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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Is he happy?

I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with this so bear with me.

Some of you at least will know I prefer dogs to cats. But I am at work all day and therefore decided it wasn't fair to keep a dog.

I found Toby instead. And now of course I wouldn't swap him for any dog in the world.

When I decided to get a cat I didn't plan on getting a FIV+ one. It just happened. My experience of cats at that time was that they went outside during the day and come home for their dinner. It therefore didn't matter to them whether their humans were at home or not. It was the logic I used to get a cat rather than a dog in the first place.

Toby of course doesn't have that option.

In a nutshell, it initially didn't occur to me that my new friend was going to find himself in the same position as the dog I refused to get. My question is - and the point of this post - by not wanting to condemn a dog to a sad and lonely five days a week, have I unwittingly done that same thing to my cat?

It bothers me to know he spends a lot of time shut in the flat on his own (anything from 9 to 12 hours during the week).

How do you know when your cat is happy with his lot? How do I know that Toby isn't yearning for his old life back in his previous home? Is he feeling loved enough? Is he feeling happy or sad? Does he feel lonely on his own?

On rare occasions I've wondered whether he would be better off with someone who was home more. But of course I wouldn't part with him. No way in heck. A home without Toby in it isn't worth going to.

And lets be honest. An unfit, middle-aged, timid, nippy (but very affectionate) FIV+ cat would hardly be considered particularly 'adoptable'. Not that I have any intention of ever testing the theory.

I regularly talk myself though it by telling myself most American cats are indoor and some are no doubt left for long periods when Mummy and/or Daddy are at work. I have no doubt that most of those cats are completely happy with their lot.

So why do I beat myself up over it anyway?

I want a second cat but right now its not practical (couldn't get two cats to my mothers on the train for a start). Its a shame because it would do Toby the power of good I think. I think a second cat would work as he does seem to 'tolerate' Felix when I go to my mothers.

Perhaps I'm thinking too much. Toby is loved, gets the best food my money can stretch to, has lots of toys and some fab cat furniture. In other words - he is ..




The most annoying thing about this of course is that I'll never get a definitive answer. But any thoughts or comments would be appreciated all the same.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 08:51 PM
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I don't know how to stress this enough. Cats sleep almost all day. Seriously. I know - I'm home all day now. I thought Cinderella was giving me sad looks as I left for work. Now I know she just wanted me out of the house so she could go back to her beauty sleep.

Getting a second cat is a risky proposition. There's no guarantee they're going to be healthy, no matter where you get them from. There's especially no guarantee they're going to get along with Toby. Cleo and Cinderella co-exist, but will never, ever be friends. At least there's no fighting, but it makes me sad.

I know there are more success stories than failures. Look at all the multiple cat owners we have here. But I wish I had stopped at Cinderella, for her sake.

Toby has a great life and it's obvious from your recent short little movie from your garden how much you love each other.

Cali, Cinderella, Cleo and Charlee

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Always in my heart, my lovely Cinderella, running free at the Bridge.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 08:54 PM
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I'm home with my cats almost all day, every day. Do you have any idea how much of their time they spend sleeping? I bet they are only awake for about 4 hours every day. If the cat is spending time with you in the AM as you get ready for work and time with you in the PM as you return from work and before bed...you are spending the majority of his 'awake' time with him interacting with you. The rest of the time is spent looking out windows, playing a bit, eating/ drinking/eliminating and ... sleeping.
Don't worry about it.



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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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A second cat is simply not on the cards at the moment anyway Marie regardless of any desires I may have.

Yeah - i love that little movie in the garden.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Do cats really naturally sleep that much? Darn - I just thought Toby was a lazy so-and-so.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 09:15 PM
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Yes, they do. Cinderella is not only a member of the Sleep Club, she's the President - errrh, Princess.

Even the twins sleep much of the time. Unless they hear any sound in the world that could possibly indicate a chance of food being available.

Cali, Cinderella, Cleo and Charlee

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Always in my heart, my sweet Cali, running free at the Bridge.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 09:28 PM
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Bosco sleeps almost all day unless he hears someone in the kitchen (which means he might get food) or when we're trying to sleep and he demands to have over half my pillow to himself. Don't understand why he prefers my pillow to the OH's. Rawr.

Reyna used to sleep most of the day despite being a kitten still. But with the fosters she's awake most of the day now running around after them.

Even Drifter sleeps most of the day unless he hears food, his leash or the car keys.

Don't feel bad, Toby probably does the same and I'm sure is very pleased with the human that serves him.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 09:36 PM
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I am home almost all of the time and the kids sleep most of the day. They don't even sleep near me most of the time- they scatter all through out the house, so I don't think they care either way if I am here or not.


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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 10:20 PM
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I'm home all day and working upstairs in the spare bedroom. Maggie is the only one that hangs out with me most of the day and she sleeps most of it away, either in one of the beds on the floor or on my desk. Kobi and Holly spend most of their day out on the screened porch and come up for a little attention 2-3 times a day and Holly will usually take a late afternoon nap up there.

I will say that they seem much more secure and relaxed since I've been home. Either that or they're sick of me. When I was working away from the house they would be somewhat clingy, all hanging out with me and following me from room to room. Now I can be sitting on the couch at night and realize that they're all missing....I'll usually find them upstairs on the bed. I've also found that when I do go out, whether for an hour or all day, that my homecoming is not the event it used to be when I spent a lot of time away...I guess that means that they're kind of sick of me .

So I guess I would say that yes, they're happier when someone is home with them all the time. But I wouldn't draw the conclusion that they're unhappy when left on their own....the behavior isn't that significantly different.


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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 10:42 PM
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On the days that I'm home, I don't see the cats until dinner time anyway. After breakfast, the find a perch and stay there all day. They won't even come get in my lap if I'm on the computer until the evening. Around about 5 pm they start to stir. Point being, I doubt very seriously your cat is feeling unfulfilled with lack of stimulation during the day. Even cats who are outside during the day are napping on a porch or under a shrub somewhere. Cats are nocturnal/diurnal, they just aren't active during the day. Don't worry. Tobes is completely content in his life with you. You are a wonderful mommy to him. And he loves you and his life with you very much.

Rachael with Thurston, Sully and Ninja.
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