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Readers Respond: What makes you believe that cats are (are not) solitary animals & why?

Responses: 152

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Cats know...If someone says solitary...

I love my cat who eventually moved in to live full time at my house from my neighbor's house, and she loves me. I think that some cats may want a little bit of some "alone" time, (at times), but definitely don't think cats are solitary animals. One should just note cat behavior, domestic and their cousins in the wild, and one will know they aren't solitary, per se. The people I know who say that cats are solitary are usually those who have no connection to cats, or to the animal world, and their souls are not in the "right place; " and in that case, I also choose to stay away from people like that and they can say I'm a solitary animal anyday. (Listen to what your cat "tells" you).
—Guest Vondra

No Way

I have lived on a farm where we had many stray cats, and I have had five house cats in my life time. All my cats have been very needy for my attention. They follow me very where and are always like my shadows. They can never get close enough. Even when there was three of them in the house at the same time. All three would rather be with me than each other. To me this is so strange because people always told me cats were off standish. These cats want nothing but my time. I give them enough attention, but they are not spoiled. So I can't figure it out. All my cats have been anything, but solitary animals.
—Guest Eve

Cats I've Known Belie This

I haven't had a great deal of experience with cats throughout my life, but I have known enough to know that cats are not solitary creatures. True, they don't always seek out attention or companionship, especially if they've been mistreated by people or are feral. However, they are naturally affectionate creatures who crave attention & love, especially when in an environment where they know that these things are given freely. My cat is a perfect example of this. He chose me after we met through my brother & sister-in-law, & since he joined my home well over a year ago, I've seen how sweet & affectionate & loving & compassionate a cat can be. When I'm sick or upset, he watches me carefully, almost in a helpless manner that shows me he wants to do something but can't. Once, when I was really sick & kneeling before a certain ceramic fixture, he put his paw gently on my leg. That touched my heart & showed how much love he had for me. We have a deep bond & live well together.
—margopego

More Affectionate Than ANY Person

My two cats could not be any more affectionate and sociable to me and to my wife. They demand attention and constantly want to be cuddled. No person or dog is as sweet as they are, not by a long shot.
—Guest AP

Feline attention seekers

My cat is definitely not solitary. He is, however, a realist. He actively seeks out my companionship a lot of the time. If he's excluded by a shut door he will often cry to be let in. But not for long, after a while he gets the message and goes somewhere else. I also notice that when my partner (who's feline tolerant but not a super-fan) leaves and there's just me and cat, then he seems to know that he has me to himself and he becomes much more insistent about sharing my company. He is very vocal and "talks" to me all the time in lots of different tones and sounds and I talk back to him. He loves to be cuddled, picked up and petted. I think the idea cats are solitary has grown by comparison with dogs which have a totally different social structure. Even in the wild though, cats will form colonies around a common source of food. It's an out of date concept to claim cats are solitary animals that display little affection. If they really were they wouldn't be so popular as pets.
—Guest Daniel

Cats do love people

I found out bad news about my cat that I was very close to. This cat didn't travel in a carrier, he went with me everywhere. On the way home from the vet where he eventually had to be put to sleep due to lung tumors, I cried the entire way home. He stayed by me side and licked away the tears that ran down my face. I know he was trying to comfort me, and he was the one in pain.
—Guest Laura

Relationships With Cats are Two-Way

All relationships are two way streets. The difference with a cat is that it can vote with its feet and disappear if it does not like the home it's living in for whatever reason. Personally, all four of my cats worship the family and receive mutual worship in return. They are as much members of the family as the non-furry ones . They eat, sleep, live and play with us. They actively seek out our attention, they insist (rather uncomfortably) in sleeping in our arms like babies - they like you to breathe on them - If this isn't some kind of love then I don't know what else I can call it. Why question what just IS ? Some cats my be solitary, others are not, it depends on what you put into the relationship. I think it's more of a parent - child relationship which means that the "parents" are the ones who invest the time but all well brought up children usually respond to love - cats are like perpetual children - that's why we love them, I suppose.
—Guest Karry Gardner

My Guardian Angels

Why, cats are solitary... What a nonsense! I have two female cats, 5 y.o. Buffy and 9 month old Mittens, and in spite of not getting along with each other, if ever I'm sad or I cry they both come to me and don't go until I stop crying, They even lick my tears, and note, they don't get along with each other!
—Black_cats_lover

Cats are Social

At the risk of sounding too clinical... Some basic social skills/behaviors in humans: showing awareness of others’ presence, discriminating between strangers and family, responding to greetings, imitating/following others (basic interaction), participating in more elaborate interactions like conversing, playing, sharing, taking turns, etc., and observing and responding to others’ needs. All the cats I've known and loved have been able to do these things easily, and I think it's because they actually want to be included. My Allie looks at me and seeks my attention; she circles me, sits by me, and leads me “Lassie style” to her food or brush. She often greets me at the door, mimics my words and tone of voice, plays (and takes turns) with me, and snuggles me intensely when I’m bummed out. Even my friend's arthritic 21-year-old cat jumped into my lap to comfort me when I (at 17 years) had been dumped by my boyfriend and was crying inconsolably. (That only made me cry harder!)
—Kimberley_B

Solitary? Not really.

When my first cat was a kitten I made it a priority to spend time with him everyday and we bonded. He's my "little man"! He will even remind me when he has not had his daily dose of affection by initiating it himself. I had inadvertantly created a ritual of being affectionate when feeding and watering him and he had become accustomed to this and will not let me off the hook when I am in a rush. Sometimes he likes to be alone but at other times he will find me wherever I am in the house and curl up close to me. On the other hand, I also have two cats who are more "wild". I allow them to be who they are and they respond when I talk to them and occasionally want affection but for the most part they are more solitary in spirit. I sense that they would like more but are too timid in nature.
—Guest Marlo

the cat

My neighbour's cat, spends most of his time with me, in the evenings, after he has been fed by his owner. He cuddles up in my bed, next to my face, for the night. Obviously, he seems to enjoy my company and wants nothing in return.
—nightfighter

solitary?

I have to say WOW! I'm loving reading all the responses- it makes me feel so good knowing there are soooo many caring folks out there! My kitty was a semi feral- did the feral trap/fix, and then it took One YEAR before he would let me touch him (baby steps, everyday)- Now he comes running anytime I call, is EXTREMELY affectionate- more so than any animal I've ever had (dogs included)- he definitely is loving- (before I had him I too thought cats just wanted security), but he demands attention, play, and just to hang with me- and insists on sleeping on me, knows some English words- THE BEST THING- he is so good I haven't had to train him (I say N0! once or twice to him and he NEVER does it again) I think there are stupid cats and smart cats, and they are as varied as humans - for the people that say cats aren't social, keep in mind they've lived with humans for thousands of years now- and have changed from the wild things they once were.
—kmhollrtsn

I nurture a cat family

Bonding with me is as if i am grand daddy. I usually wake up to open my door and I find at 6:30 am mother and two kittens wait for me to give them milk. They stay for a while, play in my flat and enjoying their bonding, mothers feed, playing for a while and leave. I have even seen mother cat bringing a pigeon to teach kittens to eat. i allow them to do all this outside flat. Its already nine months story. kittens have grown adult and solitary. The same caring mother keeps away from her child Tom cat who often meows for affection from mother cat but cat mother rules followed. I was surprised to see the same mother who licked tom when kitten now keeps away. Poor Tom has no one to depend upon and comes to me as if i am grand Daddy to touch my feet, scratch his head. He now does not want milk comes to play with me as companion, seek for pet session, care. i compassionately shower love as if he is kid but i know he is 9 months adult but has continued behaving like a child with me.
—Guest mukesh mehta

Cats are alot like people

Just like people, alot of a cat's behavior has to do with the experiences they have at a young age, and how much attention they receive. Most cats I have been around that have been cared for and paid attention to are loving, friendly cats. Neglected or mistreated cats are usually afraid of humans. There are of course exceptions, just like humans, personality differs from cat to cat. I have had 4 cats, all from various circumstances and all of different personalities. The first cat was my parent's, and he was cared for and paid plenty of attention, but still hated most people except for my mom, he would bite, scratch and hiss if anyone tried to pet him, and he usually ran and hid. The next was a stray that started coming around, and he was the nicest cat ever. Third was an abandoned (possibly ferral) kitten that a friend found. She is a social cat, but more on her own terms. The newest is from the SPCA, and he is my buddy, follows me everywhere, and loves constant attention.
—Guest Bob Jones

Are cats solitary

All the cats in my life have been affectionate whilst at the same time enjoying their own company when it suited. My first cat as an adult came to us from the cat protection, she was a 9mth old Tabby who had been mistreated, she was scared and very wary at first but she settled. I had a son 11mths later whom she totally ignored, then I had my daughter and the two became inseperable where 1 was so was the other right up until Jazz (the cat) died at 18yrs old. I now have an 18mth Tortie ive had her since she was weaned, and she goes out and explores but when she is home she stays with me. I even have to stay with her whilst she eats or she will just follow me, if I go back to her food bowl she will eat if I walk away she will follow. She also likes to be stroked although not a lap cat. She will attempt to groom me if sit on the floor. I think cats can be picky and this extends to their choice of Human friends.
—Tricia1960

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What makes you believe that cats are (are not) solitary animals & why?

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