Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cats and the cold shoulder: What happens when you're gone too long

Popoki the cat giving me the cold shoulder

Cats should, in theory, come running to greet us when we return home after being away. But it doesn't always work out that way. For example, this is the greeting Popoki gave me when I came home today and hoped to get some photos of her for the Sunday Selfie series, as hosted by The Cat On My Head.

I suppose she has a point. I was out of town for a week for work recently, and Popoki was here with my husband. She loves him, but she spends most of her time with me. I think she felt that he wasn't quite the partner she was looking for.

Then, when things settled a bit, I left for a quick overnight trip. This time, she's had enough.

Popoki the cat in profile in the sun

Shy cats like Popoki are sensitive to changes in their environments, and they tend to form strong bonds with just one person. When that person is away for a little too long, it's hard for these cats to feel secure about anything, really. Cats like this can sink into a depression, stop eating and face a variety of very serious health challenges. It's no exaggeration to say that cats like this can die if they don't see their people enough (especially if they're picky eaters already).

I think about this when people say that cats are more independent than dogs, and can be left alone more frequently than dogs. That might be true for some cats, but it's certainly not true for all of them. People who think they can get a cat in order to ignore it might be better off with a fish or a plant instead, right?

Popoki cat selfie

Popoki will be pleased to know that I have no more trips scheduled for the near future, so I'll be right here where she wants me. And I'll be certain to spend quite a bit of time with her, helping her to feel a little more secure. Ideally, I'd like her to understand that I always come back when I go away. But that's a lesson that might take time to sink in.

So where did I go, you might be wondering? Let me give you a sneak peek of the photos I'll be sharing on Wednesday.

Sinead the Boston terrier at the beach

Yup, it's the Oregon coast! We took a quick trip up and back--and we made a stop in Seaside to see the infamous seals. You'll want to come back for my video of the hilarious tricks they do in order to get fish snacks.

But before you leave for the day, leave me a comment, okay? And be sure to check out the rest of the awesome blogs in this hop.

You'll be glad you did!


  1. Poor Popoki. We understand, sweet girl. It's hard for sensitive kitties when their person goes away. Our sweet angel Graphite was that way for many years - super-bonded to me, and he'd be mopey and sad when I had to travel.

  2. Getting the cold shoulder is one thing but getting depressed is quite another. I am glad the Popoki has you back home now, I bet it will be a mutual worry lessened. She is so very attractive and her last picture is a delight.
    Purrs, Erin

  3. I know what you mean,Rabbits hate change too,xx Rachel

  4. I never liked it when my mum and dad went on holiday either. They don't go away now since I became ill because they don't want any upsets for me.

  5. Our one cat was excellent at the cold shoulder! Hope Popoki forgives you soon.

  6. Mudpie is a basketcase when I go shopping for a few hours, I can't even imagine leaving her overnight or for a few days. When my mom is with her she says that she cries and howls for me. It breaks my heart.

  7. Poor Popoki, I am sure she will forgive you though.

  8. you are right that every cat is different when it comes to how much alone time they can tolerate!! Hope you got some quality time together

  9. Poor Popoki. Unfortunately, no matter how many times we leave and return, they don't know or understand that we will be back. Our angel Daphne would pout for days whenever we went away. Popoki certainly came around for an excellent selfie. Thanks for joining us and hopping. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo and Cooper Murphy

  10. We don't like when the mom goes away...even if the dad-guy is here giving us treats like KFC that we normally would never get.

  11. Yep there is no such thing as a quick trip when the peeps go away!

  12. Mee-you Popki mee must try this sumtime!! mee iss all wayss at thee door mee-yowin mee greetin to LadyMum....maybe mee should bee more A-LOOF when shee reeternss frum her gallyvantin!
    Bye thee way; yur a berry hansum mankat!
    Sinseerlee, Siddhartha Henry =^,.^=