Cat behavior is a bit harder to decode because compared to dogs, they seem to be more independent and aloof at times, but does this really mean that they do not miss us when we are gone for certain periods of time? The truth is that a lot of experts are actually divided when it comes to this matter because there have been studies that state how cats feel a certain level of separation anxiety when their humans leave them, while there are also others that state otherwise.
Having said this, there has been a 2015 study from the University of Lincoln that came up with the conclusion that cats are not dependent on humans to feel that they are protected the way that dogs usually do. And even though they are technically still capable of showing affection and maintaining a relationship with their humans, they should still be considered as highly independent creatures; to put it bluntly, cats do not need us for them to survive.
Knowing these things, some might think that because cats are highly independent there would be no point in investing in them and striving to form a bond with them. This is not true because cats still appreciate affection from their human companions, one just has to remember that the level of attention they need varies from one cat to another. There are cats who enjoy having more alone time than interacting with their humans, while there are other cats who would like to have a balance of both, and there are also some rare cats that want constant companionship from their human family.
There are some identifiable signs that will help you indicate whether your cat missed you after you were gone for a certain period of time. The first indication is if they stretch and purr more than usual; if they do this when you get home after leaving them for some time, then it is a clear sign that they missed you. It has been studied that purring and stretching are two sure actions done by cats that show their humans that they are happy.
In addition to purring and stretching, cats can also let you know that they missed you if they become clingy with you. It has been established early on that cats are very independent creatures, so when they begin to follow you from one room to another or rub their body against you, it means that they want some affection from you. The only catch is that this can be done in the most subtle way so it is important for you to pay extra attention to this sign.
Of course, as much as we do not want our cats to feel separation anxiety when we leave, it is something that we will not be able to avoid. The best compromise is to find ways how you will be able to help them cope with being alone at home; for instance, what you can do is provide toys that they will be able to play and interact with so they will not be fixated on the fact that you are not there with them. Another solution is to hire someone that will be able to watch them while you are away so that they will not be left at home on their own, even if it means being with new people.