As restrictions relax and we go back to our lives, this can be a significant modification for our pets. Although cats are commonly thought to be unconcerned, the separation can still affect their lives. In today's blog, we share some tips on how to ease cat separation anxiety.
There are many articles on handling dogs with separation anxiety as owners return to work after lockdown, but little help is being offered to cat owners. Perhaps this is because people often think that it is just dogs that get separation-related behavior problems. Additionally, felines have a reputation of being independent and do not care whether their owners are around or otherwise--however, this most absolutely isn't always the case.
Felines are creatures of routine. They like familiarity and predictability--especially in their surroundings. In the same way that some cats will have a problem dealing with changes in a home of new owners or new family members, cats are also susceptible to having separation-related issues when lockdown ends. To them, it's like being home alone once more after several months of always having people around.
Cats who have little physical or psychological stimulation in their lives outside of interactions with their humans, or cats that do not have confidence generally, are more susceptible to experiencing separation anxiety. Additionally, some breeds that are especially human-oriented and who bond closely to their owners are also more vulnerable than some. And after that, of course, there are the cats that love their owners and are delighted in having them around.
What Are The Symptoms and Signs of Separation Anxiety In Cats?
The signs of separation anxiety in cats are relatively easy to spot. You may probably have a hunch already that you have a cat with separation anxiety.
- Litter box mishaps especially when left alone
- Excessive or increased vocalization
- Excessive/obsessive grooming
- Uncommonly enthusiastic greetings when the owner comes home
- Changes in eating habits
These are some of the signs of stress to our cats. For felines, changes in their regimen can create a stressful environment. None of us can also deny that the previous few months have been an immense turmoil for all of us. At least you can anticipate the next significant change--a return to some normalcy. You can then begin to prepare your cat ahead of time.
Tips for Reducing Feline Separation Anxiety Syndrome
1. Practice leaving
Slowly ease your cat back into being the home alone, with absences on short periods of time as opposed to a sudden vanishing for hours as you return to work. You can also practice doing some departure cues like putting on your shoes by the door. You can take longer periods of time doing workouts, so your feline has a chance to get used to you not being there. Ensure that you do this at different times during the day, but especially when you would typically go out to work.
2. Leave the TV or some music on
For some felines, leaving the TV or some music on when you go can be a considerable help. This is a way to ensure that your home doesn't unexpectedly come to be silent after months of always being around.
3. Provide chances for enrichment
Think of ways to include stimulation into your feline's life that doesn't involve you but does allow them to take part in those natural practices that are so often missing in the life of a domestic feline. These behaviors include climbing, scratching, and hunting.
This might consist of giving them climbing areas and surfaces to delight in their natural climbing behaviors and give them distractions. Attempt putting scratching posts and ways to gain access to home window sills for your cat to look out and watch the outside world.
4. Make a cat-friendly garden (if possible)
If your home permits it, consider making your yard extra 'cat eye-catching' with hiding places, different elevations, cat-appealing plants (such as catnip), as well as tunnels and walkways.
All of these will encourage stimulation to your cat's day and give them an outlet for their natural behavior. It will also add confidence help them in becoming much less dependent on you.
5. Make sure to share their company when you are around
Make sure that even when you return weary and tired, you still spend time with your cat. The moment we spend with our pets is valuable, so maximize the moment you have together. Have fun with them, snuggle them and allow them to know that they are loved--it's excellent for your and your feline's health!
If you believe your pet cat is dealing with this issue and require more suggestions, speak to a certified and experienced veterinary behaviorist that can go in-depth about behavior modification techniques that you can utilize.
That's our guide to handling this issue in cats! We hope this has helped you. Do you have more ideas? Please share them in the comments below!