Cats are known for their independent nature, but that doesn't mean they don't get attached to their owners. Some cats may experience separation anxiety when left alone for extended periods. Separation anxiety in cats is a behavior disorder that occurs when a cat becomes overly attached to its owner and becomes distressed when they are away.
One of the cats' most common signs of separation anxiety is excessive vocalization. Cats may meow, yowl, or even scream when left alone. To escape or find their owner, they may also display destructive behavior, such as scratching or clawing at furniture or doorways.
Inappropriate elimination, such as urinating or defecating outside the litter box, is also a common symptom of separation anxiety. But, again, this may be due to the cat's distress and inability to hold it in until its owner returns.
It's important to note that these behaviors can also be caused by other factors, such as medical issues or a dirty litter box, so it's always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues before assuming your cat has separation anxiety.
To help a cat with separation anxiety, it's crucial to gradually accustom them to being alone. Start with short periods, such as 15 minutes, and gradually increase the time they are alone. It's also essential to provide them with plenty of enrichment and activities to keep them occupied while you're away, such as interactive toys or puzzle feeders.
Another practical approach is to use pheromone products like sprays, plug-ins, or collars that mimic the scent of a mother cat's pheromones to help calm the cat.
It's also essential to consult a veterinarian or a professional animal behaviorist for a more tailored and individualized plan. With the right approach and patience, it is possible to help a cat with separation anxiety feel more comfortable when left alone.
Cats can have separation anxiety which manifests in different ways, such as excessive vocalization, destructive behavior, and inappropriate elimination. Therefore, it's essential to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues, provide them with plenty of enrichment and activities, use pheromone products, and consult a professional animal behaviorist for tailored solutions.
By: Jay Roel Ruiz, Owner & Manager, Uncle Jay Cat Sits