I would hazard a guess that people who aren’t overly familiar with cats or who have never lived with a cat would think that a cat wouldn’t miss his human companions if they were gone from the house. People often have this perception of cats being extremely independent, preferring to be left alone and only making an appearance when they want to appear. Though I know many cats that are like this, many others prefer to have their human companions close by. They crave attention and want to be part of everything that’s going on. So, do cats miss you when you’re gone?
I’ve had many clients contact me after returning from a vacation or holiday trip only to find that their cats aren’t as friendly as they were before they left. Or, their cats have made quite the mess of the house while they were away. I’ve had clients contact me because their cat got physically sick each time they left for a business trip. Even though they had a familiar friend watch their cat, their cat would literally worry herself sick from the separation.
Cats can suffer from separation issues just like dogs do. Some handle it better than others but, they all want to know what’s going on when we leave the house. They want to know when we are going to return home and want to make sure we arrive when we say we are going to. Our cats can be just as concerned as our dogs when we leave and just as excited when we arrive. It doesn’t matter if we are simply going to check the mail or are going to be gone for multiple days.
Since my cats are semi-feral and spend most of their time outside, I didn’t think it would matter if we went on vacation for a week. I had a pet sitter visit twice a day to make sure their beds were clean, food was plentiful and fresh water was provided. I made sure she followed the exact times and schedule to a tee. For the first four days, everything seemed to go as planned. Each day the pet sitter left us a report stating that all the cats were taken care of and were accounted for each night. However, on day five, the cats started to get a little anxious. Momma Kitty, who never leaves the garage or driveway of our house, was nowhere to be found. She decided to go off on a little exploration of her own with her two sisters for a couple of days.
When we arrived home, I looked everywhere around the house for Momma Kitty and her two sisters. They finally arrived home the next day, unharmed and no worse for wear. However, Momma Kitty, who always allows me to pet her while she’s eating, was having no part of it this time. It took us a few days to get back into our routine, for her to no longer be concerned if I was coming or going and for her to allow me to pet her again. I believe she missed me while I was gone and also was sending a little message. If you humans can go on vacation, then so can I!
Personally, I like it when all of my kitties are here to greet me. Each morning, they’re waiting for me near their food dishes and are excited to see me open the door and wish them a good morning. I know a lot of their happy greeting has to do with the fact that I have food for them. But, I’d like to think they are just happy to see me as well. I know it brings a smile to my face to see their beautiful eyes looking up at me. It tells me that they appreciate me and they like having me around. I guess if they didn’t like me around, they would simply leave. Or, like a bad friend, they’d just come for the food and then leave. I know I miss my cats when I’m gone for several days. It’s nice to know they miss me, too.
What do you think: Do cats miss you when you’re gone? How do your cats handle it when you’re away? Share your story and pictures in the comments!
About Tim Link: All-American guy who loves to rock out to Queen while consuming pizza and Pinot Noir and prefers to associate with open-minded people who love all critters. Considers himself to be the literal voice for all animals. Author, writer, radio host, Reiki Master, Animal Communicator and consultant at Wagging Tales.
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