Renowned for their independence, some may believe cats don’t miss us when we go away. Unlike dogs that display a gamut of overrun happy emotions when you return home after time away, our furry feline companion may not always make it so easy for us to tell that they missed us when we were away.
It’s International Cat Day, 8 August. There’s no better day to ponder the quirks of our feline house pet. As a cat lover forever (and of all animal kind) I’m fascinated by their behaviours and how they find ways to communicate their feelings and affections towards us.
With travel such a big part of my life and long periods of time away from my furry friend, I am 100% certain cats miss us when we are away.
Nuzzling me, climbing all over me, staying by my side, following me - all his regular signs of affection but in overdrive. It can last for just the first day or carry over for a few days when all his affections towards me are heightened. It seems that the longer that I’ve been away the longer the neediness lasts.
A big part of the intensity of his affections is his purr. He’s always been a ‘purry’ cat but when I’ve just returned home it’s stronger and longer lasting.
Grooming, and not about his self-grooming but rather he grooms me. My cat is super affectionate at regular times but after I come home he’s obsessed with trying to groom me, or reaching out to lick my face.
My cat loves his food and he’s always asking for a second helping after breakfast and dinner. However when I’m away and he’s got a carer he doesn’t ask for extras and is content with smalls. Once I am home he is straight back to his old habits of asking for extra and snacks. It’s widely understood that cats may stop eating or eat less when you are away as they fret for your company.
There’s times when I think my cat has become a dog. Along with his extra neediness for affections, the heightened purrs and extra grooming I notice he follows me a lot more and if he doesn’t know where I am there’s a loud meow that sounds like a call out asking ‘where are you’? The meow is distinctive and it’s only when he’s not with me and can’t see me.
The all too familiar comparison of cats to dogs; we all know a dog can’t hide his feelings. Have you ever found your cat is slow to warm to you when you have just returned? My cat has always had this delayed response to seeing me when I come home. Sometimes it’s a few minutes and other times a bit longer before he seems to recognise it’s me. It’s like a light bulb moment when he suddenly realises and then all his affections go into overdrive.
They may be fiercely independent, but they still love us. Our cats miss us for sure – without a doubt.
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