19 Signs Your Cat Might Be Feeling Lonely

Written By Jill Taylor

Cats can have a reputation for being quite independent and aloof. But that doesn’t mean that they’re immune to getting lonely sometimes – this can be highly dependent on a cat’s personality. Here are 19 signs to watch out for, as they could mean your cat is lonely.

Excessive Meowing

Photo Credit: Julia Zavalishina/Shutterstock

We all love it when our cats let us know how they’re feeling, but sometimes, your cat will start meowing excessively. You know your cat best, so if they’re meowing a lot more than normal, ASPCA advises that it could be due to being “left alone for long periods of time each day.”

Being More Aggressive

Photo Credit: Khamidulin Sergey/Shutterstock

This is another one where your cat’s normal attitude needs to be taken into consideration. Cats who are normally quite calm and gentle but who become more aggressive and bite or scratch more than usual might be experiencing loneliness.

Hair Loss

Photo Credit: Studio Peace/Shutterstock

It can be frightening to see your cat develop bald patches, and sometimes, there might be a medical reason, so you should visit your vet first. However, if you’ve also seen your cat licking itself more than normal, then the bald patches could be from excessive grooming due to being lonely.

Litter Box Issues

Photo Credit: Oleg Opryshko/Shutterstock

After your cat has learned to use the litter box, you might assume that your issues with them urinating and defecating around the house are over. However, lonely cats can sometimes refuse to use litter boxes or frequently change their litter box habits, which can be quite difficult to deal with.

Not Eating Or Overeating

Photo Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Some cats are a little greedier than others – that’s just a fact of life and definitely something you’ll come to know about your four-legged friend. When cats suddenly start eating more or less than they usually do or start begging for food or stealing it more often, they might be lonely.

Hiding More Often

Photo Credit: Gladskikh Tatiana/Shutterstock

Our cats often love to hide in cozy corners of the house, but if you feel like you’re seeing your cat less and less throughout the day, then it might be a sign of loneliness. Lonely cats sometimes try to avoid interaction with other people or pets, even at mealtimes.

Destructive Behavior

Photo Credit: noreefly/Shutterstock

Cats Protection suggests that “excessive scratching at furniture and furnishing” can be a sign of loneliness in cats. They might also chew on electrical cords, plants, and other household items. Although frustrating, it’s important to deal with these issues kindly and without negative punishment.


Photo Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Cat behavior varies a lot, as some cats can be highly independent, whereas others will always want cuddles and pets. If a normally aloof cat is much more clingy than usual and follows you around constantly, it might be a sign of loneliness.

Changing Sleeping Habits

Photo Credit: uliya Alekseeva/Shutterstock

Lots of cats love napping and treasure their sleep, but if your cat is sleeping a lot more than usual, then it could be a sign that something’s wrong. Equally, if your cat is more restless than usual and wakes up frequently, then it might be feeling lonely.

Excessive Energy

Photo Credit: Nils Jacobi/Shutterstock

A generally lazy or calm cat getting sudden bursts of energy and running through the house might be an exciting change of pace, but it could be a sign of loneliness. You might also notice your cat pouncing randomly or being more hyperactive at night.

Avoiding Eye Contact

Photo Credit: Freer/Shutterstock

Your cat refusing to look at you directly and turning away when you approach them might mean that they’re feeling lonely. Lonely cats might also keep their heads down more than usual and generally appear more aloof and somewhat dejected.

Changes In Attitude

Photo Credit: Artyom Lezhnyuk/Shutterstock

It’s normal for cats to slow down as they age, so you might mistake a change in attitude for a natural shift in your cat’s personality. However, a sudden lack of interest in playtime or activities that they usually enjoy might mean that your cat is feeling lonely.

Meowing At Doors And Windows

Photo Credit: Jessie Frances/Shutterstock

Cats that seem anxious or restless when they look outside or meow loudly at the doors and windows of your home might be lonely. This can be normal cat behavior if your cat simply wants to go outside, but when it becomes excessive, it could be a sign of loneliness.

Not As Playful

Photo Credit: Olga Pylypenko/Shutterstock

When a cat that is normally playful and loves toys starts seeming disinterested, it might just mean that they’ve had enough for now. However, Purina says that when a “usually playful cat is disinterested in games or their usual toys,” then “they may well be depressed or low.”

Purring More Than Usual

Photo Credit: Mert Akkas/Shutterstock

Most of us assume that purring is always a good sign in cats, but it can actually sometimes be a sign of loneliness. Some cats will purr to themselves in order to self-soothe when they aren’t getting enough attention and affection from their owners.

Not Grooming

Photo Credit: evrymmnt/Shutterstock

Generally, cats are quite clean pets that love grooming themselves. However, a lonely cat might stop grooming itself, causing its fur to become matted or unkempt. You might notice that a lonely cat is unusually dirty or develops a bad smell.

Meowing Differently

Photo Credit: nikkytok/Shutterstock

As well as meowing more, a lonely cat might change the tone and pitch of their meows. This can often be a way to try and get more attention. They may also wail or ‘cry’ more often than they meow, which can be quite distressing to hear.

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Photo Credit: Media Home/Shutterstock

The Spruce Pets states that “some cats need frequent attention and will paw your arm when you are seated or do the ‘figure 8’ around your legs as you try to walk.” Attention-seeking behavior can be a sign that your cat is feeling lonely and needs more attention.

Weight Changes

Photo Credit: Alexander Piragis/Shutterstock

Finally, if you notice that your cat has lost or gained a lot of weight, that may be a sign that it’s feeling lonely. This is linked to eating habits, but you may notice a change in your cat’s body more quickly, especially if your cat has been stealing food.

Up Next: 19 Signs That Say You’ve Officially Entered Old Age

Photo Credit: CREATISTA/Shutterstock

Old age comes for us all, though we do our best to resist it for as long as possible. But aging isn’t only gray hair, wrinkled skin, and yelling at kids to get off your lawn. Here are 19 signs you’ve realized you’re no longer the young stud you once were!


17 Things That Are Too Woke For Boomers

Photo Credit: Andrii Iemelianenko/Shutterstock

Our society is so different from what it was decades ago, and boomers don’t like much of what everyone considers normal in today’s society. In this light, here are 17 things about ‘woke culture’ that particularly make boomers uncomfortable.


17 Things You’re Just Too Old To Be Doing Anymore

Photo Credit: 9nong/Shutterstock

The older you get, the more fragile you are physically and mentally, so it’s important to prioritize your well-being every day. Whether you still feel young at 50 or are closer to 80, we’ve compiled 17 things you’re too old to be doing anymore.