Separation anxiety in cats
Although we know that cats are independent creatures, recently veterinarians specializing in feline behavior have conducted studies that suggest that separation anxiety can also occur in cats. And while it is not known for sure what can cause it, it is said that it may be due to genetic factors, the surrounding environment and environmental .
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Cats with separation anxiety can cry when the human friend is getting ready to leave, until they do not react and expect to be left alone to urinate and defecate in inappropriate places such as furniture and beds.
If your cat is behaving strangely and believes that you may be suffering from separation anxiety, we invite you to read the following article from YourCatCareguide in which we are going to talk about separation anxiety in cats , the problem and its possible solutions.
What Is Separation Anxiety?
As the name implies, the cat suffers from anxiety each time it is separated from its human friend or from another feline company of which it is accustomed and with which it has created a strong connection. A cat that insists on being all day and at all times with the owner, who follows him everywhere, including the bathroom, is an animal that may be suffering from this psychological condition .
This reaction activates the moment one prepares to leave the house, do not forget that the cats are observant creatures and very intelligent, being the cat in a bad mood or staying between the person and the door. Upon returning, the owner may encounter a disaster, with some rejection on the part of the cat, who will show his disgust in this way, or on the contrary, too effusive.
The various behaviors
Cats and dogs, though it may not seem like it, are identical in many things. Some of the types of behaviors generated by separation anxiety in cats are not the same as occur in dogs:
- Vocalization and excessive crying.
- Defecation and vomiting in inappropriate places or where you know the owner will not like it, such as carpets, personal items (shoes and bags) and in bed.
- Destructive actions like biting or scratching elements and furniture in the house.
- Hygiene and excessive care. A cat with these types of problems will lick itself too much, to the point of getting blemished spots (it is unusual but it can happen). We are talking about acral granuloma for licking, a health problem that should be treated as soon as possible.
How To Help Your Cat Overcome Separation Anxiety
Cats do not look very well when they suffer from this type of anxiety. The good news is that it is something that we can handle to help you have a better and quieter moment alone.
1 – Investigations have shown that music has natural sedative properties, especially if they are instrumental pieces such as harp and piano. Just before leaving home put this type of music, your cat will associate it with your presence, you will feel like following and who knows, you can even sleep a nap.
2 – Put some catnip or some of your favorite toys in your bag and encourage curiosity. Your cat will begin to associate the bag with positive emotions and not with your absence. Create your purse, a little play space.
3 – Each time you leave home this changes your behavior. From now on you should use certain techniques to dissuade your attention and try to create in it a certain notion that you never walk away, thus lessening your anxiety when in fact you will. These techniques work to help you keep track of your emotions . Take the keys to your house or car at least 10 times a day, and then put them back in your place. In the house, carry your purse in your arm for an hour or more.
4 – Perform false exits , open, exit, enter and close the door. Try this exercise as often as necessary until your cat completely ignores it. Then increase the time and go from one minute to five minutes before returning. This gradual increase will help build tolerance, and it will also teach you that no matter how long you are away from home, you will always return.
5 – Cats are extremely curious creatures and their sense of search is very developed. Choose some scones that you like a lot and have a strong smell and before you leave the house scatter them throughout the house in strategic locations and not very easy to access, such as making a treasure hunt. This will divert your attention for a while and will amuse you at the same time. In addition, these types of exercises tend to relax them naturally.
6 – Attention replacement is sometimes one of the best techniques. Ask another family member or friend to interact and play with your cat during this time (before and after leaving). If it is a feline that likes pampering, then a good moment of caressing will calm it, and at the same time, it will make you feel wanted and not abandoned.
7 – Intelligence toys are a great way to get your cat to forget that you’ve been gone for a while. Some examples you may find for sale are the kong or different trays with hidden snacks. This type of toys are quite suitable for cats suffering from separation anxiety.
8 – Spend quality time with your cat comforting you by playing, caressing or offering treats. Although the problem lies in anxiety about being close to you, feeling loved will help you to understand that you will not abandon it and that you can feel safe.
9 – Follow a concrete schedule , that is, create a daily routine that gives you confidence. For this, the ideal is to follow a meal, hygiene or playtime. Try to create activities that include your cat. This is one of the best ways to treat anxiety.
10 – Do not punish him for wreckage he can do, reward him whenever he does something right. Remember that punishment causes stress and discomfort in your cat, which can aggravate separation anxiety. It is best to use positive reinforcement, patience and affection.