You may think that your cat is fairly independent and doesn't care if you're home or not, but that is not necessarily true. Most domestic cats crave human interaction, especially with those with whom they have bonded. If your cat is especially social, and you travel a great deal, then he may suffer from separation anxiety. However, the signs of this problem can be very subtle unless you know what to look for.
What is separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a common condition in both cats and dogs where they get anxious any time their owner is not around. This anxiety can manifest itself in a variety of ways, many of which you will probably not see because they often happen when you're not home. When you return, your cat may act resentful or aloof, making it even harder to realize that there is a problem.
What are some signs of separation anxiety in cats?
One of the most common ways cats show separation anxiety is that they will "miss" their litter box. They may urinate or defecate on your personal items or near the doorway. Some become destructive and chew and shred things. Others won't eat when they're alone or may vomit. You may also see increased anxiety, such as meowing more often or excessive grooming, as you're getting ready to leave.
What are some ways to help with separation anxiety?
One of the best things you can do is lessen the stress of leaving or even make it a good thing. Try to give your cat something like a treat puzzle, where there is food inside a toy, as you are leaving. You can also leave the radio and television going when you're gone. Another thing you can do is desensitize your cat to the "signs" of leaving such as grabbing your keys and putting your shoes and not going anywhere or only leaving for short time periods.
Could it be something else other than separation anxiety?
You should check with your veterinarian before automatically assuming this behavior is separation anxiety, especially if it involves vomiting, excessive meowing or unusual grooming behaviors. These can be a sign of a health issue. Your veterinarian can also help with medications and behavioral training to reduce the anxiety and make your cat comfortable.
If you travel a lot, then you may want to condition your cat to be boarded at a facility that specializes in working with cats. Start out with short-term cat boarding, a few hours to a day, and then work up from there. It's best to start when they're really young, but it's not necessary. When you board your cat, you will have the piece of mind that someone is looking after your cat all of the time and will work to make your cat comfortable.Share
17 September 2017
Hello everyone. My name is Vern Mitchell. Welcome to my website about pet care. When I was a young kid, I helped the neighborhood families take care of their pets during the vacation season. As my neighbors went on their trips, I would go by their houses to feed and play with their pets. Throughout this journey, I learned about the care techniques required for almost every step of pet. On this website, I would like to help others understand how to care for pets of all kinds. Thank you for coming by my website about pet care. Come back soon!