My cat ignores me after vacation: it has happened to most cats owners to come back from vacation or a long period of absence from home to find their cat holding a grudge and ignoring them.

Cats ignore you after vacation because they have been upset about the significant change in their life created by your absence, and had to readjust to your absence. When you came back, you brought with you different smells, and even if they know it is you, they still need time to re-adjust and go back to the old routines. Cats do not love changes at all.

What can we do about it?

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A cat may very well decide to ignore you after vacation for many reasons, especially if it is the first time you go for a long time. My cat ignores me after vacation each time. Cats are used to you as the owner. They love the daily habits you have with him; this can be feeding, sleeping together, cuddling, playing, etc.

They are used to you and your smell. They know they can trust you. What happens if you suddenly go away? Cats’ stable point goes away too, and they may feel confused. Where is that smell? How come I do not get food anymore at that time, and who is this new person taking care of me? Where is my owner?

After you are going, cats may go around the house looking for you and then, after a while, realizing that you are not there anymore. Changes and the absence of someone they love can upset them, cats stress easily, and the stress can cause them to act weird.

When you come back from a vacation, your cat has been stressed for the changes created in his environment, so he may already be acting differently. Additionally, you come back with tons of different smells on you. He may need to smell you and get used to you again.

It can be that after he realizes it is you, he will start acting normally again, but cats have different personalities. Therefore, each cat has its timing and ways to react to its owner’s loss, even if temporary.

My cat ignores me after vacation, what I can do?


So, my cat ignores me after vacation. Should I be upset, or should I expect him to react in this way?

When I leave the house for more than two days, I already know my cat will be upset. He is so used to me, mainly because I spend a lot of time at home, since I work from home most of my time, that he expects me to be there.

What should you expect from your cat when you come back from a vacation?

Example 1

The first time I left my cat for an extended period was about one year after I got him. So he was pretty young, and I was missing for one month approximately. I went away for work. Fortunately, he was used to my roommate and wasn’t alone. I heard that when I was away, he was meowing a lot, which is very uncommon for him, especially at night.

When I came back, I entered the house and met him. He would not come near me initially. I decided to leave him his space and let him be used to my presence, so I went on doing my things. After a few hours I decided it was time to socialize with him again. So I found him in the living room, and I sat in the middle of the room and extended my hand so he could smell it.

I really believed that I saw the moment when he realized. It was me; he started to meow at me like a child who lost his favorite toy. He complained using loud meows, and then he let me pet him, and I could pick him up and kiss him. I knew he would forgive me.

What I took away: When coming back, leave a bit of space to your cat so he can get used to you, and let him smell you and slowly come to you. My cat ignores me after vacation because he wasn’t happy to be left alone; he most probably thought I abandoned him.

Example 2

The second time I left for 10 days only, he was 2 years old. I knew already that he would be upset also this time. When I came back, he recognizes me immediately, and he started to meow at me, complaining loudly. If I knew better, I could say he was saying: ” Where have you been? Why you left me alone? I was so scared!”

I gave him some treats and stayed with him for some minutes, he then went about his business, and we were friends again.

What I took away: Cats can get used to their owners going out, they are still not happy, but you can get back the bond faster if they know you are leaving from time to time. I had someone staying over at the house with him, so it is essential to make sure cats do not feel abandoned.


I am worried about leaving my cat when I go on holiday and so all-loving pets owners. The other question would be if you should bring your cat with you or not. What is the right thing?

When you go on holiday, whether you bring your cat or you leave him at home, there will be some degree of stress for a cat. If the cat has a very open personality, the chances are that he would not stress that much. However, cats with such qualities are rare. Most cats are scared to travel.

You know your cat personality, would it create more stress for them to travel with you or stay at home without you?

In most cases, it is better to leave the cat at home. To reduce worries about your cat being left alone one has to find the solution that suit him better.


To reduce anxiety about leaving a cat while on vacation, it is important to know that you have done all that is possible to make your cat comfortable.


If you have family members that already live with you, the problem is solved partially. The cat is already used to this person, and he will be taken care of.

Otherwise, it is essential to find a person who can stay at your house or come by very often to feed your cat and stay with him for a bit. Best would be to have someone your cat is already used, or introduce the person to the cat long before going on holiday, so your cat knows the person and will not freak out because a stranger is coming to the house. Already you are missing, for him, it would be an additional stress factor.

Ensure that whoever takes care of your cat knows his habits and makes him feel comfortable by reproducing daily routines.


If you have a T-shirt that you used or similar, leave it in your cat bed or in places where he goes to sleep; in this way, you can reduce a bit the stress of you not being there, your cat may feel better and more secure if he smells your scent.


Eventually, if you know you have to go away often, you can get a friend for your cat, so that he feels less alone and has someone to share his day with, aside from you.

My cat ignores me after vacation each time, therefore know that this can happen to you as well, it is important to make your cat less stressed as possible.


If you have one of those cameras in your house that allows you to see your cat, this may be lessening your anxiety a lot. You can see what your cat is doing, and maybe you have one of those cameras where you can speak, so he can hear your voice and throw treats at him.

Aside from the complexity of the camera, simply seeing your cat may lessen your anxiety.

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Usually, my cat ignores me after vacation and some other strange behavior. What about yours?

Now you are back from vacation. It is time to bond again with your cat. He is acting strange since you are back, and you want to re-establish the earlier friendship. Some cats may be ignoring you. Some of them may hiss at you and even fight.

Here some tips to get back in your cat good grace.


When you get back home, test your cat’s reaction. If you see that he doesn’t want to be with you, leave him some space, come back after a few hours or wait that he comes to you. Make him smell your hands and be used to you being there again.


If you want to accelerate things a bit, use treats. You can go to your cat with treats in your hands and have him eat it from it or place the treats near you and make your cat come to eat it; you can try decreasing the distance.


Take out his favorite toys and play with him. Playtime is a good way to bond with your cat again. Take some time every day. When my cat ignores me after vacation, I try to play with him, give him treats. In other words, try to ask for forgiveness!


Here some related questions to: “My cat ignores me after vacation?” and related answers:

  • Do cats remember you after vacation?

Even though some scientific theories may advocate cats as detached animals, but cats are definitively not. If you have lived with enough cats in your life, you may know that they are really affectionate animals. They have their way of showing it.

They, for sure, remember you. They know who are you, however since you have gone and left “their” territory, now you have to find a way to be “accepted” again.

  • Do cats get sad when their owners go on vacation?

Yes, they do, you have no way to know it because you are not there with them. However, other people have observed your cat while you were away. I had the chance to be told my cat would meow and cry at night when I was not there. So I know cats can miss their owners form experience.

  • Separation anxiety in cats, what are the signs and symptoms?

Cats may show those signs if they suffer from separation anxiety from their owner:

  1. Excessive vocalization (crying, moaning, meowing)
  2. Distress as the owner prepares to depart (pre-departure anxiety).
  3. Not eating or drinking while the owner is away
  4. Eliminating (often urinations) in inappropriate places
  5. Vomiting, food, or hair often are contained in the vomit.
  6. Excessive self-grooming
  7. Destructive behavior
  8. Exuberant greetings when the owner returns home
  9. Exuberant greeting behavior

Cats sometimes sense that you are leaving, and they start acting this way already while you are packing. To testify to this, my cat did something really weird the first time I had to leave.

I started packing. I had the luggage half full, and suddenly I see him going into my bags and began to pee in it! Useless to say that I had to throw away the luggage and replace all the clothes.

My cat is two years old. This is the first and only time he peed somewhere other than the litter box. If I didn’t know better, I would bet that he tried to stop me from leaving!

  • Will a second cat help with separation anxiety?

Yes, a second cat can help the other cat with separation anxiety. Cats can reassure each other, play together, sleep together, and feel less alone, especially if the owner has to go away. It is not a bad idea to get a second cat if you have to leave often.

  • Do cats feel sad when you give them away?

Yes, they do, as they feel sad when you go on vacation, they feel sad when given away. After all, cats love their owners.


If my cat ignores me after vacation, I know why and we hope we were able to give you some useful information. If you want to add something, leave it in the comments below.


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