It’s such a strange time that we live in. 2020 has brought about many interesting challenges and now that quarantine is beginning to lift we’re seeing many cats with separation anxiety. Who could have predicted?
You see, when COVID-19 hit and we began to stay home, many kitties were in heaven. Sure, there were some cats that were like, “why are you up in my space all day“, but our kitties loved it. Over time, all of our cats became accustomed to their guardians being home all the time.
Slowly but surely, however, many of us are returning to the workplace and this is posing another challenge of separation anxiety in cats. Some common symptoms are your cat going outside the box while you’re away or excessive grooming. Other times cats will refuse to eat or drink and vocalize loudly as if they are crying or moaning. Some cat parents have cameras inside their home and it’s heartbreaking to see how the cats grieve when they leave for work.
Here are a few of my favorite ways we to help our cats deal with separation anxiety.
- If you haven’t gone back to work yet, slowly get your cat used to you leaving for longer periods of time. Feline behaviorist, Jackson Galaxy, says to stay gone for at least 15 minutes because that’s when the separation anxiety starts to kick in. Each day stay away a little longer and reward your kitty when you come home.
- Use natural calming formulas. This is a ‘go-to’ for all stressful situations for our kitties. Natural calming solutions won’t hurt our cats like the medications can and they work wonders for issues like separation anxiety and stress licking.
- Get your cats some new interactive toys! Cats love a new place to climb or toy to interact with. Before heading to work, try building them new vertical spaces or purchase a food puzzle or other interactive toy. Exercise is the best way to naturally reduce stress, so if you can keep your cat active while you’re away she will be less likely to have anxiety.