In this post, we will cover the topic of separation anxiety in cats. Many people are aware of dogs and of course human can suffer from separation anxiety. But lots of people assume cats don’t suffer from it since they are very aloof animals to act like they don’t care about anyone but themselves. In actual fact, cats are very social animals and they can build very strong bond with both their human owners and other animals in the home. And when they become separated from them, this can be quite devastating for some cats.
What may cause some cats to suffer from separation anxiety while other cats don’t isn’t completely known. It is believed that there may be some genetics in play. But it may also be some environmental factors. Kittens who are often at a young age do have a higher chance suffering from separation anxiety.
A cat with separation anxiety may insist on being with the owner at all times even following the owner from room to room. When the owner gets ready to leave the house, the cat will try to get between the owner and the door. When the owner returns, the cat mat show abnormally enthusiastic greeting. Some of the behavioral problems triggered by separation anxiety in cats are the same as those in dogs, like vocalizing after the owner leaves, inappropriate urination or defecation, chewing and scratching.
Cats also show that distress in other less obvious ways such as becoming too anxious to eat when left alone or vomiting only when the owner is not there. A less common sign may be excessive grooming. So these are well-known signs of separation anxiety in cats.
What can you do to deal with separation anxiety and make life a little easier for your cat? For treating anxiety in dogs usually involves a combination of behavior modification and anti-anxiety medication. This may be the same treatment that needs to be taken for your cat. There are also some cat supplies to help you out. It is also possible to buy pet specific herbal remedies that are used for treating anxiety. You can usually buy these in pet stores and sometimes from your vet.
It may be possible to make the time surrounding the owner’s departure less stressful for the cat by making some changes in the normal routine. For 15 minutes prior to leaving and upon returning home, the owner should ignore the cat. Leaving a distracting pet toy wooded bell ball can be helpful. An empty toilet paper roll with the ends closed off can be filled with various types and sizes of treats, which will fall out as the cat plays with the roll. Making the cat environment more stimulating may also help. A comfortable perch that allows the view from the window provides entertainment.