If you are planning to adopt a cat, there are many things that you should be aware of and plan for. You should absolutely make sure that you have all of the supplies needed to care for a cat, ranging from enough litter boxes to the right kind of food for the stage of life your cat is in.
You will also need to make sure that your cat has enough toys to entertain itself while you are at work or otherwise unable to fulfill your cat’s entertainment needs.
One of the many things you may want to think about when considering what your new feline friend needs will be considering what cats need depending on their age.
Older cats, especially those that are okay with being independent, are typically much easier to handle when you are living a busy life, but what about young cats and kittens?
Young cats and kittens sleep for much of the day, as they expend much of their energy growing and eating, so surely they cannot get lonely, right?
The truth is that cats are social creatures, even if they do not always express their desire to be around other animals and people. Cats, especially younger ones, can definitely get lonely if they do not have a companion to spend time with.
For many kittens, simply having littermates will be enough to curb the loneliness that these cats can experience.
If you have adopted only one kitten, and you also have a working schedule that leaves you with minimal free time at home, you might need to consider what you can do to help your kitten not suffer loneliness as much.
Solving Your Kitten’s Loneliness
One of the best ways that you can help quell your kitten’s loneliness is to simply adopt another kitten.
Of course, this is far easier said than done, as adopting an additional animal requires investing in more supplies and allocating the resources to cover that.
Additionally, depending on the circumstances, you may also have to introduce the kittens to each other and make sure that they are properly introduced and socialized so that when you leave them alone, they can get along well.
While this may not be the easiest solution to preventing loneliness in your kitten, it is one of the most straightforward ways that you can solve the problem.
Can an Older Cat Bond with Kittens?
More often than not, it is easier for kittens to get along with each other than trying to get an adult cat to bond with kittens. Adult cats may take longer to bond with kittens and accept the kittens as a part of the “group,” and there are times when adult cats may shun the kittens completely, only increasing the sense of loneliness that your kitten may have.
Introducing your kitten to another kitten is generally a much smoother process as well as one that won’t take as much time, as your kitten will not have formed its own opinions on conversing with other cats.
How to Entertain Your Kitten
What is considered loneliness for kittens can also be considered boredom, to an extent. Unlike people, kittens cannot always create their own entertainment unless they are provided with toys and other things to play with. They cannot make up their own entertainment in their imagination until they are a little bit older.
If you are going to be away from home for a period of time during the day and you don’t want your kitten to experience the brunt of loneliness, you may want to consider the idea of adding toys for your kitten to play with.
While it will not get rid of all of the loneliness that the kitten will feel, it may help distract and tire out the kitten enough to avoid some of the depression that can stem from too much time alone.
The toys that a kitten may enjoy will vary between kittens and what their preferences are. Some kittens will love playing with automatic toys, while other kittens may be perfectly happy with a yarn ball that has been rolled around in dried catnip. Some cats will have fun with feathers, while others will prefer string and strips of fabric.
Getting the right kind of cat tree for your kitty could also go a long way toward solving the loneliness problem.
You can experiment and see what toys your kitten responds to best and find a way to alter the toys so that your kitten can play with them without necessarily needing you to initiate play. For example, there are toys where a kitten chases a ball in a set pattern, rather than your kitten relying on you to throw a ball in a game of fetch.
Adding toys for your kitten to play with can help decrease the sense of loneliness the kitten may feel during the day, especially until the kitten becomes old enough that it can play with the toys on its own and becomes accustomed to your routine.
Routine and Loneliness
Cats are creatures of habit, and from a very young age, they will quickly become accustomed to the routine that you follow. They will come to learn when feeding times are, when you go to sleep, and when you typically wake up.
As the kitten grows up in your household, it will eventually begin to synchronize with your schedule. This means that, over time, your kitten will get used to the segment of the day when you are away from home, and it will learn to adjust to sleeping during that time so that when it is awake, it can play with you and get its socialization from you.
With that being said, when you break that routine for whatever reason, such as getting a new job or changing what times you work, this can drastically mess with your kitten’s understanding of your schedule. You shouldn’t necessarily frame your life around your kitten’s schedule, as this is impractical and unrealistic.
However, if you know that your cat has adjusted to your current schedule and you know you are going to be changing schedules, you can try to help your cat adjust to that change.
You can provide more toys for it and offer it extra attention during the times when you are home to provide it so that your kitten will not suffer from as much loneliness as it could.