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

Responses: 147

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One expert claims that cats are solitary animals and only seek human companionship to fill their physical needs. While I have my own thoughts and opinions about this claim, I'm more interested in seeing what my readers believe. You may post your opinions and experiences in the provided form.

NOTE: Questions or responses to others cannot be published. Think of this as your own mini-article. Share Your Opinion

cats adapt

Cats get a reputation as being aloof partly because of the reputation itself. Cats are incredibly adaptable and if treated as such, they will be the stereotypical cat. Simply put: If cats are denied love, they want it less. If cats are smothered in love, they demand it more. Dogs differ because they feel most comfortable around their people while cats feel most comfortable around their home. People are more mobile than homes, therefore dogs are happier in more situations--especially where strangers are concerned. Unfortunately, people are content with this knowledge (or lack thereof) that cats are 'just cats' and many people don't have the time to get to know their unique personalities. My cats change their personalities depending upon my mood; not my day-to-day moods, but mood trends. If they sense that I have been in a prolonged cuddle mood, even the more independent one will be my shadow all day. Conversely, my usual shadow will sleep during the day if I am not in the mood.
—Guest Mandy

cats are independent, not solitary

There is a big difference between not having the pack mentality and being aloof/solitary. Having had cats and dogs live together in my home I know that both are equally playful, loving and fun. And they enjoy each other's company as much as (if not more than) they enjoy being with humans! :)
—Guest maria

Better than people!

I have had cats all my life. While some have been "solitary" animals, I have had several who were better at responding to my moods than my husband was! My 19 year old cat, Buster, was my "blankie" through some very rough times. I also have a Persian, Hugger, who follows me to bed every night, gets some petting and then settles down and sleeps with me. I wouldn't trade any of my cats for anything.
—Patti_Fitzhugh

I guess my two haven't heard that...

Both of my cats are very sociable with me and crave attention. They want their lap times, they want me to play with them, they want to be in the same room with me, they greet me at the door, they cuddle with me in bed. They also come out to visit my guests who come over, although they are much more reserved with them than with me. They knead on me, Coco licks my face - they are very loving with me. They also form relationships with each other, that sometimes remind me of my own relationships with my human siblings. They may not be pack animals, but they form strong bonds.
—HOSTPat

It depends on their personality

I believe that it depends on the cats personality. The very first cat that I had was picky about her food, and liter. She did not like children in the house and would stay out of sight unless she wanted to be bothered. I had other cats in between that one and the one that I have now. I must, the first one and the one that I have now are the total opposite. The cat that I have now loves attention, she is laying up under my arm as I share, she follows me around the house like a puppy, and when I come home she runs through the house because she is so happy. She is not picky about what she eats or uses (liter), she has never hissed, or scratched us no matter what was done to her. She is the sweetest cat I ever had.
—Guest Carla

Documentary

I saw a documentary about feral cats some years back. It showed a colony of cats meeting up at the local "hang out", sharing space for hours, as well as females taking care of each other's kittens. A comment was made that our cats are the only felines except for lions to live in groups in the wild. If solitary means not connecting to humans, I can only assume the person who muttered these words has never had a relationship with a cat. I have had the joy of sharing my life with many cats and all of them have showed affection in one way or another without food being part of the equation. My parents had cat that I met about once a year due to living in another country. When I would call his name, he would come down from the hill and greet me, curl up against me in bed etc. Every year, ocer and over again. So sorry I didn't "steal" him...
—Guest guest

Cats rule the universe

No human I repeat no human has ever given me so much love than my cat! I rather clean her shit up than another ungratefull human beings! I love her to death and I don't care what other have to say about it, she's a very sensitive cat I've never seen that with any other animal actually. When I feel down or depressive she sits next to me and purrs and giving me heads no human tries to cheer me up when I'm down, so for all of those who don't like cats or hate them you can take irrelevant comments with you and buzz off!
—Guest proudcatowner

Cats do love

Every time my cat has a nap, and I am home, she finds a spot as close as she can get to me. Sometimes its beside me, sometimes its under the same blanket I'm under or, at the very least, on the same piece of furniture I am occupying. Nothing to do with body heat for sometimes she's at 2 feet away from me. She also enjoys sitting on the back of the chair I'm sitting on. She resembles a parrot when she does that. While I do believe that cats are very self-serving, mine is very capable also of love :)
—Guest Nanc99

he waits

my male cat Harley follows me from room to room. He will stop eating to follow me if he thinks I am going to leave the houuse. All of those things mentioned in the article from licking my tears , patting my face, head bumping me in the morning....alldone by Harley. The other night, after his belly was full and sated, he went to nap in his favorite spot on tthe chair. I was olaid down on the floor to stretch my back and started to feel drowsy. as I was about to drift off, Harley jumped down,walked to where I lay on the floor ,curled up on my outstretched arm and went to sleep after warching over me for a.bit since (I assume) it was out of place for me to be on the floor. He waits for me at the bus stop when I come home and walks me in. He walks me to the bus stop in the morning and waits in the bushes till i get on the bus. As the bus pulls away, i watch from my seat and can always still see him there untill the bus goes around the corner and hes there to walk me home again in the eve
—Guest babble baby

Are you Kidding me???

It is sometimes upsetting to hear professionals (VETS) say that cats are loners that they don't really bond. Ha! These people have obviously never cared for a cat. All the cats I've had have been lovers.....I've had both cats and dogs and I feel cats bond on a deeper level than some dogs...I love them both....but that has been my experience....VET schools need to throw out their old textbooks and do some new research on behavior.
—jenlovescats

Ms

Ex. 1 I have several cats. They have food in their bowls all day long. When I come home from work and I open the door all of my cats will be there at the door to greet me and want to be picked up and loved on. ex 2 -I saved three kitten their eyes ears were not open yet and they couldn't walk . They were only days old I started bottle feeding all three when they were in their bed as they got older and started hearing all three would turn their heads to the sound of my voice when I walked into the room. Today they are two years old and they want my attention all the time. Example number three- during the evacuation of hurricane Katrina my cats were in a shelter that was set up in the town I evacuated to when I would come to my cats cages they wanted me to hold them pet and talk to them not food. They had food. ex. 4 One of my cats were so depressed from being separated from me she would not eat. She was so happy to see me then she would eat as I petted and talked to her.
—Guest Julie Beard

??

I am always amazed and thrilled that my cats always seek me out, day and night when they they have the whole house to roam; indeed, an acre of property; indeed one has claimed the cul de sac of homes as his, but he always comes to hang around me hungry or not.
—Guest Kathy

Depends!

Hi Franny! In many countries cats n dogs roam freely on the streets uncared for,sick or unhealthy or even one who r taken care of but do not live with a human.In those cases the cat befriends purely to seek food for survival. However that is not the case with house cats, the house cats always have a fav. person that they emotionally bond with,that understands them,that they also understand n at that time 'solitary or not' does not apply, the cat or kitten is a family member n more or less acts like one, for eg. will b curious to know who is visiting it's home, will not play on it's own n wants his fav. human to spend time with him, loves to b petted, listens when he/she is spoken to, stops doing something which the human says no to even if a little reluctantly,does not always seek food n may even walk away from there,but still follow his fav. human to another room,wants to sleep where the human is working or sleeping or sitting,wants to b in the same room.Cats love and want to be loved
—Guest Destiny

don't believe they're solitary

I believe cats are just as emotionally based as any other animal, human,etc. I once heard a comedian say he had cats because they weren't codependent, where as dogs are. My cats know when I'm sick, sad, mad, etc. I do believe they're manipulative at least mine are. They know how to work me, however i allowed it and even encouraged it. I also believe my two boys are homosexuals, they love each other, always have from day one. Both rescues, different situations, bonded and are still at it. So thats not to solitary, manipulative yes.
—Guest stacie

Cat Mom

Cats are not solitary. The older the cat the more attention they need and will demand it. My 20 ear old at the last was insistent on being with me as much as possible and would wait at the door for me and follow around the house. My new kitty needs pets and play before anything in the morning and always has to be near me if I sit down.
—Guest Shirley

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

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