One is The Loneliest Number. If You’re a Cat

By Thursday, June 19, 2014

Why a multiple cat household might benefit a “single” cat

Cats crave companionship. But they’ll never admit it!

A nationwide “CAT-Panion Survey” conducted by Harris Interactive, and commissioned by Arm & Hammer Co., a few years back asked 174 veterinarians about the social inclinations of domestic cats. More than 80 percent of these vets agreed that cats are social by nature—not solitary.

They don’t like to be alone, rather they prefer the company of other cats.

Moreover, most veterinarians believe social isolation could be a contributing factor in many behavior problems associated with feline companions.

Cats need stimulation throughout the day, just like humans. When left alone, they experience the same feelings of anxiety and depression lonely people do.

“Two cats are just as easy as one,” says Dr. Stefanie Schwartz, DVM, a leading veterinary behaviorist. “Not only will they keep each other company, but owning two cats will provide a happier living environment for both cats and their owner.”

Unfortunately, according to Dr. Schwartz, many cat caretakers are stumped as to how to correct unacceptable behaviors associated with loneliness or isolation.

Too often, this leads to the surrender of their beloved pet. “It’s a sad cycle,” said Dr. Schwartz.

Perhaps the best result of the CAT-Panion Survey findings is it will serve to raise awareness about adopting shelter cats to build a multi-cat household. Multiple cat ownership is an effective way to address the overpopulation crisis—adopt a homeless cat, and simultaneously improve your lonely cat’s behavior.

 

June is Adopt-a-Cat Month– the perfect time to add a cat to the household. By providing a companion to you and your cat at home you are also saving a life from the shelter. You can visit Petfinder.com to aid in finding a cat or kitten that is near you at a local shelter.

 

Tell-Tail signs of a lonely cat:

Cat owners should watch for these signs of loneliness in their felines:

  • Overgrooming—Pulling hair or excessive cleaning may be a way of showing he needs more consistent attention. Behavior mimics obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans.
  • Spraying or Squatting—Strategic marking of urine or stool may be a sign of the impact your absence has on your cat’s sense of wellbeing.
  • Excessive vocalization—Cats may express unhappiness with loud insistent vocal sounds.
  • Destructiveness—Cats will move items out of frustration or an attempt to “stay busy” while you are away.
  • Aggressive behavior—Your cat may act out aggressively towards you when you try to leave the house.

 

 

Does your cat prefer to be a Lone Ranger or does he crave or enjoy feline companionship?