Quiz: Is Your Cat Lonely? See how to help.

Take our quiz to find out if your cat could get bored or lonely when you are away.

By Anastasia Thrift

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Cat With Cat Grass
Cats can experience boredom and loneliness, but the right environmental enrichment can alleviate both.

Worried about whether your cat is lonely? See if your cat shows the signs below, and test your knowledge about how to make your cat or kitten feel less lonely and how to keep your cat from being bored while you are away.

1) Cat loneliness strikes which kind of cat:
A. One that has recently lost a favorite animal friend.
B. One that has recently lost a favorite person.
C.One that is lacking enough interaction.
D. All of the above

2) If your cat suddenly begins missing the litterbox:
A. He is definitely lonely.
B. If he isn't suffering from a medical condition that causes this, and you've ruled out other behavior issues, he might be spreading “self-scent” to comfort himself.
C. He hates the floor around the litterbox.
D. He likes to watch you clean.

3) Which of the following is NOT a sign of cat loneliness.
A. Higher purr volume
B. Destructive/aggressive behavior
C. Increased grooming
D. Sleeping pattern changes

4) Prolonged boredom or loneliness can lead to health issues because:
A. It can lead to obesity, which can deepen depressed feelings and increase diabetes risk.
B. The lack of stimulation at the root of boredom can cause stress and lead to lowered immunity.
C. Depressed felines are more susceptible to feline cognitive disorders in old age.
D. All of the above.

5) True or false: The manifestations of cat loneliness and cat boredom look similar.
A. True
B. False

6) You can leave a cat alone:
A. Indefinitely. They have no concept of time.
B. However long you want. Cats entertain themselves.
C.One or two hours at a time. Cats are needy.
D. For several hours, as long as there is proper mental stimulation and activity options.

7) Your cat will get lonely during the day while you are at work unless:
A. You spend every moment at home doting on him.
B. It varies, but some cats are happy just being in the room with their favorite person or quietly enjoying lap time while you work or relax at home, without taking hours of one-on-one interaction. (right)
C. You get a pet sitter to come during the day. (right)
D. You wake up in the middle of the night to play with him.

8) To fight loneliness from being left alone during the day, you should:
A. Bring your cat in a carrier everywhere you go.
B. Leave a crack in the window so your cat can get out and have fun.
C.Keep a regular routine, so your cat knows you will return within a certain timeframe.
D.Teach him how to surf the web.

9) The top environmental enrichment item to combat loneliness is:
A. A window view to the world, where cats can see wildlife or people during the day.
B. Endless food
C. A TV remote
D. A credit card and Amazon.com

10) Can getting a second cat end your cat's loneliness?
A. Yes, and you want to make them interact as soon as possible no matter what, to end the loneliness sooner.
B. Yes, but take introductions slowly, and respect your resident cat's space by beginning with keeping the new cat in a sanctuary room.
C. No, they will fight, especially if the first cat is already upset.
D. No, you will just wind up with two lonely cats.

Answers: 1. D. Cats who have recently lost a favorite animal or person, or a cat that lacks enough stimulation could be lonely; 2. C. Cats can self-scent to comfort themselves when they are lonely; 3. A. Destructive and aggressive behavior, increased grooming and sleeping pattern changes all indicate loneliness; 4. D. Obesity, mental lethargy and lowered immunity from depression can result from boredom; 5. True. Boredom and loneliness often cause the same behaviors; 6. D. With proper environment enrichment, your cat can be left alone for several hours; 7. B. Simply spending some quality time with your cat will secure your bond; 8. C. A regular routine will help your cat spend time alone, as he will know it's temporary; 9. A. A window to the world does wonders to entertain your cat during the day; 10. B. A second cat is a great addition to your home, to keep your cat from being lonely or bored, but take introductions slowly to start off on the right foot.
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Reader Comments

Larry    International

4/20/2016 12:20:03 PM


Diane    Hickory, NC

7/20/2015 10:19:18 AM

Thank you for this article. My cat ( that was my daughter's love baby) is now mine. Replaced by my daughter's boyfriend that she doesn't like therefore he doesn't want her around. So I hear mewing nonstop for hours, killing her toys, now not playing at all. She will only eat wet food. She is so miserable. My daughter took her partner that she grew up together with this cat. So can you imagine my life. I actually wrote the program " It's me or the Cat ".. This is such a bad situation. Your article gave me the push I already knew about but needed to hear from a great source.

Unhappy Cat Lover    Boston, MA

11/14/2014 5:40:20 PM

My cat, Marshmallow, 1 year old is the nicest cat I've ever met... and he loves to play with his kittens. My parents found out that my brother was allergic to cats, and they sold the kittens on the Internet, purposely making Marshmallow lonely. He continuously meows in the basement, which we kept him there the whole time. It's the winter. He must be cold, but my parents wouldn't turn on the heat air conditioner for the basement. I almost cry every night because of him. It's dark down the basement, and boredom leaks into the cat. I wish I could just get rid of my brother and have Marshmallow gain freedom...

What should I do?
~Unhappy cat lover, 11 years

Kayla    Lodi, NJ

7/12/2014 12:54:36 PM

Good with

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