7 Signs Your Cat Will Miss You After Adoption

7 Signs Your Cat Will Miss You After Adoption

Introduction: The Emotional Bonds Between Cats and Their Humans

Cats form profound connections with their humans, often seen as aloof creatures, their affection runs deep. Many of us worry how our feline companions will cope once we’re no longer together. In this article, we’ll look for the signs indicating that your kitty may indeed miss you after adoption.

Your Cat Follows You Relentlessly In The Days Leading Up To The Adoption

Cats that shadow you more intensely than usual are demonstrating clear attachment. When facing a looming separation, maintaining reassuring routines can make all the difference. Let me share an experience where a cat named Whiskers wouldn’t leave my side in the days before I had to find him a new home. This behavior was indicative of his impending sense of loss. Combining my observations with what behaviorists confirm, it’s established that consistent, gentle reassurance is key during such transitions.

Your Cat Vocalizes More When You Are Preparing To Leave

When your usually quiet cat turns into a chatty Cathy, it’s likely an expression of anxiety about upcoming changes. Comforting a vocalizing cat with soothing tones and extra cuddle sessions can ease their tension. For instance, a study in feline behavior suggested that cats exhibit increased vocalization when exposed to stressful stimuli, one of which could be the signs of an impending departure.

Your Cat Displays A Change In Appetite Or Grooming Habits

A change in a cat’s eating or grooming habits can be a reflection of stress or anxiety. Maintaining a stable environment with routine feeding and care are strategies we can use to help our feline friends cope better with the changes that adoption brings.

Your Cat Has A History Of Separation Anxiety

Cats with previous separation issues are likely to experience similar distress. Early identification and implementation of anxiety-reduction techniques can offer relief. Through my work in animal rescue, I’ve applied various methods such as familiar scents and gradual desensitization which have proven effective in alleviating a cat’s apprehension prior to adoption.

Your Cat Brings You Gifts Or Seeks Extra Attention

When your cat starts bringing you more “gifts” or asks for additional attention, they’re expressing their bond with you. Responding positively to these actions strengthens your connection during the uncertain times of an impending adoption. Reciprocating this show of love with attention and playtime can reaffirm your bond and provide comfort.

Your Cat Shows A Special Response To Their Name Being Called By You

Your cat’s response when you call their name shows their attachment and trust in you. Engage in conversations with your cat using their name often to reinforce the bond and provide reassurance during this period of change.

Your Cat Snuggles Or Sleeps With You More Than Usual

Increased snuggling or seeking to sleep close to you can indicate your cat’s anxiety about a forthcoming adoption. Creating a cozy environment and spending quality time can convey a sense of safety and affection to your furry companion.

Moreover, the cats I’ve fostered reacted similarly before their adoption days; extra lap time wasn’t just them being affectionate—it was a cry for comfort amid their uncertainty. My experiences combined with scholarly research have shown that heightened physical contact is a cat’s way of seeking security during stressful times.

How can I prepare my cat for my absence after adoption?

When adopting a cat, it’s common to worry about how your new furry friend will handle your eventual absence. Whether you’re traveling, moving, or facing a change in schedule, you can take proactive steps to make the transition smoother for your cat. Start by creating a consistent routine that includes regular feeding times, play sessions, and cuddling spots. Introduce your cat to a safe and comfortable space that they can call their own, complete with their favorite toys, a cozy bed, and familiar scents.

Gradually accustom your cat to being alone by leaving the house for short periods at first and gradually increasing the time you’re away. Consider the use of puzzle feeders and automated toys to keep your cat entertained and engaged while you’re gone. Consistency is key. Cats thrive on routine, and by establishing predictable patterns, you can ease their anxiety about your absence. It’s also important to ensure they’ll have proper care in your absence through a pet sitter or trusted friend familiar to the cat.

What behavioral changes should I look for in my cat after I return from a long absence?

Cats can exhibit a range of behavioral changes following a prolonged absence of their owner. Some cats become more clingy, following their owner around the house, excessively meowing, or demanding more attention than usual. Others may become temporarily aloof or even hide as a form of expressing their discontent with the separation. Changes in appetite, either increased or decreased, can also be a sign of stress or anxiety in response to the owner’s return.

It is crucial to observe your cat’s litter box habits, as changes here could indicate stress or a potential health issue. Watch for any symptoms of stress-induced illnesses, such as feline interstitial cystitis, which can be triggered by changes in routine or environment. If you notice any significant behavioral shifts or health concerns that persist, consult a veterinarian to rule out any medical issues and seek advice on how to re-establish a sense of normalcy and comfort for your pet.

Can cats form attachments to their owners similar to dogs, and how does this affect them post-adoption?

Yes, cats can form strong bonds with their owners, although they may express their attachment differently than dogs. Cats are often viewed as more independent and less emotionally reliant on their human companions, but research and anecdotal evidence suggest that many cats do develop deep connections with their owners. These attachments can be observed through behaviors such as greeting their owners at the door, bringing gifts (like toys or small prey), or sleeping near or on top of their humans.

Cats may experience separation anxiety, exhibited through signs of distress or behavior change when their bonded owner is not present. After an adoption or a long separation, cats may need time to adjust to the absence of a beloved caregiver. They might display seeking behaviors, vocalize more, or become more insular and hide. Understanding that cats can be as socially connected to their owners as dogs can help in taking the right steps to ensure they feel secure and loved, even when changes occur.

What are some tips for minimizing stress for my cat before, during, and after the adoption process?

To minimize stress for your cat throughout the adoption process, it’s essential to make each phase as smooth and comforting as possible. Before the adoption, you can help your cat adjust by maintaining a calm and stable environment. Introduce any potential changes gradually, including new items they may need when you’re not around. During the adoption process, provide items that smell like you, such as a worn piece of clothing, to give your cat a sense of security. Soft music or a pheromone diffuser may also soothe them.

After the adoption, stick as closely as possible to the routines you’ve established to give your cat a sense of familiarity. Provide adequate play and interactive sessions, which can help distract your cat and release pent-up energy. Be patient and give your cat lots of gentle attention when you are around, reassuring them through your presence. In more severe cases of stress or behavioral changes, consulting with a feline behaviorist or veterinarian can provide more personalized strategies to ensure your cat’s well-being during this transitional period.


How can I make the transition easier for my cat when I give them away?

To make the transition as smooth as possible, try to ensure your cat’s new environment is set up with familiar items like their bedding, toys, or scratching post. Gradual introduction to the new owner, if possible, can also help reduce stress.

Can I visit my cat after adoption to help them adjust?

While visiting your cat after adoption might bring temporary comfort to you both, it can hinder your cat’s adjustment to their new owner as it might cause confusion. Allow your cat to bond with their new family and adjust to their new environment without interference.

Do cats remember previous owners?

Cats have good long-term memories, especially when it comes to the people they’ve bonded with. They are likely to remember significant people in their lives, including their previous owners, even after a considerable period of time.

Is there a sign that indicates a cat has successfully adjusted to a new owner?

A cat that has adjusted well to its new owner will display signs of comfort and trust, such as seeking attention, showing relaxed body language, and engaging in normal daily routines like eating, grooming, and playing.

Can a change in a cat’s behavior after rehoming be temporary?

It is common for cats to exhibit temporary changes in behavior as they adjust to a new environment. These changes can include hiding, decreased appetite, or minor litter box issues. Over time and with proper care, most cats will return to their normal behavioral patterns.

How long does it typically take for a cat to miss its former owner?

The time it takes for a cat to miss its previous owner can vary greatly depending on the cat’s individual personality and the strength of the bond between the cat and the owner. Some cats may show signs of missing their owner within days, while for others it might be less noticeable.

What should I tell the new owner to watch for in the first few weeks after adoption?

Inform the new owner to watch for changes in eating and bathroom habits, as well as general mood and energy levels. It’s crucial for the new owner to provide a quiet and comfortable space while being patient and attentive during this adjustment period.


Understanding that our feline friends can indeed miss us after adoption is a significant first step in ensuring their well-being during a transition to a new home. Observing the nuanced behaviors that indicate they may miss their former owners can be emotionally challenging but recognizing these signs can help ease the process. As caretakers, the most loving thing we can do is to facilitate a smooth transition by preparing them with familiar comforts, conveying their specific needs to the new owner, and giving them the time and space to adjust to their new life without our presence. Always remember that a cat’s adaptable nature and ability to bond with new humans can lead to a fulfilling and happy life in their new home.

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