Separation Anxiety in Cats
By: Zara Willmott
Separation Anxiety in Cats: Those of us with young children can attest to the rigors of separation anxiety. This can be felt not only by us humans but by our pets as well. Some cats can be quite sensitive and experience anxiety even when their humans are only gone for short periods of time.
What are the Signs?
There are several signs home owners can watch for that are indicators that your cat may be experiencing separation anxiety:
- Excessive meowing, often loud enough to be heard from outside of the home
- Eating too fast or having a lack of appetitive
- Excessive self-grooming, to the point of creating bald spots
- Elimination outside the litter box
- Destructive behavior
- Overly excited upon human return
With so many different things to watch out for, it’s easy to see how important it is to make sure our Cats are comfortable when we are not around
What can you do?
So your cat is anxious? And now you are wondering what can I do? can I ever leave home again? Here are some wonderful suggestions of little things you ca do to help
- When not at home leave the TV or Radio on, often just hearing “people” sounds can be helpful or you can also try Cat Music and Cat channels on YouTube
- Pheromones: Using products like Feliway to help lower stress amongst the pets in the home can have positive effects
- In multi-cat homes is there a “bully” cat who might be adding to the stress? Perhaps setting up individual spaces for pets will help everyone feel at ease
- Providing mental stimulation: providing your cat with puzzle feeders and interactive toys while away will help keep boredom away
- When Travelling choose in home care over boarding: Cats will feel less stressed when allowed to remain in their own environments
If you suspect that your cat is experiencing anxiety, always discuss with your Veterinarian as they will have helpful suggestions and should you require medication they will know how long the anxiety has been present and all the strategies you enlisted to help
Living with Anxiety
If it turns out that your cat has become anxious, never fear it is manageable. Understanding the behaviors as symptoms of anxiety is key. Once you know what works for your cat you can continue to travel, whether its short trips or long, knowing that your cat will be ok at home.