Is your cat home alone? Ways to Ease Your Feline Friend’s Separation Anxiety

While dogs are known to be more attached to their owners, cats are meant to love their freedom and space. Experts say, however, that not all cats are alike, and for some of your feline friends, your absence may be hard to bear. Just like dogs, cats can also suffer from separation anxiety. Especially as people are now taking back their desks as the work-from-home model slowly recedes, cats feel uncomfortable as their parents are not seen for long hours and they are left alone at the House. You know your cat best and if he notices a change in behavior or signs of anxiety, you should consult a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. (Also read: Common Cat Illnesses Parents Should Be Aware Of)



“Many humans have a misperception that cats are not as loving or attached to them as dogs. Like their canine counterparts, cats also face separation anxieties, especially since many parents of ‘animals have returned to work from the offices,” says Dr Dilip Sonune, Director of Veterinary Services, Wiggles.

Signs of separation anxiety can be noticed as you leave in their body language, the sounds they make, and also in the form of surprise pooping. They might eat less, look messy, or get violent.

“So what are the telltale signs of a cat dealing with separation anxiety? First, he will show it. When you go outside, he will either try to hide or barricade the door with his body. extreme meowing after leaving the house. Third, cats will drop signs. So if you find a surprise poop in your shoe or anywhere outside of the litter box, know that your cat is feeling stressed. D’ other signs include anorexia (no appetite), unnecessary grooming, vomiting (sometimes) and tearing the house apart scratching the furniture you sit on the most,” Dr. Sonune says.



How to Help a Cat Deal with Separation Anxiety

It’s important to support your fluffy friend when he’s lonely alone and scared when you’re not around. Whether it’s distracting their minds from your absence or leaving them treats or toys, there are plenty of ways to do it.

“One way to start is to keep your travels low key. Don’t announce your exit or be overly affectionate when you return so your cat learns to treat this as normal behavior and her human returns. Next, keep lots of toys like food-infused puzzles to make them forget you’re away,” says Dr. Sonune.

“You can also create a place in the house that is theirs exclusively and that will act as a safe space when they feel stressed or lonely. just have the TV on. White noise can help here. Finally, you can create a place up high for them, like a perch or a cat tree, preferably near a window. This doubles as a safe space and also provides entertainment for cats. The movement of birds or squirrels will surely keep them busy,” he adds.



All cats are unique and have their own personality. Some may even enjoy solitude. Keeping your cat’s individuality in mind, the earlier you diagnose separation anxiety, the better. Be sure to watch for signs that your cat might be letting you know they’re lonely. Engage your cat with feather toys and games to strengthen your bond, Dr. Sonune concludes.

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