We’ve all seen the joy dogs demonstrate when their owners return but have you seen the same reaction from a cat?
A couple times when we have been away for several weeks, we’ve come home to one of our cats howling a deep guttural mournful sound. It just breaks my heart to hear this. Of course, I don’t really know what’s happening in her brain, but I can anthropomorphize with the best of them.
The most difficult time for me was after an absence of 6 weeks when she seemed not to have bonded nor been soothed by the sitters, She ran and hid behind our sauna in the basement, howling all the time. Once I got her out, she shunned us (which is after all normal) for several hours.
She is a challenging cat to connect with so we always talk with the sitters about laying on the white couch (her favorite) and letting her come to you. We know she has bonded with someone when she lays on someone on the couch, kneeds on them, or chooses to sleep with them. But, that’s off topic.
Do cats miss their owners? YES! Without a doubt, my girl kitty does. Our big old, orange tabby, perhaps not so much. He is perfectly content with a lap, any lap, any time, any where, but the girl, she shows us how much we are missed, though not in the fun way that dogs dance around and leap with joy. In the cat way, by shunning, tail lifted high, turned away, waiting for me to beg for forgiveness.
Cats definitely miss their owners, and even their sitters!! We have found some really cuddly cats, who I can’t imagine just dropping in on once or twice a day to check in on them. Some just really thrive from the attention and affection, that they would probably be so lonely and maybe even destructive being left alone. I think that’s a common misconception, why would cats need a full-time sitter… we have found more often than not, they & WE thrive being around each other
Most cat I know seem to ‘punish’ their returning owners by ignoring them. At least for a short while. Perhaps showing in their own special way that they did indeed miss them.
Of course varies per cat, but they certainly do! At one of the sits we did last year, the owners said that they used to have the neighbors drop in and feed the cat, but on their last trip (2weeks), one of the cats hid in the basement for a week, sulking and ignoring them. Clearly making her displeasure known! She was the sweetest lap kitty, would come up and sit on one of us every time we sat down