Does my cat get lonely when I'm at work?

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Do you worry that your cat might get lonely when you're at work? Here's how you can tell is your cat is suffering from loneliness when you're away.

Below the age of two years, cats are generally more receptive to the arrival of another cat. However, individuals vary a great deal in terms of their sociability; some like being around other cats and some prefer to be alone. For those who prefer to be solitary it can be immensely stressful to have another cat join the home.

If your cat has outdoor access, she does not need a companion. If she is sociable she has the chance to find companionship among the cats living in your area.

If your cat only lives indoors, then perhaps having a companion would be good. However, there is a trade off between companionship and space; the amount of space per cat has been shown to be a factor in increasing stress. So, if you live in a small flat then adding another cat could increase stress for her.

Make sure that the environment is as close to ideal as it can be: lots of places to hide and climb, free access to food and water, some activity toys and feeders, and try to amuse the cat with games. If your cat seems happy with this, then don't worry about getting another cat.

Advice given by Behaviourist Jon Bowen.