Cat Separation Anxiety
People are not really aware of how much their cats can suffer from being separated from them, but it is a common source of misery for many cats. People are not conscious of cat separation anxiety for several reasons.
First, there is the assumption that cats are independent and could live without us anyway. Second, the feline display of separation anxiety is subtle or convoluted, unlike in dogs, who express their dismay at being separated by barking and whining enough to rile the neighbors.
Cat Separation anxiety is not always immediately obvious, but it can be the cause of self-destructive grooming and some of the more difficult cat behavior problems: spraying, scratching and eliminating outside the litter box (often on their person’s bed or other personally scented area).
Most people have experienced the angry response their cat can have when left home alone: Not only has there been destructiveness, but when the person gets home the cat will turn her back and clearly ignore then. If you doubt that cats are social creatures (and therefore are distressed by being left alone), just notice how often your cat will eat nothing until you come around, and then run to her bowl and start eating, inspired by your company and happy for it.
This should be an indicator to all of us that we matter much more to our cats than they let on. Therefore, it falls on us not to take our poor cats’ stoicism for granted, and not to assume that just because they are willing to spend all day—or even days—alone, they don’t get lonely and pay an emotional price for it.
Avoid Breeds Prone to cat separation anxiety syndrome
- If you know that your work and social life will keep you out of the house a great deal, then plan ahead so that you don’t set yourself—and your kitty—up for failure.
- Avoid getting any of the following Oriental breeds because they are prone to experiencing separation anxiety, with the Siamese at the top of the list: Abyssinian, Balinese, Bengal, Burmese, Cornish and Devon Rex, Havana Brown, Sphynx and Tonkinese.
- These cats require human company—they cannot tolerate being ignored when you are home, and certainly not when you slip out without mentioning it.
Causes of Cat Separation Anxiety.
- Cats that were orphaned could be more prone to separation anxiety. Too- early weaning may also be a agent.
- It is my view that supplying confidence-building interaction with your kitty and a cat-friendly surroundings play crucial roles too.
- If your cat doesn’t have additional pursuits and no methods to construct confidence without being connected to you in the hip, there is a fantastic prospect of separation Anxiety.
- I think lots of cat parents strengthen the separation stress through rewarding the kitty to get clingy, needy behavior, but do not offer appropriate socialization.
Signs of cat separation anxiety
- House soiling
- Destructive behavior
- Excessive grooming
- Loss of appetite
- Increased vocalization
- The cat could urinate or defecate about your kitty parent’s bed or on clothes belonging to this absent family member. It’s simple to misread this cat behavior as hatred, but it is really a means for the kitty to self-soothe by mixing his own odor with yours and also to convey his concern over your absence. The cat might also be attempting to help you to find your way home.
- Other indications of separation anxiety could consist of excessive grooming, eating too quickly, or not eating at all when the kitty parent is away.
Dealing With Cat Separation Anxiety
Once a cat has developed profound separation anxiety it is unlikely that you’ll have much luck changing her attitude, but if your cat is just showing the first signs of cat separation anxiety, there are some modifications to her environment that might help relieve that anxiety.
Making the cat’s environment at home as stimulating and pleasant as possible gives you the best chance of taking the sting out of being left alone.
- Rotate a couple of toys every few days so there is always a new one to investigate.
- Get a great cat tree and put it near a window so that the cat has lots of interesting things to look at.
- Once a week sprinkle catnip somewhere new—on a landing of the cat tree, on a furry toy mouse—but not more often than that or it will lose its punch.
- Put some high-quality kibble in one of those hidden-treat toys (a Rubik’s cube for animals) so the cat will have to find it and then figure out how to get the treats out of there.
- Put a box and a paper bag on their sides in unexpected places so your cat has the fun of discovering new hiding places.
- Leave on music and a television channel with pleasant chatty shows.
- Put in a video made just for pets left at home; these have images of other cats and prey animals intended to amuse and stimulate animals at home.
- Ask a friend or neighbor to drop in during the day when you’re gone and hang out with your cat, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Get a companion cat or dog so that your cat has another creature to commiserate with about being left home when you are out having all the fun (and you can come home to two little faces staring at you accusingly). If you get two litter-mates, there’s a good chance they will be great playmates, accustomed to relying on each other for fun and games.
Solutions of Cat Separation Anxiety.
Before confirming that your furry friend gets separation anxiety, it is very important that he be examined by your vet. His behaviour could have an underlying medical issues. As soon as your cat is diagnosed with cat separation anxiety syndrome, behaviour modification methods may be utilized to decrease his stress and boost stimulation in your absence through:
1- Boost the environmental enrichment.
- If you’d like your cat to sense satisfied, joyful, and protected whenever you aren’t around, then the surroundings where he resides must make him feel like that.
- Use environmental enrichment to spruce up his indoor environment. Incorporate puzzle boxes, puzzle feeders, elevated areas, playtime, hideaways, and much more to inspire him to find out strategies to activate and fulfill his prey drive.
- The more enriched and secure the environment is, the better your kitty will sense when he’s by himself.
2- For enrichment to make effectively
- Don’t just leave the puzzle feeders and other toys on the home floor right before you leave.
- You should incorporate these activities and toys into your kitty’s life when you’re home. Make them a portion of his daily program so he’s totally convenient with them and even looks forward to their appearance.
- That way, you’ll have a much better chance of success when you set them out before you walk out the door for work.
3-Adjust Your Behavior as Well as His
- Create confidence once you interact with your furry friend. Do not reward your kitty with attention when he is meowing and being stubborn. Rather, reward your cat with petting, treats, praise, and your attention when he is acting with the way that you want him to behave.
- Reward him when he is quiet. Reward him if he does something to amuse himself. Regardless of the behavior you would like to see you should reward him , and do not reinforce the undesirable behavior.
- Engage your kitty in play sessions each day.Twice each day could really be better. Interactive playtime enables your cat to just appreciate being the powerful hunter. For your cat, having the capability to engage the prey drive and revel in a effective catch is the greatest in pleasure and pride.
4-TV and Music.
- You will find cat entertainment DVDs accessible introducing birds and other fascinating little critters. You’ll have one playing when you are walking outside the house. Set the TV on a timer so that it’ll go away following the DVD finishes.
- For music, set your radio to some soft-music channel or classic channel. Only having the music at the background may make as a buffer for any external sounds which may trigger stress and anxiety for your cat.
5- Cat Anxiety Medication
There are cat separation anxiety situations are so intense that no amount of human understanding and support is going to turn things around. In cases such as these there is a place for using medication to stop the downward emotional spiral.
The cat anxiety medication most frequently used is:
- the tranquilizer Valium (generic name diazepam)
- although some vets may want to use the antidepressants Elavil (amitriptyline), Prozac (fluoxetine) or BuSpar (buspirone).
- Comfort Zone Feliway
Valium or antianxiety drugs
- Personally, I have to admit that I cannot see how a cat benefits from a chemical tranquilizer such as Valium, which requires blood tests while taking it and which has to be discontinued fairly quickly for health reasons.
- However, if your cat isn’t making much progress in becoming sociable, you may want to talk to your vet about giving her a mild sedative.
- Valium or anti- cat anxiety medication can sometimes help get a cat over the hump at the beginning of desensitization (meaning her sheer panic when she is forced to stay in the same room with the object of her terror).
- However, since the cat can develop a dependence on these drugs, they can only be used in the short term and you would have to withdraw her from the medication fairly soon.
Comfort Zone Feliway
- Another cat anxiety medication is Comfort Zone Feliway that is a synthetic version of a cat’s natural facial pheromones, the ones she rubs all over wherever she goes as a way to mark her territory and fill it with a familiar scent.
- Feliway was developed to counteract the anxiety that drives cats to do destructive things such as urine marking and scratching, and it is available from most vets and in pet stores.
- It comes as a diffuser that plugs in or as a room spray and seems to work magically for many cats, settling them down and dissolving their angst. It does not work for all cats, so you can only hope that your cat is not one of those who is oblivious to the calming odor.
- Flower Essences is another cat anxiety medication.
- Flower Essences are a completely natural product, distilled from plants, and are often quite successful in helping cats through emotional situations.
- They are also an affordable option compared to Feliway, which is expensive. Bach Flower Remedies were developed by Dr. Edward Bach, who came up with 37 different formulas.
- For cats, the ones that count are Rescue Remedy (a destress formula used by people, too) and Spirit Essence’s Hyper Helper or Obsession Remedy. You can go to www.bachcentre.com or www.spiritessence.com and learn more about these substances.
- Although some people recommend putting a few drops of the essences into your cat’s water bowl, it’s often nearly impossible to see your cat drinking at all. Instead, rub a couple of drops of the oil on the inside of the cat’s ear and it will travel into her system.
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