Is my cat missing my husband from whom I am separated?

Is my cat missing my husband from whom I am separated?

by Christine Elliot
(Canford Heath, Poole, Dorset, England)

My cat who is about 10 to 11 years old has gone off her food for almost a week now. She has done this before, but not for so long. Since I separated from my husband, and moved out of the family home she has gone from being an outdoor cat to one who just wants to stay in, although she wants to go out at night, which I do not allow.

She sleeps most of the day or just sits and looks out of the window. But she does play quite a bit when I play with her.

She also looks a little sad sometimes. Could it be that she is missing my ex. or could she have something wrong with her?


The following is an update submitted 11th Feb 2010 made after comments and notes below were submitted.

Hi..I have tried emailing you a couples of times but they have been returned. I want to thank you for your emails, but I do not know how to reply to them so I hope this gets to you. And I want to thank all the people who took the trouble to comment on my cat Sally-Ann. I really liked the one from Joyce Sammons.

Good news, my cat is now eating. I don’t think it can be the moving to a new home, as she has done this before. Sometimes her tummy rumbles when she is hungry. I have taken her to the vet but she could not find anything wrong with her, I’m glad to say. By the way, Sally-Ann hates catnip, although she used to love eating the catmint from the old garden.

I would very much like to echo the comments concerning the cat with the broken tail, please do not put her to sleep. Like every one has suggested take her to an animal shelter. In England there are many shelters, some just for cats.

To me a pet is a member of the family and you don’t put a child to sleep when he/she gets poorly. Like it says on the car stickers a pet is for life not just for Christmas.

Sally-Ann belonged to a friend of mine, but her boyfriend did not get on with the cat so she wanted to get rid of her so I took her in. She is a lovely cat and I would send in a photo but I do not know how to. I am new to computering and the internet; just learning.

Will you tell me your e-mail address, and maybe this time a I shall get it right.


Hi Christine…. Thanks for visiting and asking. This is a tricky one as going off food is a very general symptom. Without further symptoms to refine diagnosis it is all but impossible to decide what the problem is.

You say that she has gone off her food before but did not explain under what circumstances that occurred. Were the circumstances similar to those that exist at present? Was she close to your ex.?

I think something like a separation between humans can affect a cat companion so the answer might be as you state.

It does not sound as if she is ill because she plays. Sleeping all day for a 11 year old cat is probably not exceptional so that doesn’t support the argument that she is ill.

Her staying in during the day is probably linked to the move to a strange place. It takes time for a cat to adjust. Wishing to go out at night is logical as it is safer for her. Anyway the domestic cat is crepuscular (a dawn and dusk hunter/activity).

I would play and entertain as much as possible. Love and treat her and keep a watchful eye to pick up any developments that can then be assessed by a good veterinarian.

Michael Avatar

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

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Is my cat missing my husband from whom I am separated?

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Mar 21, 2011 thanks
by: seo

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Mar 04, 2010 Hi Christine
by: Michael

I updated your page. Thanks for the update. I am pleased that Sally-Ann is OK.

You can email me a photo at:


change this: [at] for this @ and it should have no spaces.

I present my email this way as there are people who “steal” other peoples’ email addresses and use them to spam other people.

Michael Avatar

Mar 02, 2010 they sure can be sad
by: kathy

I related on this site how my two cats Lia and Midnight were absolutely depressed for quit some time when I had to return my Savannah Kitten Kachina because she was too aggresive for us to handle. They didnt eat and mopped around for almost three weeks. We brought a new kitten home with us but they would not accept her like they did the other one. They really loved her. Lia would not allow the other kitten near him for almost a month. Midnight just refused to play with her. Well Lia still hasnt accepted her like her did the other kitten but today he was sharing his bed with her. That took quit a while. MIdnight has started playing race and chase with her now but they dont like her as well because she tends to bite them. Hopefully things will smooth out for you and your cat. You just have to give her a lot of special attention at this time. One time when my boyfriend went off on a 3 day binge Lia and mIdnight were so upset they actually were fighting with each other. I told him never do that again because I had two unrully cats until he came home. Im sure your cat misses Daddy but it will take time. Give a lot of attention at this rough time. Cats have feelings just like we do and no one can tell me they dont.

Feb 27, 2010 Major traumas for a cat
by: Ruth

Hi Christine,I’m so sorry for your troubles and yes cats can be very sad, just as we can.
Your cat has had two major traumas, losing a family member and also moving house and it does take time for a cat to adjust, especially an older cat.To her it’s like two bereavements,she’s lost a person and her home,she doesn’t know why it has happened and that it won’t happen again.
She is probably not going out much because she wants to be near you and be where you are,she doesn’t want to lose you too.Wanting to go out at night feels safer to her as she knows you will be home and in bed and going nowhere.But you are right, it’s safer to keep cats in at night.
Give her lots of tlc,maybe a new scratching post and some catnip toys, some tasty treats,talk to her, sing to her, make her feel important and loved. You can comfort each other.
If she doesn’t eat anything at all for 2 days she needs to see a vet as it’s dangerous for cats to go without food for longer than that. If she withdraws from you,loses weight quickly or starts drinking a lot of water,she needs a check up too.
I hope she is soon back to her normal self.
Take care of yourself too Christine.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 26, 2010 empathic
by: Joyce Sammons

cats are empathic and pick up on your mood. Plus being in a new place doesn’t help. Just keep your baby in and show lots of love and do what is best for both of you. Your cat is having to adjust to a whole new way of life and its hard. I went thru the same thing about 10 years ago.

Welcome to the site. We’re all like one big family here.

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