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Are Cats Social Animals? How To Tell If They Enjoy Company

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

young woman holding her siberian cat

Cats have a reputation for being independent animals, even as domestic pets. Those with no experience with cats may assume that cats are indifferent toward their humans and/or fellow household pets.

So, are cats social animals? While cats are generally solitary animals, most indoor and domesticated cats can be social in the right circumstances. They learn to crave the companionship of their humans and their fellow pets at home.

Still curious? Read on to find out how social cats can be and how to tell if they enjoy your company!

hepper cat paw divider

Normal Cat Social Behavior

Cats in the wild are solitary by nature. They are solitary predators that generally hunt alone within a designated territory that they claim—to prevent any competition for prey and resources. This has allowed the feline species to survive and thrive throughout history.

These feral instincts are still passed down to domesticated cats today. For example, pet cats can be seen exhibiting hunting behaviors, claiming certain areas as their own at home, and even preferring to be alone.

The sociability of cats, however, is based on necessity rather than instinct. They adapt to their domesticated environment and group living, which has allowed them to be more social in nature. Through domestication, cats are able to form close bonds and companionship with humans and their fellow pets.

orange tabby cat sitting on grass outdoors
Image Credit: Robert Laszlo, Pexels

Sociability with Humans

Cats can be friendly and social with humans, but this heavily depends on their personality and past experiences. Some cats like being around people and being petted, while others prefer to be left alone. However, even cats that are not naturally social can become close to their human caregivers with enough love and attention. Cats also recognize that their humans are the ones providing the necessary resources for survival, such as food, shelter, and other things that allow them to be comfortable.

Playing with cats and giving them toys and treats can help build trust and make them feel more comfortable around people. Spending time with cats, talking to them, and giving them gentle pets can also help them feel more connected with their humans. This is what makes cats great pets and excellent companions.

It is important to note that cats were not bred to perform specific tasks the way dogs were. Instead, they were bred and selected based on physical appearance, such as their color and hair length.

Sociability with Other Pets

The sociability of cats with other pets can vary depending on the circumstances. Some cats may be very sociable and enjoy interacting with other pets, such as dogs or other cats, while others may prefer to be the only pet in the household.

If introducing a cat to a new pet, it’s important to do so gradually and under close supervision to ensure both animals feel safe and comfortable. Cats may exhibit aggressive or fearful behavior towards other pets, but with proper socialization and positive reinforcement, they can learn to coexist peacefully.

As solitary creatures, cats do not naturally form bonds or companionship with their fellow pets through instinct. Instead, they adapt to their environment and form these bonds out of necessity of sharing the same home. Regardless, you will still find your cat exhibit their territorial behaviors and value their own personal space even with other cats or pets around.

Cats on the Playing Ground
Image Credit: Arina Krasnikova, Pexels

How to Tell if Cats Enjoy the Company

Each individual cat has their own unique personality. They may have their own quirks and behaviors that can be confusing. As cat parents, we obviously love the company of our cats, but how can you tell if your cat enjoys being around you as well? Here are a few signs that tell you that they do!

  • Purring and vocalizing
  • Seeking out attention
  • Playing
  • Kneading and other forms of physical touch
  • Affectionate behavior
  • Twitching or curling tail
  • Laying down to expose tummy
  • Your cat brings your gifts
  • Nibbling and licking
  • Following you around
  • Blinking at you slowly

Note that your cat may exhibit different behaviors to show you they enjoy your company. Not all cats are the same, and each of them are sure to have their own way of showing you that they love being around you!

Social Cat Breeds

While cats learn to build relationships with humans and other animals out of necessity, there are some cat breeds that are generally more outgoing than others.

If you’re looking for a cat that will enjoy your company, there are certain breeds you can look out for. These cat breeds are known to be especially social and friendly!

young woman playing with two ragdoll cats while giving a treat
Image Credit: Atmosphere1, Shutterstock

Do Cats Get Lonely?

While cats are generally independent animals, they still benefit from social interaction and can become lonely or bored if left alone for long periods of time. In short, yes, cats can get lonely and they are known to miss their owners if left alone for too long.

Cats are also creatures of habit and can easily get anxious and stressed if faced with changes in their environment. This can include being left alone.

Signs that a cat may be lonely include excessive meowing, destructive behavior, changes in appetite, and decreased energy or interest in play. Providing your cat with plenty of attention, playtime, and affection can help prevent loneliness and promote mental and physical stimulation.

Additionally, having multiple cats in the household can provide socialization and companionship for each other, as long as they get along well. It’s important to recognize and address signs of loneliness in cats, as prolonged isolation and boredom can lead to behavioral and health problems.

hepper cat paw divider

Final Thoughts

Although solitary in nature, most domesticated cats can be social if given the right circumstances. They can form close bonds with their owners, and can visibly show their affection through their body language and physical contact.

Cats may be solitary animals because of their predatory instincts, but through years of companionship, they have learned to build relationships with their humans and other pets. They can even miss their humans if left alone for too long!

See Also: Could A Cat Survive in A World Without Humans? Interesting Facts

Featured Image Credit: evrymmnt, Shutterstock

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