Do Cats Feel Abandoned When You Give Them Away? Yes They Do

Summary

  • Yes, cats feel abandoned and suffer from stress if you give them away.
  • Cats miss their owners if they go on vacation. If cats are rehomed, they take time to forget the previous place or owner.
  • Therefore, it is necessary to prepare a cat before giving them away.

Have you ever given away a cat, only to feel guilty and wonder if you abandoned them? Do cats feel abandoned when you give them away? It’s a common concern among cat guardians.

While we may never know exactly what our cats are thinking, there are some things we do know about how they experience abandonment.

Do Cats feel Abandoned when you give them away?

The behavioral study suggests that some cats may experience abandonment when given away. A 2013 study found that relinquished cats showed higher levels of stress than those in shelters that were never owned.

The study also found that the number of previous owners a cat had was positively correlated with the cat’s level of stress, suggesting that each time a cat is given away, they may experience some level of stress.

However, it’s important to note that not all cats react negatively to being given away. In fact, many cats adjust just fine to their new homes.

Stress in cats when abandoned

Anecdotal evidence suggests that some cats even seem to enjoy the change of scenery. One study found that shelter cats who were adopted into new homes had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared to those who remained in the shelter.

So, what does this all mean? It’s hard to say for sure. Every cat is different and will react differently to being given away. Some may experience some level of stress, while others may adjust just fine.

If you’re concerned about your cat’s reaction to being given away, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to get their professional opinion.

Do cats suffer if you give them away?

Yes, cats suffer if you give them away. The main reason is that they are creatures of habit. They like routine and they like familiarity. When you take them away from their home, their litter box, their food, their toys, and their favorite spots to sleep and hide, they feel disoriented, anxious, and scared.

Cats also form strong bonds with their guardians. When you give them away, they may feel that they have been abandoned and may never see you again. This can be especially traumatic for kittens who have never been away from their mother and littermates.

If you are considering giving away a cat, it’s important to do your research to find a good home where the cat will be happy and well-cared for.

You should also spend some time preparing the cat for their new home by gradually introducing them to their new surroundings and routines. And, most importantly, you should never give away a cat without giving them a chance to adjust to their new home first.

Do cats miss their owners when rehomed?

While we may never know exactly what our cats are thinking, there is some evidence to suggest that they do miss their previous owners when rehomed.

A study of shelter cats found that those who were recently rehomed had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared to those who had been in their new homes for a longer period of time.

This suggests that the initial adjustment period to a new home can be tough for cats, but they eventually settle in and adjust to their new surroundings.

The reason that cats miss their owner is that they form strong bonds with their guardians. When you give them away, they may feel that they have been abandoned and may never see you again. This can be especially traumatic for kittens who have never been away from their mother and littermates.

Cats miss owners - do cats feel abandoned when you give them away

Is it traumatic to rehome a cat?

Yes, it is traumatic to rehome a cat because they are creatures of habit. Cats form a stronger bond with their owners. Cats have long-term memories and relationships with people.

When cats are rehomed, they may feel that they have been abandoned and may never see you again. This can be especially traumatic for kittens who have never been away from their mother and littermates.

They feel stress when taken away from their home, their litter box, their food, their toys, and their favorite spots to sleep and hide. Cats feel sadness when they are rehomed. They can show signs of sadness such as crying, looking for their previous owner, not eating or playing, and being withdrawn.

It may take weeks or months for cats to forget their previous owner. However, they can still form new bonds with their new guardians. With time, patience, and love, your cat will eventually adjust to their new home.

Do cats feel like you abandoned them? 8 Causes

There are some reasons why cats feel like you abandoned them. Few of them follow;

1. Ignoring the Cat

If you are busy with work or have a new baby, you may be spending less time with your cat than you used to. Your cat may feel neglected and think you have abandoned them.

2. Lack of Attention

Cats need attention and love just like any other pet. When you stop paying attention to your cat and give them less time, they may feel abandoned.

8 reasons that cats feel abandoned

3. Changes in the Household

If there are changes in the household such as a new baby, another pet, or a move, cats may feel abandoned because their routine has been disrupted.

4. Lack of affection

If you don’t show your cat love and affection, they may feel unloved and abandoned.

5. Rehoming

When you give your cat away or rehome them, they may feel abandoned because they are leaving their home and family. Cats form strong bonds with their guardians and may never see you again, which can be traumatic for them.

Will my cat miss me When I Give him away?

Yes, cats miss their previous owners when they are given away. If you and your cat are living together for a long time then the cat may feel abandoned when you give him away. You have formed a stronger bond with your cat.

The sudden change of home will develop a feeling of stress in cats. As they are creatures of habit, they feel more comfortable in their known environment. A new place means new sounds, smells, and people which can be overwhelming for them.

According to a study, cats are not as attached to owners as dogs. But they form an insecure attachment with their guardians. They are so conscious that they want you to watch them when eating food.

While according to another study, cats form strong attachments with their owners similar to dogs.  The study says that cats greet their owners more often than strangers. So, it is obvious that they will miss you when you give them away.

Due to stress, some cats look for their previous owners to comfort them. They may cry, hide, or refuse to eat. Sometimes, cats will try to escape from the new owner and return back to their old home. It may take weeks or even months for cats to adjust to their new surroundings.

Cats try to find previous owner - they miss them

Rehoming a cat can be traumatic for them because they are leaving everything they know and love behind. With time, patience, and love, your cat will eventually adjust to their new home.

It takes weeks or months for cats to forget their previous owner. However, they can still form new bonds with their new guardians. With time, patience, and love, your cat will eventually adjust to their new home.

Do cats feel abandoned when you go on vacation?

Yes, cats can feel abandoned when you go on vacation because they are creatures of habit. They are used to seeing you every day and may feel anxious when you’re away.

Cats may cry, hide, or refuse to eat when their guardians are gone. It’s important to leave your cat with a familiar person who can give them the attention they need. With time, patience, and love, your cat will eventually adjust to your absence.

How to deal with giving away a cat? Selling a Cat

When you are moving or can’t keep your cat anymore, it’s important to find a loving home for them. You may want to give them away to a family member or friend, There are some 8 ways to deal with giving away a cat;

1. Talk to your cat

Before you give your cat away, it’s important to talk to them about what’s happening. Explain that you are moving or can’t keep them and that they will be going to a new home. Let them know that you still love them and will miss them.

2. Find a loving home

When you are looking for a new home for your cat, it’s important to find someone who will love and care for them. Make sure that the new guardians are aware of your cat’s needs and can provide a safe and loving environment.

3. Prepare your cat

Once you have found a new home for your cat, it’s important to prepare them for the move. This includes acclimating them to their new surroundings, getting them used to the new guardians, and packing their things.

prepare your cat before giving them away

4. Make the transition gradual

When you are ready to give your cat away, it’s important to make the transition gradual. This means slowly introducing them to their new home and guardians. Let them explore their new surroundings at their own pace and make sure they have plenty of time to adjust.

5. Be patient

It may take some time for your cat to adjust to their new home. They may cry, hide, or refuse to eat at first. It’s important to be patient and give them time to settle in. With time, patience, and love, your cat will eventually adjust to their new home.

6. Keep in touch For Some Time

Once you have given your cat away, it’s important to keep in touch with their new guardians. This way you can check on them and see how they are doing. You may also want to exchange pictures or videos of your cat so you can keep them in your memories.

7. Let go

After you have given your cat away, it’s important to let them go. This means accepting that they are in their new home and that you may not see them again. It’s okay to be sad and to miss them, but try to focus on the happy memories you have of them.

8. Move on

Finally, once you have given your cat away, it’s important to move on. This doesn’t mean forgetting about them, but rather focusing on the present and future. Try to make new memories with other pets or loved ones. Remember, you can always keep your cat in your heart.

Giving away your cat can be a difficult decision, but there are many resources available to help you find a new home for them. With time and patience, you will be able to find the perfect home for your cat.

Do foster cats feel abandoned?

Foster cats may feel abandoned when their guardians go away, but this is usually temporary. With time, patience, and love, they will eventually adjust to their new situation.

It’s important to keep in touch with the foster carer so you can check on the cat’s progress and make sure they are settling in okay.

Conclusion

Cats may feel abandoned when you give them away, but with time and patience, they will eventually adjust to their new situation.

It’s important to find a loving home for your cat and to keep in touch with the new guardians so you can check on their progress. Remember, you can always keep your cat in your heart.

Have you ever given away your cat? How did it feel? Do they feel abandoned? Share your opinion with us.

References

  1. Moore, A. M., & Bain, M. J. (2013). Evaluation of the addition of in-cage hiding structures and toys and timing of administration of behavioral assessments with newly relinquished shelter cats. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 8(6), 450-457. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2011.10.003
  2. Siegford, J. M., Walshaw, S. O., Brunner, P., & Zanella, A. J. (2003). Validation of a temperament test for domestic cats. Anthrozoös, 16(4), 332-351.
  3. Gazzano, A., Bianchi, L., Campa, S., & Mariti, C. (2015). The prevention of undesirable behaviors in cats: Effectiveness of veterinary behaviorists’ advice given to kitten owners. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 10(6), 535-542. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2015.07.042
  4. Fukimoto, N., Melo, D., Palme, R., Zanella, A. J., & Mendonça-Furtado, O. (2020). Are cats less stressed in homes than in shelters? A study of personality and faecal cortisol metabolites. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 224, 104919. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2019.104919
  5. Potter, A., & Mills, D. S. (2015). Domestic Cats (Felis silvestris catus) Do Not Show Signs of Secure Attachment to Their Owners. PLOS ONE, 10(9), e0135109. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0135109
  6. My, H. L. S. I. L., & Alone, C. Cats Missing Humans: Do Cats Miss You?.

Author

  • Lena Martin

    Lena Martin loves birds and cats. She also has a profound interest in writing and the behavioral psychology of animals. Therefore, she has been observing and fulfilling the emotional needs of their pets for the past 11 years.

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