Cats are known as independent pets, but some cats can feel separation anxiety when they are home alone.
During the COVID-19 crisis, pet owners have spent lots of time with their feline friends, they have enjoyed our company, and many are used to them being around 24/7.
Now that lockdown restrictions have been relaxed, many cat owners will be returning to work and it’s important to ensure the process is stress free for you and your cat.
There are some common signs of separation anxiety in cats, but these may differ from cat to cat, and can include:
- Your cat may spray around the house, which is a common sign of stress
- They may scratch furniture or at carpets
- Your cat may constantly want attention and meow if you’re not giving them enough attention
- Stressed cats may also over groom or under groom
- Urinating outside their litter tray and around the house can also be a sign of stress
If you are worried about your cat, be sure to speak to your vet as some symptoms of stress may be a sign for other health problems, such as urinary tract problems.
To help your cat we share some tips for when you return to work after lockdown:
Give your cat some space
Don’t over handle your cat while you are at home or follow them around the house to pick them up as this can lead to stress. Take time away from your cat to allow them to get used to you not being around.
Create safe spaces
Make sure your cat has a den or a safe place to retreat to for some quiet time. Create high places for them to use – for multiple cat households make sure there is more than one.
Make gradual adjustments
Gradually adjust your routine to how it would be when you go back to work, such as feeding times etc.
Prevent boredom in house cats especially by providing toys and scratching posts to keep your cat occupied whilst you’re out. Most cats tend to spend their time sleeping, but if they cannot get outside, they may become bored and anxious.
Don’t over handle your cat or pay them too much attention. This will help to get them used to when you’re not there. Also, over handling and following them around to pick them up could lead to stress.
Don’t punish them
Try not to punish your cat if they scratch at furniture or urinate somewhere other than their litter tray. This could be a sign of stress and if you punish them, it may lead to further anxiety.
Consider natural supplements
Using a natural supplement such as nutracalm could naturally calm your cat as well as reducing any unwanted behaviour. nutracalm is a fast-acting supplement with calming properties and is recommended by thousands of vets throughout the UK and Ireland.
nutracys+ has been specifically formulated to provide high strength, triple action support for healthy urinary tract function for cats and dogs with the added benefit of reducing stress and anxiety.
Always consult your vet if you are concerned about your cat’s health or behaviour. They will be able to offer the best advice dependant on your cat’s age and health needs.