Arguably one of the most adorable cats around, Scottish Folds are known for their owl-like appearance, high intelligence, and friendly personalities, but should you get one if you’re away from home a lot?
Can Scottish Folds be left alone? Not for long periods of time. Scottish Folds are super social and crave human companionship, so they don’t do well in isolation. Unlike some cat breeds, they would much rather be with you than by themselves.
Knowing that Scottish Folds shouldn’t be left home alone, you might be wondering if you should get one or if you need to rehome your beloved cat.
Don’t worry, even if you have a full-time job and are gone for hours at a time, there are things you can do to help keep your Scottish Fold happy and healthy!
Why Scottish Folds Can’t Be Left Home Alone
In general, no cat should really be left home alone for hours at a time, but some cat breeds, like the Scottish Fold, can’t be left alone because they can become lonely, depressed, temperamental, or even sick.
Scottish Folds are super social kitties. They crave constant companionship and get lonely very quickly when left alone.
Not only that, but they are very people focused. They would much prefer human interaction than that of another cat.
Though they aren’t overwhelmingly affectionate, they love your presence. (If you want to know what this means in detail – read this article to find out how affectionate they truly are.)
So when you leave – even if you’re only going to the grocery store for an hour – they miss you.
In addition, animals have no sense of time. Your cat lives in the here and now and doesn't think about the future. So even if you are just going to work for a few hours, to them, it feels like an eternity.
Some may also feel as if they have been abandoned, even though that's far from the truth. Of course, you can't explain why you're leaving for the day, which makes this situation a bit tricky.
If your cat becomes lonely or depressed, she could start showing signs of illness or even become aggressive and afraid.
Though Scottish Folds adapt well to new environments, they can be quite sensitive to a change in their social life. But before you get ahead of yourself, you should try to figure out if your cat is unhappy, to begin with.
Signs Your Scottish Fold Is Lonely
If you already have a Scottish Fold, you might be wondering if your kitty is happy or if she needs more social interaction while you’re gone. Here are some signs that your kitty is lonely or unhappy:
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained aggression or fearfulness
- Being destructive
- A change in litter box habits (i.e., spraying, not using the box, etc.)
- Excessive meowing
Of course, all of the above are also signs of certain diseases or conditions, so you'll want to take your kitty to a veterinarian to rule out illness.
If your cat is otherwise healthy but still showing signs of loneliness or depression, you'll want to act quickly to make her happy again. But even if your cat isn't showing these symptoms, she could over time, and in this situation, prevention is key!
How to Keep Your Scottish Fold Socialized
Realistically, you can’t quit your job to sit home and make sure your cat isn’t lonely, but there are other things you can do to help.
Visit her on your lunch break
If you work nearby and have 45 minutes to an hour for lunch, you could stop in and visit with your kitty for a few minutes during your break. Though it’s not long, some time with you in the middle of the day is better than a full eight hours without you.
Set up an interactive pet cam
Some pet cams on the market can show 2-way video and voice, dispense treats, and let you play with your cat using a built-in laser pointer.
If your cat can see and hear you a few times a day while you’re physically away, she will likely not feel so lonely.
Just be sure to place the camera in an area where she frequently hangs out so that she can see and hear you when you “call” her. Also, only use this tool while you are out of her sight to avoid any confusion.
Hire a pet sitter
There are multiple pet-sitting services you can use with an app on your smartphone, tablet, or computer, or you can search your phonebook or the internet for licensed pet sitters.
It can be expensive to have someone stay at your house for seven or more hours a day, but even hiring one or two pet sitters to check in twice a day can help keep your kitty from becoming lonely.
Take her to cat daycare
If you aren’t too keen on someone coming into your home while you’re not there, you can always drop your Scottish Fold off at a kitty daycare center before you go to work.
Most large metropolitan areas have daycares that cater to both cats and dogs. Not only will this stop her from being lonely, but it will also help socialize her and make her even more friendly, which is especially important if she is still a kitten.
Buy two Scottish Folds at the same time
If you don’t already have your Scottish Fold, you might want to consider purchasing two littermates at the same time.
Not only will they bring each other a sense of comfort as they adjust to their new home, but they can also keep each other preoccupied while you are away. But do keep in mind that this may be difficult due to the high demand and price of Scottish Folds.
Adopt another cat
If you already only have one Scottish Fold or don’t want to buy two, you can always adopt a cat from a shelter or purchase one from a local breeder.
Since Scottish Folds are gentle and friendly, they can get along with nearly any cat that’s equally as docile as long as you properly introduce them.
Though your kitty much prefers human interaction, having another cat around will keep her satisfied during those long work hours.
You can choose one or any combination of the above options to help keep your kitty socialized and happy.
Cats That Get Along with Scottish Folds
Since getting another cat is the most common route people take, you might be wondering which breed of cat is best suited for your Scottish Fold.
Though any friendly, gentle, and calm cat will make a great candidate, there are some breeds that are known to get along well with Scottish Folds.
- Ragdoll: These cats, also known as puppy cats for their dog-like demeanor, need constant companionship and are very playful, making them an excellent option for your Scottish Fold.
- Exotic Shorthair: Though a little shy initially, these cats are super laid-back and crave affection from both you and other cats.
- Persian: These calm, friendly cats can’t be left home for hours at a time, so it only makes sense that they would make a great feline friend for your Scottish Fold.
- Maine Coon: While not overly affectionate, these gentle giants are calm and love being around other cats and people.
- Ragamuffin: These large, sweet kitties are docile and extraordinarily patient, even in stressful situations. That alone makes them a tremendous furry companion for your Scottish Fold.
Of course, the key to successfully pairing two kitties is the introduction process, which must be done gradually.
With time and a lot of patience, your cats will be friends in no time, and your Scottish Fold should feel like herself again!
Do Scottish Folds make good family pets? Generally, yes, they make incredible family pets. They usually have no problem getting along with people or other pets, but they do well with older children (age six and up) and laid-back, cat-friendly dogs.
Are Scottish Folds lap cats? Usually, no. Though they are extremely friendly and can quickly become attached to you, these cats much prefer to be near you, petted, and played with. However, they really don’t like to be held.
Are Scottish Folds smart? Yes, extraordinarily so! They often prefer puzzle toys and games instead of run-of-the-mill cat toys. They are even capable of being clicker trained and learning tricks like high five, sit, and come.