Last updated: 17 Aug, 2023
Published on: 28 Jun, 2023
Does my cat have separation anxiety?
Does your poor kitty seem stressed out? Have you noticed any changes in your furry BFF's behaviour? Separation anxiety could be the culprit here. This is when your cat gets super upset when you have to leave them alone. 🙀
Separation anxiety covers a range of behaviours that can occur, specifically when your kitty is home alone. Some cats panic when their favourite human leaves, while others panic when they're left completely alone. And some cats feel frustrated or have other negative feelings when left solo.
Remember, each cat has a unique purrsonality, so it can be quite a complex issue. Time to put on your thinking cat and take notes on your furball's behaviour patterns!
Now, how can I tell if my kitty is anxious?
Look out for these tell-tail signs, remembering that these will only be shown when your cat has previously been left alone or they are anticipating being left alone (seeing their human put on their shoes, for example).
1. Destructive acts: Your mischievous cat may turn into a tiny wrecking ball, destroying household items or even having a nibble on furniture. Oh, the catastrophe!
2. Sleeping more than usual: If your kitty's snooze sessions increase, they might be using sleep to cope with stress. Keep an eye on their sleeping habits, as excessive stress can lead to health issues. Nap time overload!
3. Pacing and meowing by windows or doors: This could be a response to stress or anxiety because they miss you dearly. But it can also be that they’re on high alert because there’s a bird on the lawn or a neighbourhood dog outside, or maybe there’s a feline intruder nearby, and your cat is on neighbourhood watch.
4. Hiding under furniture: When your furry friend seeks refuge under the couch or other objects, something might be stressing them out. They could even become expert escape artists. Houdini, the cat edition!
5. Toilet troubles: Anxious cats might show their distress through changes in their litter box habits. Check out this article on finding your cat’s litterbox love language.
6. Unwanted "gifts" of cat poop: Ah, yes, finding surprises on your bed or clothes can be a tad frustrating. But remember, your cat isn't doing it out of spite; they just want to mix their scent with yours. A smelly but well-intentioned gesture!
Now, let's get down to business and help your cat feel less anxious, shall we?
Here are some tips:
1. Provide enrichment: Make sure your kitty has plenty of toys and activities, like scratching posts. Turn their attention away from their worries and onto some fun! Read more here.
2. Relocate your cats' safe space: If your cat gets anxious around a neighbourhood feline, create a safe space without windows or an opposing-facing window. Out of sight, out of anxiousness!
3. Private retreats: Give your furball a few cosy "private places" where they can feel safe and escape from the outside world. Everyone needs their own fortress of solitude!
4. Cat-approved tunes: Believe it or not, classical music might help calm your kitty. Check out specially curated cat playlists to find the purrfect soothing melody.
5. Gradual separation: Start spending time in different rooms, gradually separating yourself from your cat. It's all about baby steps to help them adjust to being without you.
Every cat owner wants their feline friend to have a long, happy life without anxiety or stress. And if all else fails, it's time to call in the nearest cat-savvy vet.
PetRescue and Pet Circle are working together to create a better world where every pet is safe and loved as a valued member of the family.
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