Although we associate it with dogs, separation anxiety syndrome in cats occurs as well. Many think that cats are independent loners. Yet, every pet owner knows that cats are much more than distant tenants. Affectionate and playful, cats also form strong bonds of trust and love with humans.
What causes Separation Anxiety Syndrome in Cats?
The causes of Separation anxiety syndrome in cats vary from kitten to kitten. Breeding methods, their character, and the circumstances of its adoption also play an essential role. Orphan cats, for example, tend to be more anxious during adulthood. Also, abrupt changes or an altered work schedules can have an impact over your cat's routine and emotions.
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Cats
This is a list of signs and symptoms of separation anxiety syndrome in cats:
- More than words: Even if your cat cannot communicate in human language, it can start crying, meowing, or panting to express its anguish.
- Loss of appetite: You'll begin to realize that once you get home Mittens didn't touch its kibbles or drink any water.
- Missing the target: Your cat might start urinating anywhere and everywhere except in its litter box.
- Obsessive behavior: Excessive grooming and scratching, even self-harm conducts, can be triggered by separation anxiety syndrome in cats.
- Intestinal symptoms: Excessive grooming, can fill your cat's stomach with hair causing vomiting and obstructions.
Separation anxiety Syndrome in Cats: Do they have it too?
It is much more common to talk about anxiety in dogs that separation anxiety syndrome in cats. However, both can suffer very similar symptoms. While dogs focus more on chewing, cats opt for scratching your house down. It's a howling vs. meowing kind of situation, but we face the same causes, consequences, and treatments.
How to treat it
- Pay a visit to the vet to diagnose if your cat is suffering from the feline’s version of separation anxiety or another illness.
- If there are no other underlying causes for your cat's behavior changes, it's time to make some adjustments. For example, go back to your old routine! It may sound contradictory, but old ways can relieve your cat's anxiety.
- Keep a regular game schedule with your cat. Buy special and unique toys to play with your cat, activate its imagination, and help it drain energy.
- Offer it a safe place to retreat when feeling anxious. We know that cats love boxes, but you can also give them a beautiful, classy refuge.
- Stop reinforcing needy behavior. Instead, give it delicious treats when it's doing independent activities.
- What about training, you ask? Well, good luck with that. Unlike dogs, who respond very well to training and can be trained to manage its anxiety, cats will not be so easily tamed.
Finally, be there for your cat. Support Mittens by seeking counseling and professional advice to help it. Sure, everybody wants to be a cat, because a cat's the only cat who knows where it’s at... But not when its suffering from separation anxiety. Make sure it never does!