Separation anxiety in cats – Symptoms and treatment
While we know that cats are independent creatures, recently, veterinarians who are experts in feline behavior have conducted studies that suggest that separation anxiety can also develop in cats. And although it is not known for sure what can cause it, they say that it may be due to genetic, environmental and environmental factors.
Cats with separation anxiety can range from crying when the human friend is preparing to leave, to not reacting and waiting to be left alone to urinate and defecate in inappropriate places such as furniture and beds.
If your cat is behaving strangely and you think you may be suffering separation anxiety, we invite you to read in the following article where we will talk about the Separation anxiety in cats, the problem and its possible solutions.
What is separation anxiety?
As the name says, the cat suffers from anxiety every time he is separated from his human friend or from some other cat company of which he is accustomed and with which he has created a strong bond. A cat that insists on being there all day and at all times with the owner, who follows him everywhere, even to the bathroom, is an animal that may be suffering from this psychological condition.
This reaction is activated when the person prepares to leave the house, do not forget that cats are very intelligent and observant creatures, is when the cat can get in a bad mood or stand between the person and the door. The owner, upon returning, may encounter a disaster, with some rejection on the part of the cat, which will show his displeasure also in that way, or on the contrary, with too much effusiveness.
The various behaviors
Cats and dogs, although they may not look like it, are similar in many things. Some of the types of behavior generated by separation anxiety in cats are the same as those that occur in dogs:
- Vocalization and exaggerated crying.
- Defecation and vomiting in inappropriate places or where he knows that the owner is going to bother him more, like expensive carpets, personal objects (shoes and bags) and in bed.
- Destructive actions such as biting or spider elements and furniture in the house.
- Hygiene and excessive care. A cat with these kinds of problems will lick itself too much, to the point of creating a bald spot (this is an uncommon sign but it could happen). We are talking about an acral granuloma by lick, a health problem that should be treated as soon as possible.
How to help your cat overcome separation anxiety
Cats do not have a great time when they suffer from this type of anxiety. The good news is that it’s something that we can try to help you have a better and more quiet time alone.
- Research has shown that music It has natural sedative properties, especially if they are instrumental pieces such as harp and piano. A little while before leaving home, put this kind of music, your cat will associate it with your presence, you will feel accompanied and, who knows, even take a musical nap.
- Place some catnip or some of your favorite toys in your purse and invite your curiosity. Your cat will begin to associate the bag with positive emotions and not with your absence. Create your bag, a small game space.
- Every time you leave this triggers his behavior. From now on, you must use certain techniques to discourage their attention and try to create in them a certain notion that you will never leave, thus reducing their anxiety when, in fact, you do. These techniques work to help you keep control of your emotions. Pick up the keys of the house or car at least 10 times a day, and then put them back in their place. Inside the house, carry your bag on your arm for an hour or more.
- Make false starts, open, exit, enter, close the door. Try this exercise as many times as necessary until your cat completely ignores you. Then, expand your time and go from one minute to five minutes before returning. East gradual increase It will help build tolerance and it will also teach you that no matter how long you will leave home, you will always come back.
- Cats are extremely curious creatures and their sense of search is highly developed. Choose some cookies that you like a lot and that they have a strong smell and before leaving you spread them all over the house in strategic places and not so easy to access, as doing a “treasure hunt”. This will divert your attention for a while and have fun at the same time. In addition, these types of exercises tend to relax them naturally.
- The substitution of attention, sometimes, is the best techniques. Ask him to another member of the family or friend that interacts and plays with your cat during this time (before and after leaving). If he is a feline that appreciates the pampering, then a good round of caresses will calm him, and at the same time, he will make him feel very loved and not at all abandoned.
- Intelligence toys are a great way to get your cat forget your march For a while. Some examples that can be found in the market may be the kong or the different boards with hidden snacks. This type of toy is very suitable for cats suffering from separation anxiety.
- Pass quality time with your cat that comforts you, whether it’s playing, caressing or offering treats. Although the problem lies in the anxiety of being close to you, feeling loved will help you understand that you will not leave and that you can feel safe.
- Follow a specific schedule, that is, create a marked daily routine that transmits confidence. For this the ideal is to follow a schedule of meals, hygiene or games. Try to create activities in which to include your cat. This is one of the best ways to treat anxiety.
- Do not punish him for the damage he can do, but reward him whenever he does well. Remember that the punishment causes stress and discomfort to your cat, something that can aggravate separation anxiety. Better use positive reinforcement, patience and affection.
If you want to read more articles similar to Separation anxiety in cats – Symptoms and treatment, we recommend that you enter in our behavior problems section.