How Do I Know if My Ragdoll Cat Is Lonely?

| October 6, 2016 | 20 Comments

RagsEveryone is familiar with the cat stereotype: they are proud, solitary animals who can keep their own company…or are they? While cats do generally do well as solitary pets, some Ragdoll cats do get lonely if their owner has long working hours, and would really benefit from a little companionship.

A reader recently asked the question how can I tell if my cat is lonely and might want a companion? There is a wealth of knowledge about cats and loneliness from pet owners, and experts also point to some signs to look for if you think your cat might be lonely. Here are a few things to consider if you are wondering if your Ragdoll kitty needs a friend.

Signs that Your Ragdoll Cat Might Be Lonely

Every cat is different, and Ragdoll kittens who have minimal interactions with owners or other pets could still be happy and playful. On the other hand, some pet owners report that they didn’t even know their cat was lonely until they brought home another pet, and then the two became inseparable. Here are a few signs that your cat might be lonely:

  • Aggression – becoming aggressive or dominant with you, particularly when you are getting ready to leave the house.
  • Anxiety – signs of anxiety could include fear of loud noises or strangers visiting, as well as excessive grooming, which can be a cry for more attention.
  • Vocalization – communicating unhappiness at your departure with loud vocalizations.
  • Marking and Destruction – moving or wrecking household objects while your gone, or squatting and spraying – leaving feces and urine in obvious places while you are gone might be your cat’s way of conveying their unhappiness.

If your cat seems a little too sad to see you go and a little too excited for your return, it might be a sign that they are lonely in your absence.

Potential Pitfalls of Getting Another Pet

It is also possible that if your cat seems depressed, another animal could add to their stress and anxiety rather than alleviating it. Sometimes cats do not respond well to a new pet to share their owner with. Some pet owners have experience cats either outright disliking each other – hissing whenever they are near each other – or just barely tolerating each other. This could be especially true for older cats who are more resistant to change.

Consider also what kind and age of cat you would want to bring into the family. Many people instantly think kitten, but older cats could also be successful companions. Some pet owners also suggest that different breeds get along better than others; for example, one theory is that fluffy cats do not generally like other fluffy cats. Do a little research on your cat breed to try and find out what kind of cat might be most compatible for them.

Introducing New Cats

If you truly think that your cat is lonely and wanting a companion, try to set up situations where you can see how they do around other cats or pets; see if you can “borrow” a friend or family member’s cat for a day. While it definitely takes time for pets to adjust to each other, you might be able to gather from an initial reaction how they would do with a new furry member of the household.

If you got your kitty from a breeder, you might also check with the breeder to see what their situation was like there. Did they get along with other cats? Were they more social or solitary? This might give you some insight into whether your cat really does want a companion and how they would do with other cats.

Ways to Make Sure Your Cat is Getting Enough Stimulation

You can also try to alleviate your pet’s loneliness by making sure that they are getting enough stimulation throughout the day. The most obvious way to do this is by making a conscious effort to play with them yourself for a little while each day, but there are some other strategies for busy cat owners:

  • Window with a view – Make sure that your cat can look out a window while your gone. You can add to their entertainment by putting a bird feeder outside of the window so that they can be mesmerized by birds all day – just make sure to keep the window closed so they don’t decide to pounce!
  • TV or radio – You can also leave the TV or radio on while you are out of the house for a little bit of comforting background noise. There are also videos that you can buy and play for your cat while you aren’t home.
  • Outdoor cat pen – Even indoor cats might enjoy a little change of scenery if you can let them outside in a safe, contained way. Think about adding an outdoor cat pen to your yard, possibly even connected to your home by a cat door.

Sometimes a cat might benefit more from subtle attempts to entertain and stimulate them throughout the day rather then bringing them home a new playmate.

However, the Ragdoll cat breed in particular is known to be social and easygoing, so if your Ragdoll seems lonely and shows signs of interacting well with other cats, their lives might be greatly enriched by a feline playmate!

Has your cat ever seemed lonely? What did you do to stimulate them more? Did you get them a companion, and if so, how did they react?

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Category: Ragdoll Cat Behavior

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About the Author ()

Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

Comments (20)

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  1. Wonderful post and great information, Jenny! Thank you so much for addressing this subject. I found it very interesting.

    We are very lucky that our girl, Miss Pink Sugarbelle, is very well-adjusted to being the only pet in our small home (apartment). It’s very rare that my hubby and I are out of the apartment at the same time as we stick pretty close to home. If we are out and about taking a walk around the complex, she seems to adjust very well and trusts that we are coming back soon. I leave the apartment more than my hubby for bike rides and shopping and Miss PSB never seems to freak out or anything because Daddy is still home. (She’s such a Daddy’s Girl.)

    Now, if I could afford another Ragdoll (and our apartment complex would waive the one pet per apartment rule for us) would I get one? That’s a hard decision. My heart would want a 2nd Ragdoll for sure! But, I wouldn’t want to disrupt Miss PSB’s environment as she’s used to being The Queen Of Everything! (However, she’s so easygoing that I think she would probably adjust fairly well but the point is moot as we just can’t afford a second Ragdoll right now. But I think a lot about it because what’s better than one Ragdoll? Two Ragdolls!!! lol) 🙂 <3

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle (who is turning 4 years old tomorrow on October 7th!) 🙂 <3

    • Jenny says:

      ha ha ha – cute. i am sure they don’t even know Pink Sugarbelle is there…I always thought Rags was happy as an only cat – and PSB too with you guys being retired and home most of the time.

      • lol…I’m sure our downstairs neighbor thinks we have a herd of elephants up here in our place when Miss PSB does her growly crazy zoomies in the wee small hours of the morning. She growls and runs around and bounces off the living room couch to her tree tower (the tree tower actually wobbles from the force of her weight hitting it at a high speed) and then zooms down the steps we have next to her tree tower (to make it easy for her to get in and out of it (so her joints don’t take a beating from jumping from the tower platform to the floor). But, we don’t feel too bad about it all since we hear their cute little Lhaso Apso dogs barking all the time (and I’m sure those little dogs bark when their hear our girl zooming around up here, too…lol). 🙂 <3

        • Cherie says:

          Oh, and Patti … my Peachy turns 4 on November 1st. Miss PSB is just one month older than my Peachy, so purrs and hugs to her from Peachy and I down in New Zealand for a fantastic birthday!!! 🙂

          • Thanks, Cherie! And BIG PURRY HUGS & KISSES to you and Peachy from us! New Zealand! Such a beautiful country and awesome people! My dad spent some time TDY there when he was in the USAF in the 1970s. He fell in lurve with NZ. How lucky you are to live in such a beautiful and wonderful country! 🙂 <3

    • Cherie says:

      Kia Ora to you and Miss PSB Patti 🙂 I too am glad Jenni addressed this question, as having just put my adorable, beautiful sealpoint raggie girl Neme to sleep 2 weeks ago tomorrow, I did have concerns as to whether Peachy, my flame point raggie boy, would have found it hard to have adjusted to no longer having a mate. But of course, with his personality and clown like ways, my fears were unfounded. He is now officially the King of his castle, and me his dutiful servant and devoted mum 🙂 He has shown himself to be one extremely resilient and laid back ragdoll who has just taken everything in stride, and it is reassuring to me that he is going to be okay. He did search quite a bit for Neme the first 2 days and nights, and after that it was just a “ah well she isn’t here so never mind” thing …. talk about non plus!!! He is definitely turning a woosy puss now, so I get all the attention now both day and night … the early mornings are every hour on the hour “well now it’s time to wake mum ’cause I want cuddles and snuggles” … oh, and the drooling, purrs and carrying on like a crazy when he receives what he wants … he is just nuts!!! Still, I know he loves me to pieces, and I couldn’t be happier 🙂 Of course, that is not to say that I don’t miss my Neme … I miss her so much and it’s taking some adjusting to her not being here, but we’ll get there. When I cry, Peachy knows just what to do … he sits with me and licks the tears off my face, which is just so cute, and chats away to me … he is my rock, my precious gem and helps me to get through my bad days, just as I do with him. He really is my 2nd soul connection, and I am very blessed to owned by one of God’s most beautiful creatures. So, to sum it up, it really comes down to the type of cat you have … some do just fine on their own, others need that companionship, you really have to know your cat to figure this out, and if you do know them well, you make the adjustments for them and not yourself (finances make a difference too) … in the end, we work it out 🙂

      • So sorry to hear about your beautiful Neme. Please accept my very heartfelt and sincere condolences, Cherie. BIG HUGS!!! <3 <3 <3

        Lurve that Peachy is a flame point. Sounds like such a fun and loving boy, too. And, he's definitely in tune with your soul and knows how to help you through your grief over Neme. <3 <3 <3

        (Lurve those flames! If I could ever afford to get a 2nd Raggy I would definitely want a flame!)

        Glad that Peachy is adjusting very well. What you said above makes a lot of sense. Good advice! 🙂 <3

        • Cherie says:

          Hi again Patti 🙂 Thank you so very much for your sincere condolences (big hugs back from Peachy and I) regarding the loss of my very dear and precious Neme. I was so lucky, so blessed to have had her for an extra 10 years of her life, as she was diagnosed at 1 and a half years of age with feline asthma, and my vet had only given her a life span of 6 years at most. Neme was a very defiant cat at best in so many ways … anything I tried to prevent her from doing, she just ended up doing … my babydoll was such a strong willed little lady, and she had the biggest heart and most gentlelest soul and nature for so many other creatures and people that crossed her path … even the local locksmith was made a friend of in her last week of life. He was only at my house for an hour and a bit the Monday night, and she just wandered right up to him, deciding he was going to be her friend … he’d never had a cat approach him like that, and he thought she was just amazing!!! That was one of the many beautiful things about my babydoll … she had this belief that everyone should have a friend no matter who they were … she made friends with birds, dogs, sheep and so many other entities that I lost count. When I put my tortoiseshell cat Carrie to sleep back in November 9th of 2013 (she was 2 months shy of 22 years of age), Neme fell into a deep depression as she and Carrie had been such good mates. So she and I were so lucky when Peachy came along in March 2014 … Neme made a friend with him right then and there and he broke out of her depression, so the both of them saved each other, and she had such a wonderful caregiver and mate until 2 weeks ago when she passed. Peachy gave her such a wonderful level of comfort, but she still let him know on a constant basis who was Boss. She was such an optimistic lady, who was just so open and giving with others. Neme lived a wonderful and full 16 years of life with such devotion and love to me, and I was so lucky to be chosen to be her mum 🙂 Yes, I have been blessed with being loved and owned by 2 beautiful ragdolls, and although I have only one now, it’s still the best thing in the world. Oh, and with Peachy, and his 5 generations of tortoiseshell dna in his lineage … I still have a huge lot of Ragdoll to love and care for, and I’m a very happy mum in amongst it all 🙂

          • Beautifully stated, Cherie! You have truly been blessed with your kittehs, past and present! I agree that having a Ragdoll (or several!) is the best thing in the world!!! 🙂 <3 <3 <3

  2. Teresa Reid says:

    Great topic! Have only had one kitty at a time when I was only 13, and she was very happy being the only girl just like Patti said.

    Funny this subject came up today because here’s another take on that I was just thinking about. Just because we have 3 inside kitties, doesn’t mean that they don’t get lonely too sometimes. By that I mean that they ALL need that extra individual attention and extra special loving from their humans even though they might have other siblings in the house.

    Today, I was working on a project and heard Gracie calling me with her “lonesome” voice that sounds like “wha-wha-wha.” Now, even though her sister was just a few feet away, she wanted something which was quickly identified as a “kitty-kat (treat)” AND she wanted me to play with her. So, we had the snack time (for everyone) and then I gave Gracie a hollow plastic tube I had some beads in previously, and watched her eyes grow so big that it was something new! Then, she happily batted it around like it was the best toy she had ever seen. Her joy was so contagious that Illaria joined in too. She had us all laughing at her funny faces and antics. ♥♥♥

    • Jenny says:

      Yes! I agree that just because you have two cats doesn’t mean they don’t get lonesome! Charlie is definitely more needy than Trigg, for example.

      • Teresa Reid says:

        ♥♥♥ We actually have 3, but Moody Miss Mari won’t play with anyone sadly to say because of her days as an orphan, she had to watch her back literally so much that she views anything like play as being aggression. ♥♥♥

        • Cherie says:

          Hi Teresa 🙂 My flame point raggie Peachy never got the chance to be friendly with the 3 cats he lived with before I adopted him, as he was being constantly attacked by a fellow ragdoll, and 2 maine coons. Poor Peachy didn’t really stand a chance due to his coat colour either as he stood out like a sore thumb next to a sealpoint raggie, a silver smoke maine coon and a tabby maine coon, so of course through his first sixteen months of age, he was quite a loner. Feeding times were a “get it and scoff it before you miss out”, so it was constantly an environment of fight or flight … in Peachy’s case it was better to run, and stay out of every cats way. Also the fact that when one small kitten is pitted against a ragdoll 3 times the size of them, and well, we all know how big maine coons are … my heart broke for Peachy … he must have been so scared on a daily basis. I guess you could say that Peachy was definitely an orphan, and didn’t get that chance to attach himself to any other being. When I brought him home, it was a huge change for him to find that his new mate, my gorgeous Neme, didn’t have that fighting instinct in her … heck she made friends with everything and everyone, even sheep!!! Of course for him, the first month was really a challenge for him, but after that he gradually settled, and he and Neme became great mates … he really was her caregiver and friend up until she passed away 2 weeks ago today, and he has missed her very much, but has bounced back greatly, and now is really opening up and attaching himself to me, which is just fantastic. So he is longer a loner now, and he is doing just fine being the King of his castle. He is just one of those cats that does just fine on his own, and with having 5 generations of tortoiseshell blood through his lineage, his jealous streak isnt something that has to rear its ugly head, and make him feel like he has to compete with another for attention. I of course am happy to give him all that attention (please read my post above to Patti) as I just love and adore him so much. It is truly a beautiful thing to be loved and owned by my beautiful Peachy 🙂 But then, aren’t all us Raggie owners just so lucky anyway 🙂 Blessings and greetings to you and your precious babies from Peachy and I down here at the bottom of the world 🙂

          • Teresa Reid says:

            Hi Cherie!

            Am so very sorry to hear about your precious Neme’s passing. Your little Peachy sounds like such an easy going little guy. You are so blessed to have him. Love that he is pouring out his love on you even more now and truly believe that he is doing his best to help mend your heart. He sounds like pure love. Funny you said that about the Maine Coons being so aggressive to him because our 3rd rescue kitty, Moody Miss Mari (Mariposa), is a MaineCoon who we took in about 9 years ago now one cold winter day. Neither Gracie or Illaria let her ruin their happy little fun times they have playing together and hunting for treats all over the house. On rare occasions, Mari will join in and that is a joyful time when she gets a lot of praise for her good behavior. Feel so sad for her that she really doesn’t understand how much love she is missing out on from her little Ragdoll sisters!
            This special relationship between you and your Neme will continue to grow into a very deep and soulful bond. You are very blessed to have that.
            Thanks so much for your sweet note from down under. Sending you and Peachy many good wishes for a nice fall and Christmas season!♥♥♥

    • Awwww…what a delightful story, Sweet T! Miss Gracie Boo and Miss Illaria are so expressive with their meows and facial expressions. What fun that must have been! Such a good Kitty Momma are YOU!!! 🙂 <3 <3 <3

  3. Teresa Reid says:

    To Cherie – BIG typo – Meant “Your special relationship with PEACHY…” That’s what happens to my pea brain at 4 am! Apologize and hope you knew what I was trying to say. Sending you and Peachy much love and blessings from all of us here in Virginia!♥♥♥

    • Cherie says:

      Hi Teresa 🙂 Many thanks for your lovely reply. Yes, I knew exactly what you were meaning 🙂 Goodness me, you should see my brain at 4am … and 5am … and 6am … yes that is when one young man decides I should be playing with him atm. Talk about a nutcase … both him and I … me because I am feeling like a zombie … Peachy because he just believes that now I’m letting him outside in the beautiful weather during the day, he thinks nighttime should follow the exact same routine. I am sleeping at the moment with one eye open, and he knows it …. he is one smart cat!!! It is a beautiful Spring season here, and getting warmer every day 🙂 Thank you again for your lovely comments 🙂

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