A cat is known for his independent nature, but a pet may still suffer separation anxiety from his mother, from other cats or from an absent owner. Your cat can have underlying issues that cause it stress.
Reasons for Separation Anxiety
Your cat’s personality can predispose it to stress if it exhibits a scared and anxious disposition. A cat that is taken away from its mother or weaned too early can have feelings of abandonment. Not being properly socialized at a young age can contribute to a cat’s separation anxiety. Simply being lonely or bored can make cats depressed and agitated when left alone.
Signs of Cat Separation Anxiety
Constantly following you around and being underfoot while you’re home can be a sign that your cat is worried that you will leave it. Compulsive grooming resulting in loss of fur and sore spots on your cat’s body shows unyielding stress in your cat. A cat that tries to run out of the door when you leave your home can be demonstrating a desire not to be left alone. Excessive meowing, hissing or moaning during your absence and inappropriate behavior such as urinating outside of the litter box is also an indication that your cat is in distress. Other signs of separation anxiety include scratching and clawing at furniture and woodwork, vomiting and not eating when alone.
Helping a Cat with Separation Anxiety
Your cat needs to know that it is in a safe, comfortable environment. Give your cat a cozy bed with its own blanket to curl up with. Keep your cat busy while you are away. Cats are hunters so allow them to track down treats that are hidden around the house. Bring out a favorite toy or fill a sock with catnip for them to play with while you are gone. Allow areas in your home where your cat can perch at a window or stretch out in the sunshine. Leave a radio or television to give your cat soothing sounds.
Routine for Leaving and Returning Home
Make an effort to ignore your cat before leaving for the day, so your cat learns not to be traumatized by your departure. You should return to your home without calling or seeking out your cat right away. It’s natural to want to give your cat affection, but it’s best to let a cat come to you allowing it to deal with your going and returning quietly and without drama.
The best cure for a cat with separation anxiety is to add an additional animal to your household. A cat with company can become a happy feline.
Treating a Cat with Separation Anxiety
A trip to the veterinarian is necessary for a cat with a severe case of separation anxiety, because your cat’s behavior could be due to a medical problem. Your cat can be suffering from allergies, a bladder infection or an eating disorder instead of separation anxiety. If there is no physical reason for your cat’s separation anxiety, the veterinarian could prescribe an anti-depressant to treat the problem.