In general, cats are deemed to be aloof, independent, and generally not interested in their owners at all but anyone who has owned a cat knows this to be untrue. People who have never owned a cat themselves, or people who are owning cats for their first time will generally think that they will not miss you when you’re gone, but it seems it is the opposite case. As with all animals and even humans, some cats are different than others; some like being alone, while many others actually enjoy the company. From my experience, cats are similar to dogs in that they constantly want attention and want to be included in activities.
So does your cat really miss you when you’re gone?
Some cat owners have reported a change in their pet’s attitude and demeanor, stating that they were not as nice to them after they’ve returned from a trip; others have reported that their cat had made a mess around the house when they were gone; other still, in extreme cases, have stated that their cat had actually gotten sick. Many people have confirmed that this behavior still occurred even if a familiar person came around regularly to check on them, change their litter, and give them food.
All these cases lead to the belief that cats can suffer from separation anxiety just as much as dogs can, and they can suffer to the point of becoming literally sick.
As with dogs, some cats can handle separation better than others, but in general, it is safe to say that your cat is more concerned about you and worries more than you think and would like to know where you are and what’s going on.
It is not far reaching to say that your cat would like to know what time you are going to be home, and expects you to be home at that exact time. Cats can become just as concerned as dogs when you leave, and just as excited when you return, and this feeling can arise anytime, like when you leave for a couple of minutes to go and check the mail as much as when you leave to go on a trip for multiple days.
One owner had feral cats who mostly lived and eat outside, so he assumed they would not mind so much when he left on a trip, especially since he had a familiar person come to the house twice a day on a specific schedule to check if the beds and litter were clean, and to make sure their food and water was fresh.
The sitter had reported that the cats were behaving as usual for the first couple of days, but that they had started to act odd and anxious on the fifth day. The report stated that the mother cat who never leaves the vicinity of the house decided to leave and wander for a couple of days.
The mother cat returned eventually after the owner had returned but she would not act the same as she did before the owner left; she would not let the owner pet her while she ate which is a behavior she had exhibited regularly before the owner left on his trip. A few days after, however, the owner reported that the mother cat’s attitude had returned to normal and he assumed that she just wanted to make sure that the owner was staying for good.
He believed that she was trying to send a message when she left for a few days that said, ‘I can go on vacation too, you know!’.
In general, it’s safe to assume that if your cats did not like you, they would just take the food your provide and leave.
As a pet owner, you want to believe that your pet is just as excited to see you as you are to see them (even though you are the one that provides the food), and that they miss you when you are away just as much as you miss them.