As you no doubt know, the Tonkinese cat is a very special breed of cat. It has personality traits that set it apart from the majority of other breeds. It has the best elements from other cats combined into one neat little furry package. The Tonkinese loves to play and makes one of the best family pets. However, it’s not all high-energy activity as this is also a cat that is affectionate and is as content on your lap as it is chasing your toes around the home.
Therefore, it is fast becoming a very popular choice for many people. A lot of these people assume that cats will just ‘look after themselves’ and are quite capable of being left alone for long periods. This is rarely the case – however, some cats deal with the time alone better than others. Let’s take a look at the Tonkinese cat and discuss how it copes with being left alone.
Can Tonkinese cats be left alone? No cat, including the Tonkinese, should be left alone for any longer than a few hours. The Tonkinese will show signs of increased anxiety if they are left by themselves for too long. They are a sociable cat that loves to spend time with us and we should not deprive them of this.
How long should the Tonkinese cat be left alone for?
The simple way to answer this is just to say ‘as little as possible’. Certainly, if they are going to be left at home alone all day and no one is there with them – this is too long. Despite what people might think (or say), cats do not handle being alone very well. Although they can often be seen as being aloof, definitely when compared to a dog, most cats thrive on attention from us.
If you’re going out for a couple of hours for a bit of shopping and there’s no one else around – then yes, this is fine and is obviously necessary. When it becomes a problem is when we’re looking at more hours than this and more frequently.
If it is absolutely unavoidable that you need to go out then there are some things you can do to make it easier for your cat – more on this below.
Why are some cats better at being left alone than others?
Although all the cats we have in our homes are domesticated, some have more links to their wild origins than others. Take the beautiful Savanah cat which, depending on what type you get has very strong links to the wild Serval cat. In fact, if you get an F1 Savannah cat, it is 50% Serval!
Even this astonishing Savannah cat though, with such close ties to its wild heritage doesn’t like being left alone for too long. However, undoubtedly the Savannah deals with it better than others, such as the Tonkinese. So, primarily what it depends on is how domesticated the cat is and what their personality is. The stronger the cat’s ties are with us, the less they are able to deal with not having us around.
What happens to a cat if they are left alone?
The problem is that you are not able to communicate with your Tonkinese cat that you are going out for a bit. One moment you’re there and the next – you’re not. When you’re not around they have no idea when (or if) you will return and this can cause levels of stress within them to increase.
Many people don’t realize that the health of your Tonkinese cat can be directly impacted by a rise in anxiety levels. It is these anxiety levels that will be raised when you leave them alone for long periods of time. This can cause separation anxiety within them and you may notice their behavior change. They may be less willing to play with you. They may go off their food and not appear to have as much energy.
Eventually, they will start to notice the tell-tale signs prior to you leaving the home. Maybe they will associate you with getting your coat on or picking up a handbag prior to leaving the home. They will just sit there, watching you – and they will look sad. Whether they are actually sad, who knows but it makes you feel guilty even if you’re just popping out to the shops for half an hour.
The more you leave your Tonkinese at home alone the worse the symptoms will be – this is a sure-fire way to turn a happy cat into a sad one.
Should I get two cats?
This isn’t the worst idea in the world and it’s not just for your benefit but for the benefit of your Tonkinese. Also, how much fun do you have with just one of them – imagine having two of them in the house!
There is an argument to do this even if you’re going to be around most of the time, especially if you get a couple of siblings. The best time to do this is when they are young (but no earlier than 12 weeks!). It is extremely rare for a couple of cats that have been brought up together to not get along. In fact, I’ve never heard of it.
What this does is give you a bit of time. It doesn’t mean you can now go out all day but it does mean that if you’re going out for a few hours there is less chance of them experiencing separation anxiety as they have each other, which is comforting for them both.
There are other things to consider when you’re doing this though. Firstly, with each Tonkinese kitten costing you between $500-$1,000 – obviously you’ll need to budget for another and this is just the start as everything else will be doubled – and don’t forget the cost of insurance, which you absolutely should get.
If I have to go out – what are my options?
If you absolutely have to go out then what are your options? Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way and unexpected things happen – you can’t always take your Tonkinese cats with you. So, here are a few suggestions.
- Someone else looks after them full-time – this is what we’ve done in the past. Actually, when we’ve had a holiday before we’ve had people move into our house during that time! For me, this is the best option – but of course, the people who are staying need to love cats and ideally would have spent a lot of time with your Tonkinese cats previously. Your cats need to be able to trust them.
- A neighbor – if you have some nice, friendly, trustworthy neighbors then would it be possible for them to pop in every now and then to see how they are doing?
- Technology – this isn’t an ideal solution but these days pet-cameras are quite cheap and easy to use. You can do some clever stuff with these – not only view your home remotely via your phone but use it to speak to your cats remotely. As I said, this isn’t ideal but if on the way back home you get stuck in a massive traffic jam and you’re worried about them – you can always connect in, see how they are and potentially talk to them.
Failing the above, if you live with someone is there any way that only one of you can go out? I don’t want to appear like I’m teaching you how to suck eggs but I’m just trying to highlight the importance of not leaving your little furry bundle of joy alone for too long. If there’s any way you can get out of it – try and find a way.
Conclusion – can Tonkinese cats be left alone?
Hopefully, that’s made it as clear as possible and without sound too patronizing! It always makes me quite sad when I speak to people who say they love their cats only to discover that they have full-time jobs and leave them on their own all day. People all too often think that because they are ‘just cats’ they can deal with it. Well, some might be able to deal with it better than others but they certainly do suffer from anxiety and if you value the health and well-being of your Tonkinese cat, you’ll want to spend as much time with them as possible!