid Baxter won’t feel so special anymore, even though I want him to have a playmate. Does this bother him as much as me, or do cats enjoy playing and zooming around the house alone? We play with him alot when we’re not at work. Thank you!

  36. When my older cat finally had to be put to sleep, little did I know one of my other cats was also grieving with me. They were the two oldest that spent the most time over the years living with me. However, they never seemed to be best buddies and appeared to just tolerate one another. I had five cats total at that time. I noticed that this second oldest cat’s tail was hanging down. I took him to the vet since I thought his tail might have been injured. The vet found no physical cause so I determined the only thing is could be was
    depression from grieving the death of the oldest cat. I decided to give him LOTS of extra attention including having him sleep on the pillow next to mine while petting him to sleep. I also would play with him more and added special phrases to our conversation. When he put his tail down, I would hold it straight up gently saying “TAIL UP” Pretty soon he held his tail up at all times. We don’t realize how much our other animals mourn the loss of our pets who die. Please be sure to mourn with your other pets so they are comforted

    1. This happened to me too when my older cat died. I didn’t realize my two cats were that close. They would sit on opposite ends of my bed, except when they were chasing each other around the room or “boxing”. But Olivia seemed quite distressed by the sudden absence of “the other kitty.” We would just sit there together quietly.
      This was a few years ago. I don’t know if I should get another cat to keep her company. I worry that she is lonely while I am at work but I don’t know how she would take to a new cat.

  37. “gets lonely when I go away for a week. The neighbor comes in every two to three days to feed and check her litter”
    when I go away I have a friend check 2x per day on the cats… give fresh wet food, leave dry food, top up water and fill up dry food… once per day would suffice obviously but every 2-3 days… ouch… litter must be overflowing by then unless you have a litter auto clean robot or so

    1. Sadly, this also happened to me. (Me and my cat.) I was in the hospital for a few weeks and my friend/neighbor would come by every 2-3 days to take care of my cat.

      As it turned out, she didn’t realize that part of this was cleaning the cat’s litter box (!) so she just ignored it. “You didn’t explain that litter thing to me,” she said. “How would I know?”

      She also didn’t understand that she was supposed to pay attention to the cat during part of this time (at least…) I had to tell her to spend time with the cat. So she would block out a period of 4-5 minutes and task herself with petting the cat who, shockingly, never really seemed to warm up to her. “I pet her for a solid 3 minutes. I timed it,” she insisted to me.

      Some people are not meant to be pet owners. I appreciate her helping out with my kitty but I had no idea that I would have to spell all this out for someone who was taking care of a cat.

      1. Elaine Hutzelman

        She isn’t qualified to do the job. Nice offer but terrible for the cat. You need to go over the entire routine with your sitter if they don’t have a cat themselves.

      1. I would use at least 2 litter boxes for 4 cats. Size of the box would make a difference. Too many cats using one box would cause them to step on the other cats poop. Not very sanitary.

  38. I swear my cats love eating from the same plate.. they are littermates.. the only two in the litter.. my boy cat one time saved his sister’s half when she didn’t go for her dinner. I was out of town at the time.. she was missing me as we are very connected.. he knew she would come eventually and she did. He is very thoughtful of her!!!!

    1. Debbie Zimmerman

      I have two sister cats who also like to eat together out of the same bowl. The vet recommended that I feed them separately so I tried that for a while, but it seemed to stress them. They eat twice a day, so I give them their main meal together and their smaller meal in separate bowls but nearby each other, just trying to get them used to eat separately in case anything ever happens to one of them. Mine, too, will wait for each other to eat, and if one isn’t there for some reason, the other one will save food for her. It’s really sweet.

      1. Cats need to eat every 4 to 6 hours, not just twice a day. It’s an okay schedule for dogs, as they do not have similar metabolisms as cats. But our feline friends need food a little more often. My Bella is a grazer and it’ll take her about an hour to eat one plate of food. She eats four times a day on average. She is still slim and trim.

        1. Cats most certainly do get lonely when you go to work. Especially if you don’t have any toys to play with. I have two ten year old brother and sister American Shorthairs I’ve had since they were eight weeks old. I found it was better that way because they play with each other when I’m out. Only sometimes the male naturally plays a little too rough and I have tell him to stop. And many times when I’m home they’ll playfully cat fight with each other. But I still show them both plenty of affection and they each take turns jumping up on my lap!

  39. I have a female, spayed, and I was wondering if she gets lonely when I go away for a week. The neighbor comes in every two to three days to feed and check her litter. Physically she is fine with this routine but I wonder if she gets lonely. I tried another kitten awhile ago but he got too dominant and way too rough. Should I try another female?

    1. Every two to three days- for me that would be a big worry as on average cats eat about 2-4 pouches of food a day and graze on dry food and their water needs to be changed daily. If your neighbour is only coming every two to three days- what is your cat eating on those other days? I guess you must be leaving lots of dry food for your cat, but ideally they need wet food as well as it’s good for their bladders. Water should also be fresh. Hopefully your cat has access to come and go through a cat flap so they’re getting fresh air etc. The question about a play mate- really depends on the individual cat’s personality. Some cats are quite happy on their own, but if they’re clingy when you return they may be lonely. If you can set up little things in the home like boxes to play with and treats hidden in places, it will keep you cat busy and happy for a while. (More difficult over a long period of time as your cat may fin everything in one day, but if you put something different in every room they will love exploring it).

      1. This was my thought,your neighbour going in 2 to 3 days,it worried me our cat eats 3 to 4 pouches a day and waits for bits of chicken when we done eating he loves ham also small cubes of cheese as well as cat stick treats.hope you don’t mind me saying this.

  40. Pingback: Fantastic Ideas About Cats That Anybody Can Utilize – polandfrown5deon's blog

  41. My first two cats were happy alone. But Buddy is very playful and I would love to get him a little brother or sister, but I can’t afford another pet deposit right now.

  42. My fifteen-year-old Leo has been one of two or three cats in my home most of his life. For the last year and a half he has been the only cat. He is clearly much happier as the only cat than he was as one of several. He got along well enough with others, but he wasn’t really bonded to them. Now that he gets all the attention, he is more affectionate with me and more mellow . Not all cats benefit from socializing with other cats!

    1. This is exactly what happened to me. I had two cats who tolerated each other, I actually thought they liked each other to a point. When Kira died, I couldn’t believe how Miller blossomed! He started talking to me more, he was much more cheerful, playful and even started playing fetch with me. If a cat could smile he would have been doing it! He loves being an only cat and I had no idea.

  43. I lost my 16 year old cat in January. It was so heartbreaking to myself and to my other cat. He was so depressed and would not eat for a long time. He was looking all over the house for her. He seems to be used to being the king of the house now so I don’t think that he would like another friend. He is glued to me and I think that if I brought another cat in to the house that his feelings would really be hurt.

    1. Check out my comment about my cat. He held his tail down constantly and I took him to see if it was injured. There was no physical cause and it must have been due to depression from my oldest cat dying. They weren’t buddies in my opinion but perhaps when I drove off they liked being together. My solution for getting his tail back held up high was LOTS of extra attention. I had more cats but obviously the death of the oldest had us both grieving

  44. I’ve wondered about this since I adopted my little guy more than three years ago and he’s an only cat. I socialized him a lot, bringing him to different places, meeting different people, even making friends with a chihuahua — but there hasn’t been an opportunity to give him play time with other cats.

    At the time I wasn’t able to adopt two cats, and now I worry that he won’t acclimate to another cat if I adopt again. He’s become King of the Apartment, First of His Name, Ruler of Beds and Couches, Prime Demander of Human Attention. And that last part is not a joke. He’s always with me, and always wants to be a part of what I’m doing.

    Our bond is exceptionally strong and I wonder if that would be a hindrance to adopting another cat. I’ve thought about fostering to help a local shelter, but also to see how my cat would respond, but I’m not sure that would be fair to the fostered cats.

    1. You need to do a lot of research and talk to the shelter before you foster. I did it for a year (before my situation changed) and basically the foster had to be the only animal in the house or be limited to a section of the house without your personal pets. But I had cats that had medical issues or behaviour issues and needed to be on their own.

      As for you particular situation: my current cat has to be THE only cat in the house. He will try to attack any other cat in the vicinity (and the screaming for the cats outside and he is indoor-only is nuts). When he was younger, he did live with other cats (one older, one younger and we introduced them all properly) but he stayed on his own and he needed his own space without the others intruding.

    2. I have a similar situation. I adopted Clancy as a kitty almost 5 years ago. He and I are solo. We’re buddies, I spend a lot of time with him. Brushing, petting, playing and constantly talking. He disappears periodically, throughout the day in the house then searches me out and tell me (literally) what he wants. Spoiled, yes, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
      My continued concern is, however, is he lonely while I’m away? If I leave for an overnight or two I do have a wonderful lady that comes in and plays with him twice a day, feeds him, changes littler, etc. and send me a photo or video.
      I wish I knew if he’d be better off with another cat around…but no one seems to be able to answer that. I, honestly, don’t want two, but on the other hand want to do the best for my Clancy.

    3. put your question on google and include the phrase Cat Whisperer. Jackson Galaxy has good advice for this on several YT channels.

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