We all know that cats can be pretty challenging to read. So you might be asking, do cats get lonely?
There's a misconception that cats don't like to make friends with other cats. So do cats need company?
In reality, this will all depend on the cat. Some cats are very social, some prefer o be alone, and some can get sad quickly.
There are certain factors to know if your cat will quickly get lonely. For instance, it will depend on their personality and age.
Do Cats Get Lonely?It's a common idea that cats are independent and antisocial. But that doesn't mean they don't get sad.
Compared to dogs, cats enjoy more of their solo activities, such as exploring and self-grooming. Their independence can be linked to their wild ancestors, who were lone animals.
But since cats have evolved to be domesticated pets, they now crave companionship with their humans and other pets.
So if you think that your cats rejoice when you leave the house, it's the opposite. Cats get lonely, and they also wait for you to arrive home.
Some cats that are left alone all day without stimulation (playing with toys or other animals or humans) cause bad behavior.
Signs That Your Cat is LonelyOvergroomingLonely cats tend to self-groom excessively. We all know that cats naturally are careful groomers.
But if you feel that their grooming procedure begins to border on OCD-like behavior, it can signify that your cat is feeling lonely.
If your cat is usually quiet but suddenly becomes talkative, this can also signify that they are sad. It's their way of asking attention.
Extreme vocalization can also mean that they are experiencing a lot of stress. It can be because of a new pet, a new baby, or maybe they're suffering from an illness that you don't know about.
Loss or Increase in Appetite
Changes in appetite can be caused by depression. Lonely cats tend to lose interest in their regular diet.
On the other hand, changes in appetite can also be caused by certain illnesses, unfamiliar surroundings, or other psychological issues.
We all know that cats love to sleep, but lonely or depressed cats will sleep more. As the cat owner, if you notice changes in your cat's sleeping pattern, it can mean that they're unhappy.
Low energy is expected for sad cats. It can also indicate that they suffer from other mental or physical problems.
In addition, lethargy is also seen in cats because of stress, obesity, medication side effects, and boredom.
Aggression is one of the most common signs that your cat is lonely. They tend to be aggressive once they know that their person is getting ready to leave.
If your cat shows aggression when you're on your way out, it means they do not want you to leave them alone. They are telling you that they want to spend more time with you.
Lonely cats show tendencies of destructiveness mostly because they are bored. When a cat is bored, they'll think of destructive or creative ways to entertain their minds.
When you get home, you'll find your place messy or destroyed. This means that your cat is lonely or bored.
Scratches on your sofa, climbing up your curtains, and shredding toilet paper are a few signs of destructive behavior.
Litter Box Issues
When you notice that your cat is spraying or squatting outside the litter box, it's advised to make sure that they don't have any medical issues first.
Because litter box issues can also signify kidney or urinary tract problems.
On the other hand, it can also mean that your cat is trying to tell you something. This can be his way of communicating his sadness at being alone.
Additional Reasons Your Cat Gets Sad
Besides leaving them at home, there are still other reasons your cat gets sad. Here are a few reasons your cat can get lonely:
A lonely cat can also show you that they have some underlying health conditions. In these times, it would be best to consult with your local vet instead of searching through the internet and guessing what's wrong.
Your cat may be suffering from diseases and infections that can affect its mood. A few examples of these are fatty liver disease, dental disease, ringworm, and even cancer.
Loss of a Loved One
Yes, cats grieve at the loss of their loved ones too. Cats can develop a particular bond with humans or other pets over time.
For instance, if your other pet, let's say a dog dies, you'll notice that the cat will be lonely and depressed. But don't you worry, as they will eventually recover.
You will limit your cat's ability to play or do things they love once they start to experience an injury.
For example, your cat loves to play outdoors and takes walks. If your cat suddenly can't do these things that he enjoys, sadness is unavoidable.
Your Cat Gets Lonely, How To Make Your Cat Happy?
Now that we've tacked the reasons and signs on why cats get lonely, let's discussed how we will turn that around. Always remember that a happy cat lives a longer and healthier life.
Provide a Healthy Diet
A healthy cat is a happy cat. The cat's diet will depend on its age.
You shouldn't feed adult cat foods to kittens. There are specifically recommended diets for kittens, adults, and senior cats.
As the pet owner, make sure that your cat receives a proper balance of nutrients that they need. If you're unsure about what to give, consulting with your vet or a veterinary nutritionist is your best bet.
Visit the Vet
As stated above, if your cat is healthy, he's also happy. He'll be able to do the things that he loves. From playing, running around, and maybe just staring at birds.
An unhealthy cat can lead to depression as it won't be able to do the things they enjoy. Consult with your vet regularly to know how to take care of your pets properly.
Take the time to play with your cat. One of their favorite games is playing hide and seek. It can be fun for both of you.
Or maybe bring them new toys! Cat toys are not that expensive.
Have you experienced buying some cat toys online, but when your box or package arrives, your cat was much happier to play with the box?
In addition, cats enjoy playing with just a ball of yarn.
Toys are physically and mentally stimulating, making them sharp and healthy.
Petting or Cuddle Time
Believe it or not, cats love to interact with their owners. Like dogs, they love to be petted (well, maybe not all the time)!
A gentle scratch on their head or behind their jaw can make them feel safe and happy.
In addition, petting a cat can also boost your mood. It can be a positive distraction to people suffering from mental illnesses like depression.
According to researchers, their theory is that catnip triggers the cat's “happy” receptors in the brain when they smell it. But when eaten, it starts an opposite effect, and your cat becomes mellow.
Cats react to catnip by rolling, flipping, rubbing, and zoning out. However, some cats become “zoomies” or hyperactive. They can also suddenly show aggression when you approach them.
Can Cat Loneliness Be Helped By Getting a Second Cat?
If you have one cat at home, you might have asked yourself this question. “Should I get a second cat?”.
Cats have a reputation for being solitary animals. But cats can also benefit from having a friend or a buddy.
Changes in a cat's behavior can indicate that they're lonely. But don't automatically assume that they need another kitty in the house.
It's still best advised to consult with your vet if you feel any difference in their behavior.
However, adding a second cat may not seem to be a bad idea. Adding a cat can help with your cat's sadness. When you're gone off to school or work, your cat will have a companion or playmate.
But adding a new cat will not fix all the problems of a lonely cat. Adding a new cat is more challenging than it seems.
Cats are also high-maintenance pets.
And on rare occasions, they might not get along too well. Now you have two lonely cats to take care of.
If your cat is old and has made a few cat friends throughout its life, it's less likely that they want another cat in the house.
But if your cat is patient and has a good history of interacting with other cats. There's a great chance that it could work.
Matching Your Cat to a Second Cat
If you're still unsure about getting a second cat, you're maybe scared that they won't get along. I might have the solution for you.
Try to look into rescues with multiple cats that are open for foster or a “trial period.” Take your newly chosen cat home, introduce it to your cat slowly, and try again with another if it doesn't work.
But for more context, here's a step-by-step guide on how you can introduce a new cat to your old cat:
Step #1: First Impressions
Just like with us humans, first impressions are crucial when it comes to building chemistry.
Two cats meeting for the first time may display anger or aggression. It would be best to keep them separated at first. This way, you'll be able to control their first meeting.
Ensure that they have their food and water bowl, litter box, scratching post, and bed. They should also be able to smell and hear each other.
A good technique is to feed the cats near a door that separates them so that they learn that coming together is a positive experience. You can add a few extra treats as well.
After two-three days, switch their locations so they'll be able to analyze each other's smell.
Step #2: Meeting Each Other
After a few days or a week, if you see don't see them hissing, growling, or any signs of aggression at the door, this is an excellent time to introduce them to each other.
Replacing the door with a temporary screen is an excellent method to let the cats see each other first. Once they see each other, ask a friend or a family member to help you give them treats behind them and call their name.
Feed and play with them near the screen door for the next few days. Try to move closer to the barrier as the days go by
Step #3: Give Them Space
The last step is allowing the cats to spend time with each other without the barrier. In this step, it is still crucial that you are there to supervise these first face-to-face meetings.
It would be best to do this when they're both calm, for instance, after a meal or after playing. As they become more comfortable with each other, they can have their own space.
Do you love your dog with food & treats? Tsk, tsk, Written by Liz Schneider, 9/7/22
This week, I am writing my own article in hopes that it helps change some pet owners' way of thinking. It is a topic that is very close to my heart.
Pets, especially dogs and cats, have evolved so much from the time that our parents kept the family dog outside, they never came inside. Dog left outside in the elements, even if they have shelter and never being able to be inside with the family actually causes them sadness, stress and ages a dog a lot faster then being comfortable on an orthopedic bed in the living room with the family that they love; receiving pets and kisses, treats, toys and playtime.
And with the evolution of pets into the family comes the feeling that they aren't pets anymore, they ARE family.
I am one of those people.
In my line of work, I see a lot of misconceptions. One in particular is showing your love, to your pet, with food and treats. Overweight dogs are at such a high risk of obesity related illness and diseases, like diabetes. Do you want to put your dog through getting daily insulin injections, twice a day? The weight of the dog puts such pressure on the spine, the spinal disks holding the spine together, their elbows and knees as well. And by all means let's emphasis the pressure it puts on the heart to pump harder to just to move around. If they don't get the healthy exercise that they need AS WELL AS the diet food or just LESS food, they are prone to diabetes, arthritic changes in their back, hips and legs, which is so very painful for them.
This is no life for any pet. You've seen that overweight person walk through the mall or a movie theater; notice their gait, the effort that they have to put forth just to walk, the heavy breathing they do? How uncomfortable they likely are, in pain and how often they must have to sit down to take a break; how hard their heart must be working. It is NO different for a pet!
So if you have truly read the above, think about it. You "think" that you are showing your dog love with all those bowls of food, multiple times a day and so many variety of treats all day long. But what you are really doing is setting your pet up for long term medical problems, high vet bills, constant pain discomfort and all of the medication your pet will have to take for arthritis, diabetes, heart, anti-inflammatory meds for their spine. You don't want that for your pet, I know. It's just that some pet owners, love their pets in the present-day and time, and not thinking of what you are actually doing to their future health, mobility, comfort and happiness as an older pet.
I urge you to get with your Vet, listen to what he has to say and then truly do it. THAT is how you should show your pet love. Let him live a happy, active, pain free life. Yes, your pet, who doesn't understand any of this, will seem displeased and even pout with his new diet. So swap out the unhealthy diet and overfeeding and substitute it with fun distraction like walking, exercise, playing fetch, going to the dog park or play dates. For cats, build outdoor play areas, provide cat trees and high shelves around the house so cats can climb, jump and play. Get out that fake flying bird toy and give him that healthy exercise they crave. Cats are hunters by nature, they need the instinct to climb and jump and hunt.
No pet, no matter what breed, is made to just sit around on your lap all day or lay around and only exist within the square footage of your home or see nothing of the outer world than your back yard. Once I attended a lecture given by local Veterinarians, in another area, who explained to a group of pet-industry-professionals, that when a dog is on a walk and they are sniffing fire hydrants, free trunks, bushes, etc., that is the same thing that we do when we scroll through our Facebook or Instagram feed. Who is doing what and where. When they mark different spots that they was past, that's like they are leaving a comment or a post to the dog that was there before.
This subject really means a lot to me because I own a popular pet sitting and dog walking business and we offer so many different ways that we can help your pet become a happy, pain free and healthy pet. Isn't that what you want for your pet? If you don't have time after work because now you have to cook dinner or help with homework, then that is what we are here for. Call us to see how we can help your pet. Go to our website at www.noniespetcare.com and take a look at all of the services that we offer, package deals or one time "try us out". See the difference that we can make in your pet's life.
Like us humans, dogs are also susceptible to getting different diseases like cancer, and one of the most significant and most common is lymphoma in dogs.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, although there are less than 70,000 dogs in the country that are getting diagnosed with lymphoma every year, it still accounts for 24% of new cancers in dogs.
Lymphoma in Dogs, also known as Canine Lymphosarcoma, is a type of cancer that commonly occurs in organs responsible for the immune system.
It is considered a systematic disease. It affects the whole body because it develops in cells that are in the blood (known as lymphocytes).
In this article, let's dig a little deeper on what are the common types and symptoms of lymphoma in dogs.
We also listed down the possible treatments for lymphoma, and what can we do as dog parents in case of this unfortunate event.
Lymphoma in Dogs: Causes
Dogs are also exposed to the same environment as us. And what might be causing cancer in humans can be the same for dogs, too.
However, Lymphoma has no known cause as of yet.
Many studies and research were conducted to determine if lymphoma in dogs could be caused by viruses, bacteria, chemical exposures, or even strong magnetic fields, but none of them really came through.
As of now, what's constantly observed is having a low immune system is a risk factor in getting lymphoma (not only for dogs but humans too!).
But the connection between the low immune system and lymphoma hasn't been clearly established yet.
Lymphoma in Dogs: Types
Studies suggest that there are 30 types of canine lymphoma and that they vary in behavior depending on the affected organ.
However, they are categorized into 4 types of lymphoma in dogs:
Lymphoma in Dogs: Symptoms
Depending on the affected area, there are different signs and symptoms of lymphoma in dogs.
Multicentric LymphomaSwollen lymph nodes in dogs are the most noticeable sign of Multicentric Lymphoma.
Although it's generally not painful for them, the rapid growth of lymph nodes can be quite disturbing and worrisome.
They can grow from 3 to 10 times their normal size. They would also feel like a moving hard, rubbery lump under the skin.
At times, they may cause our dogs' loss of appetite and energy. You may also observe edema or swelling in the legs and/or face.
Alimentary Lymphoma mainly affects our dog's gastrointestinal organs. Because of this, some symptoms you'll probably observe are vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and abdominal pain.
Their diarrhea can be quite watery, dark in color, and foul-smelling.
Now I know it's hard to notice if your dog has an aching tummy (if only they can speak!)
But if you see them restless, in a scrunched-up position, and don't like getting touched in the abdomen area, then that could be abdominal pain.
Because it's in the chest area, Mediastinal Lymphoma may cause difficulty in breathing in our dogs.
Also some of the most noticeable signs are constant coughing and their intolerance to physical activities.
Dogs with this type of lymphoma may also get swelling in the face and in their front legs.
You'll also notice them frequently thirsty and always urinating.
Since Extranodal Lymphoma targets different organs, you may want to keep a look out for different symptoms.
Lymphoma on the skin may appear as either lesions or rashes, while lymphoma on the eyes may start as blindness.
Sudden seizures may be caused by lymphoma in their central nervous system, and unexplained fractures may be caused by lymphoma on their bones.
Whatever unusual symptoms you may be observing in your dog, consulting your vet is always, always the best thing to do.