Can British Shorthair cats be left alone, or is it a disaster waiting to happen?
A British Shorthair is not your typical lap cat. They value their independence and personal space and appreciate some alone time.
But make no mistake—all cats are social creatures. British Shorthairs need your attention and enjoy your company but not in a demanding way. They will follow you around, watch your every move, and curl up next to you to take a nap. Your kitty might give you an impression that they want you out of their sight, but they have also formed a strong bond with you, and you are the one who gives harmony and structure to their life.
If that is so, can British Shorthair cats be left alone? Untamed explains how to raise a happy kitty who won't suffer when you leave for work or a vacation.
Home alone—British Shorthair edition
Oh hey! I didn’t expect you so soon. I thought I had a few more hours of peace. JK, I was pretending to sleep.
Source: Asique Alam
British Shorthairs are pretty lazy. If you spend a good part of your day away from home, they will probably find a cosy little place to snuggle up and nap until you get back. They probably won’t resort to destruction or get into a scratching frenzy while you're away. If you look at your British Shorthair's sleeping habits, you will notice that they are mainly active early in the morning and evening and usually sleep through most of the day. That's because felines typically follow a polycyclic sleep-wake pattern.
More importantly, British Shorthairs are incredibly adaptable felines. They will likely adjust their sleeping schedule to be more in tune with their cat parents' daily activities so they can interact with you more. When you are home, pay extra attention to them. Even if they don't cuddle for hours, British Shorthair will enjoy your company.
You don't need to worry about your kitty becoming depressed or stressed if you leave them alone every day, as long as you spend time with them once you get back. Even if they wait for you at the door every day, don't assume they have been waiting anxiously for your return.
British Shorthairs love their routine and have an acute sense of time. Your kitty knows precisely when the feeding times are and when each household member comes back home.
The problems could arise if your working hours are erratic. If you British Shorthair can't figure out when you will return, and they stay alone for extended periods, it may be best to have someone check in on them.
Can a British Shorthair be left alone for several days?
If you ever leave me again and let that lousy excuse of a human put clothes on me, so help me…
Source: Đồng Phục Hải Triều
Going to work? Not a problem. A two or three-day business trip? They'll be fine. British Shorthairs tolerate solitude better than most breeds.
Anything more than three days requires a cat sitter or a friend who will visit your British Shorthair every day. It's necessary not only because of food and water (you can easily solve this with an automatic feeder and water dispenser) but because your cat needs company and someone to play with.
The good news is that British Shorthairs have incredible personalities. Excellent health, easy grooming requirements, and mellow temperament make them popular among first-time cat parents. They are emotionally stable, even-tempered, and not wary of strangers, so they will quickly get used to a new face.
How can you know if your lazy British Shorthair is lonely?
A steady routine and affection are prerequisites for a stable home for your British Shorthair. If they start feeling neglected or insecure, they will let you know by:
- Trying to prevent you from leaving
- Engaging in destructive behaviour
- Avoiding the litter box
- Refusing to eat or abruptly changing their eating habits
- Being sick often
Trying to keep you at home
Your kitty may employ various methods to prevent you from leaving the house. A clear sign that your British Shorthair misses you and feels lonely is if they:
- Meow constantly
- Sit on your bag
- Interfere with you getting ready to go out
- Stand in front of the door
Even behaviour you may interpret as playful could be a sign that your cat doesn't want you to leave.
Resorting to destruction
Scratching your furniture, clawing on books and other items, and chewing on your clothes are clear signs of anxiety. Even though scratching is natural to felines, if your British Shorthair goes wild on your sofa, they are trying to tell you something.
When I said I wanted us to spend more time together, this is not what I meant.
Source: Ani Adigyozalyan
Avoiding the litter box
Doing their business in inappropriate places (your shoes being the usual victim) is a typical sign of protest. If your kitty has been potty-trained, and they start going number one or two elsewhere, you must change their lifestyle. Males, in particular, are prone to such behaviour.
In case your British Shorthair starts avoiding the litter box, make sure they don't suffer from any health problems first. Sometimes, urinating in odd places can be a cry for help. Your kitty might be struggling with:
- Urinary tract infection
- Bladder stones
- Kidney disease
Refusing to eat or exhibiting symptoms of eating disorders
Cats are infamously fussy eaters—if they don't love it, they don't eat it. British Shorthairs are no exception, so their refusal to eat could be related to the type of food. You may have switched them from wet to dry or semi-moist food or started experimenting with a raw diet or B.A.R.F. products. Ingredients in their regular food might have also changed, and your kitty noticed it and decided a boycott was the only solution!
There is a problem if none of the above is the case and your British Shorthair suddenly decides to refuse their favourite treat. Cats tend to reject food if they are sick or upset about something.
Whatever the case, felines shouldn't go without food for more than 24 hours, or the health consequences can be dire. It could lead to:
- Unhealthy weight loss
- Liver damage
Besides refusing to eat, your kitty may also start overeating or asking for food incessantly. Increased appetite is also a sign of prolonged stress, so ask your vet for advice if there are no underlying health issues causing such behaviour.
Getting sick more often
British Shorthairs are a resilient breed, so if your cat suddenly starts having recurring health problems, the issue might be psychosomatic.
If there have been significant changes in your cat's routine or your schedule has changed, frequent sick days might be a response to emotional instability.
How to help you British Shorthair stay happy?
You can make it up to your kitty in two ways—an obvious and not-so-obvious one:
- Rearrange your entire life to suit your British Shorthair
- Bribe them with food
Find the time for your kitty
Is it “us” time yet?
Source: Anjie Qiu
Rearranging your life is an exaggeration, but you must make time for your feline friend. Spend at least an hour playing and petting them every day, and if you have to be away longer, here is what you can do:
- Arrange for a cat sitter
- Leave toys around the house (a cat tree, complex food puzzles, floppy fish, electric mice, etc.)
- Get another cat (of a similar temper)
Exploit your British Shorthair's obsession with food
Active British Shorthair kittens become lazy when they reach adulthood, but they never lose love for good food. Given their propensity to obesity, controlling their portions is advisable and so is a clever choice of diet.
Food can also make your British Shorthair happy and mitigate the problems caused by your absence.
Choosing the right food for your British Shorthair
When picking the right food for your British Shorthair, you need to consider their:
- Tendency to gain weight
British Shorthairs can be finicky about food
No use of the hooman. I have to catch lunch again.
Source: Oscar Fickel
Cat food you go for must be delicious and resemble what your cat would naturally eat. It means meat, fish, and more of the same.
In nature, cats usually hunt:
Since you can't let your British Shorthair go on a hunting spree, you must provide them with the second-best solution. High-protein wet cat food (jelly or gravy meals) is your safest bet.
Check out what ingredients to look for in your kitty's regular meals and what you can offer as an occasional treat:
Occasional treat (due to high fat content)
British Shorthairs prefer a sedentary lifestyle
British Shorthairs need some cheering to stay active when they grow up, but you have to be careful with their caloric intake even if you manage to get them to run around.
Most of the energy they receive should come from meat and fish, so steer clear of carbs by excluding ingredients such as:
Carbs offer fast-release energy, but anything your feline doesn't burn quickly turns into fat. Carbohydrates also cause an insulin spike to regulate blood sugar levels, which can lead to diabetes and acute pancreatitis over time.
The best food for your lazy British Shorthair should contain:
At least 50%
Up to 20%
Less than 3%
How does Untamed fit in?
Untamed can keep your British Shorthair happy.
Image (c) Untamed
Untamed offers exactly what your British Shorthair needs to stay happy, healthy, and pretty. Our dishes work as regular meals and occasional treats because they are:
- Rich in animal protein
- Ethically produced
Rich in animal protein
Every Untamed meal contains two times more meat or fish than most commercial cat food products. Your British Shorthair will gladly empty the entire bowl and ask for more. You can also pick our single-source-protein meals—Chocka Chicken in Jelly and Tuck-in Tuna in Jelly—specifically designed for super sensitive kitties.
Even cat parents whose felines frown upon wet food say that Untamed is irresistible!
Our homemade recipes have been fine-tuned by vets to ensure your British Shorthair's nutritional needs are met.
Untamed dishes are suitable for felines at any stage in life, whether they are kittens, adults, or seniors. Our meals can also help with:
- Preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Promoting digestive health and eliminating diarrhoea, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stomach sensitivity, and constipation
- Weight management and obesity prevention
- Avoiding allergic reactions
Ethically manufactured cat food
I get to eat like a king and not harm the environment? You don’t say!
Image (c) Untamed
Untamed is committed to keeping our planet clean, so we:
- Cooperate only with cruelty-free, dolphin-safe, and sustainable suppliers
- Use 100% recyclable packaging
- Run carbon footprint neutral operations
Order Untamed today, and your British Shorthair will thrive even in your absence.
Order Untamed and reward your British Shorthair for their patience
Rewarding your British Shorthair with a healthy and delicious treat after a long day of being nice and well-behaved is easy with Untamed!
All you need to do to order cat food online is:
- Give us some information about your furry friend
- Choose the meals you like
- Order the trial pack
Your first order will come in a day, and when your kitty samples all the meals, we can keep you stocked up with regular monthly deliveries.
According to our satisfied clients, you can expect the following results after you switch to Untamed:
- After a week—No mess in the litter tray, easy digestion, and a better mood
- In two months—Well-defined muscles and an improved general attitude
- In four months—Softer and nicer looking fur, even energy levels, less shedding, and fewer hairballs
- Life-long—Easy weight management, no stress-induced problems, and improved overall health