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Cats are fiercely independent creatures but they can
become easily bonded with their primary caregivers. Cats who intimately bond
with their caretakers often become anxious and agitated in their absence. While
they may still be able to adjust to shorter periods of absence – if their human
parent happens to be away for longer than they had anticipated they may begin
to “act out”. Cats can experience separation anxiety just as human children do.
If you stay away from home for long periods, your cat can find it difficult to
adjust and may indulge in unwanted behavior like increased vocalization, loss
of appetite, soiling your belongings or excessive grooming.
will you know your cat is getting stressed?
Your cat will express its stress by either
withdrawing and hiding or clinging to you and vocalizing intensely. You should
be able to notice these cues as soon as you begin getting ready to go out. Cats
are intelligent and they pick up on these signs. Cats may not feel stressed the
minute you have walked out the door, but over time when it realizes you are not
returning anytime soon, it can begin to experience anxiety.
can you do to calm your anxious cat?
Let’s face it, it’s not possible for you to always
keep your cat company. You will have to go to work and attend to other outdoor
chores, no matter how much separation from you causes your cat anxiety. But
there are certain steps you can take to relieve your cat’s anxiety, if only a
little. What are these steps? Let’s learn below –
your vet – Before your cat can be diagnosed with separation
anxiety, you need to talk to your vet and verify whether the symptoms are
indicative of any other physical problem that your cat might be experiencing.
time away from your cat – Go out now and then and leave
your cat alone at home. Your cat should not get habituated to spending long
uninterrupted hours with you. If it does, it’s only natural that they will find
it difficult to adjust to your absence.
them other avenues for stimulation – Maybe your cat finds
it so difficult to be away from you because you are its only source of
stimulation. Provide your cat with a couple of toys, so it can keep itself
entertained and amused in your absence. When you provide your cat with other
avenues for stimulating itself, in your absence, your absence will not be so
difficult on them. In fact, they may not even notice that you’re gone.
on the TV – If your cat detests being alone, you could maybe,
leave the television on or keep some soft music playing until you’re back. Your
cat will feel less alone this way.
Separation anxiety is
just as real in cats, as it is in humans. So don’t sweep it under the
carpet, take proactive steps to make
your anxious cat feel better.