Lonely Cat

I’ve rescued a few stray cats in my neighborhood over the years, mostly abandoned kittens because adult cats are too difficult to tame. I had 4 cats living in my apartment together for about 3 years, all roughly the same age that I rescued when they were kittens. So they grew up together as family (I don’t think they were related, I just rescued them around the same time frame of several months apart). Around a year ago one of my neighbors had a little boy who wanted to adopt a cat, so I gave him one. A few days later, I was asked if I could give the little boy another cat so the other one wouldn’t be lonely, so I gave away another cat. 4 cats in one apartment is too many, anyway. So for the past year or so I’ve been comfortable with 2 cats I’ve had for around 4 years.

Unfortunately, a couple of weeks ago, my oldest cat, that I’ve had for 4 1/2 years, died of pneumonia (a pretty serious respiratory disease for cats, so I’ve learned). Now I only have one cat left, which is fine with me - less mess and fur to take care of - but I don’t think that she likes it. Her brother that she’s known and played with for nearly 4 years is missing and she’s left all alone for most of the day when I’m out. I can tell that she misses me because I can hear her crying meow when I walk up the stairs to my door, and I figure that she’s been crying like that ever since I left. She’s always been extremely affectionate but now she’s constantly pestering me to hold her and walking around the apartment meowing for no reason (she used to only meow like that when she was hungry and asking me refill the food dish). Before, the cats used to cuddle together in a big furry ball when they went to sleep, but now when I go to sleep, she prances up to my side and nudges me to cradle her in my arms. The cat won’t sleep in the other rooms like it did before, but now insists on sleeping on the pillow next to my head. She seems nervous and hyperactive in a way that she never was before.

It seems pretty obvious what the problem is: the cat is lonely. It misses its friends and now that it’s all alone, it’s developed a stronger than usual attachment to me because I’m the only other creature it ever comes into daily contact with.

I don’t want to adopt another kitten right now to keep my cat company. At least not right now - I’m still getting over my cat that died a couple of weeks ago, so I’m just not ready emotionally. I know that cats aren’t pack animals and are naturally solitary (which is one of several reasons why cats are so much easier to take care of than dogs), so I hope that she adjusts over time.

Housecats are essentially big kittens so you can’t assume they have the same emotional needs as wild adult cats. The latter yes tend to live solitary lives but kittens, even in the wild, need love and affection and companionship.

My cat was a terror until I found him a friend. He used to use me for attacks and all kinds of aggressive behaviors that he would normally play out with another cat. Now, he is the sweetest creature in the world. A second cat made him a better pet all around as now he just wants me for comfort and affection. We play but he is fine with one or two rough sessions a day. Before he needed hours; and it was still not enough.

One day my second cat ran out the door and went missing for 24 hours. My other cat was visibly upset and when the other finally returned he was over the moon, licking her face and rubbing her all over for a long long time.

I understand you may not want another cat now, and I am very very sorry to hear of your loss. But your cat may need a friend in the future.


Get a dog, its company for the remaining cat and wayyyy cooler.

[quote=“Edgar Allen”]CATS SUCK.

Get a dog, its company for the remaining cat and wayyyy cooler.[/quote]

Edgar, he just lost a beloved pet. Don’t be an ass.

Sorry to hear about your pet loss, Quentin. I’ve been through a very similar thing in the last couple of months. I had a cat who had kittens. We kept one kitten. Mom and baby were great for eachother. Then mom went out one day and didn’t return for almost two months! The kitten had never been out at all. When mom didn’t return, the kitten was very stressed! Suddenly, it was stuck to me like glue and really hated to be left alone. It used to sleep with mom on her pillow on the bedroom floor, but now sleeps on the pillow by my head.

So, yes, you’re right, you cat is lonley. When momma cat came back she was almost starved to death and seemed to have forgotten her baby. They had to fight it out a bit and decide who was gonna be “boss.” What finally seemed to help was showing her the place in the closet where she’d had the kittens. I still had an old baby blanket that I put the kittens on after they were born, and I put that blanket in that spot to show her. They still fight, but now they’re just playing again.

You might consider getting a pet other than another cat. For you, it’s too soon emotionally for another kitten, but what about a ferret? I think a ferret should be able to hold it’s own and not be eaten long enough to be friends–with supervision, of course! A small dog is a good idea, but as you said, dogs are much higher maintance. Anything else I can think of would just be prey. I bet Animals Taiwan could think of something to help you and your kitty out, though!

Anyway, I hope you feel better soon. Thanks for being a caring daddy to your cat!

Sorry to hear that, Quentin.

As for your other cat, you’re dead on the money. She needs more attention from you, now. The good thing about animals is they grieve in a different way than people do. They live in the moment and if that moment is good, that’s where the buck stops. Same goes with loneliness and other emotions cats are capable of experiencing.

I’m sure you will be adopted sooner or later by another cat. Sounds to me like they find you more than you find them. :wink:


Thanks for the advice and sympathies, everybody.

A dog is out of the question. I like dogs but they are much higher maintenance. Dogs need room to roam and I don’t feel that a 4th floor apartment in the city is a good environment. Plus, I don’t like small dogs. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had dogs as pets before and love Labradors and plenty of other breeds, it’s just that nearly all the small dog breeds rub me the wrong way.

My landlords are vets and run their clinic downstairs, so if I want to get a new kitten, that shouldn’t be a problem. Or if I stumble upon another abandoned kitten underneath a car or stuck up on a bridge. There’s a cat that lives on the roof right next to my apartment that I toss leftover chicken bones and stuff sometimes. He’s adult and feral, though, and won’t come near me. For several years there was a mother cat that lived on that roof that would come up there every spring and have a litter of kittens. It was pretty sad since most of the kittens didn’t survive. My landlords told me that they would have her fixed for free if I could ever catch her. I didn’t and she kept cranking out the babies, most of which I assume died of starvation. I found dead kittens a couple of times. Every animal lover should have their pet fixed to avoid something like that.

[quote=“Mucha Man”][quote=“Edgar Allen”]CATS SUCK.

Get a dog, its company for the remaining cat and wayyyy cooler.[/quote]

Edgar, he just lost a beloved pet. Don’t be an ass.[/quote]

My bad - sorry. :blush:

Quentin, I am sorry to hear about your loss. So sudden must have been a horrible shock.

I disagree with the dog idea, too, actually, with anything else than another suitable, friendly cat. Dogs must be treated exactly the opposite as cats, and have a completely diferent psychology, not to mention as you said, the time involved in stuff as walking them, etc. Cats are so much easier to dela with and adapt readily to the lazy indoor life.

We used to have two cats with my roomates. When they left, one of them took one, and the one left with me and my other roomate was very lonely, having been use dto feline company, humans were not as fun for play. Then I found a kitten and she was all right with that, until her untimely demise. The kitten was terrified and showed the same behaviour you quote. Luckily, havilina provided a partner for him. Later on, two outside cats I fed broke into my house. Who says four cats are too much? Nahh… humbug.

Now, four cats and a dog…

Have you found a new friend for her yet?
We are having a slight problem with our foster cat since her companion was adopted. She is needing constant attention and since I cannot give it to her she has taken to wetting our bed. She has also been attempting to get the baby to play with her. She will sit there and meow at the child until she wakes up and then runs wanting to be chased, but since the child is only 2 months there is no chasing.
If we cannot fix this behavior we cannot keep the cat. Would you be willing to take her in?

That depends. I live in Tainan and won’t be interested in going all the way up to Taipei just to adopt a cat. But if you’re in my neighborhood I might be interested.

A bit of a long train ride for me too, but I will keep you in mind.