Going on vacation might be fun for you, but it can be hard on your pets. Cats can get lonely when their owners go on vacation, and they may express their feelings in many ways. Even though your cat may be distant when you are home, it still enjoys your presence. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your travels. It just means you should consider your cat feelings and find ways to deal with her separation anxiety and loneliness.
Do Cats Get Lonely When You Go On Vacation?
Yes, cats can get lonely when you leave them alone while traveling. Some of the signs that your cat is lonely are destructive behavior, excessive vocalization, and even aggressive behavior.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Lonely?
It can be hard to notice if your cat is lonely when you go on vacation because you aren’t home to notice any behavior changes. Your cat may be happy to see you when you return and slowly get back to normal.
Since cats don’t really have a sense of time, they may demonstrate the same behaviors if you leave for just a day or two. Any kind of absence can make your cat lonely. Some common signs that your cat is lonely include,
- Urinating in places other than the litter box
- Excessive scratching
- Destructive behavior
- Changes in appetite
- Aggressive behavior
- Excessive crying
Preparing Your Cat For Separation
It’s possible to prepare your cat to be away from you before you leave for vacation. While your cat may not realize what is going on at first, like many animals, it can catch on pretty quickly. Have a routine that you do before you leave.
Get out your luggage and allow your cat to explore it. Make sure your cat has everything it needs before you leave. Fill up the food and water bowls, clean out the litter box and make sure your cat’s bed is clean and comfortable.
If your cat enjoys toys, consider buying some new toys to keep her busy while you are away. The toys may distract from your absence.
If you do these same things before you leave each time, your cat will eventually become aware of the routine. When the cat can expect your departure, it may be able to handle it more easily.
Help Your Cat Cope
There are some things you can do to help your cat with the separation anxiety it feels when you are on vacation. Keep in mind that all cats are different. What works for one may not work for another.
You may need to try a few different things to get your pet to stop feeling so lonely when you aren’t around.
Sometimes your pet just wants things to be like they are when you are home. That means a little background noise. If you listen to the radio or watch television at home, consider leaving one of them while you are on vacation.
The noise may help your cat stick to its normal routine and feel like she’s not in the house alone.
Your cat won’t miss you as much or feel lonely if it’s distracted from the fact that you are gone. Find something that your cat will enjoy to distract her from your absence.
Consider buying her a new bed, trying some new toys, or even getting her a cat house or scratching post. If you buy your cat treats before you leave, your cat may actually start looking forward to your vacation.
Of course, your cat misses you, but having someone else around might make it easier for your pet to deal with your absence. Consider hiring a pet sitter or ask a friend or family member to check on your cat a few times while you are gone.
If your pet knows someone is there to take care of her and gets some affection and attention from another human, she may not mind that you aren’t there to do those things for her.
If your cat suffers from severe separation anxiety when you are on vacation, you may want to consider medication. There are prescription medications and herbal options that can help keep your cat calm.
Check with a vet to learn about your options. While medicine shouldn’t be your first choice, it may be necessary if your cat’s behavior is dangerous or destructive, or if the separation anxiety is making your cat physically ill.
Your vet can also determine if there may be a physical or psychological problem with your cat that could be causing it to suffer from separation anxiety or causing the behaviors it exhibits when you leave it at home alone.
Get A Second Cat
If your cat gets lonely whenever you leave them alone, you may want to consider getting a second cat. Whether you adopt a kitten or a full-grown cat, they will likely become best friends and keep each other company while you’re away.
It may take some time to get the cats used to each other, especially, if your cat is territorial.
If you travel a lot, then you may want to consider traveling with your cat.
Final Word On Are Cats Lonely When You Go On Vacation
Every cat has its own unique personality, and some of them won’t mind being left alone for a day or two. Cats are more independent than dogs, but like dogs, they do crave human companionship.
If they are left alone for several days, they can get bored quickly without any human stimulation, They can eventually develop behavior issues if they are left alone for long periods of time.
When we go out of town, we always make sure that someone can come by and spend time with our cat.
References and Further Reading
Ohio State University – Separation Anxiety In Cats
Manhattan Cat Specialists – Arnold Plotnick, MS, DVM, ACVIM, Separation Anxiety In Cats –