Separation anxiety affects cats as much as it affects dogs. Cats are social animals, so they love the presence of their owner. This is not surprising as any sudden change in routine, such as leaving them alone for hours at a stretch, might not go well with them.
There is more to separation anxiety than whining when you head over to the door. It involves a series of unwanted and destructive behaviors that your cat exhibits whenever you are away.
However, you need to understand that separation anxiety is inherent in the cat. Such habit is a frustrating sign that you should deal with like a common ailment. The same way your heart breaks while leaving the cat, she also doesn’t want to face the agony of staying alone.
As a result, never resort to punishment when dealing with separation anxiety. Besides, punishment is a waste of time as she will hardly connect the punishment to the character it exhibited hours ago.
However, there are trusted ways you can train separation anxiety out of your cat. Here are six ways to achieve it:
Get many Distractions around.
Distracting your cat to the fact that you are not around can help in many ways. As a result, food puzzles, cat toys, treats hidden around the house will keep your cat busy and distract him from dealing with the agony of your absence. Consider toys like plush toys, Sock toys, feather cat teasers, etc., which will keep her occupied in your absence.
When your cat focuses on solving a treat for food or hunting for it, it will help exercise some of the nervous energy that might trigger unwanted behavior.
Provide a Cat Tree
Cats derive pleasure in spending time wherever they feel safe. As a result, a cat tree or vertical scratching post is a good idea. They love a place where others don’t readily access them, and they can defend themselves. The confident ones will consider high resting spots, while the anxious cats will prefer to hide underthings.
Help your cat deal with separation anxiety by providing a cat tree. Put the tree near a window to have a good view of the environment. You can spice things up by having a bird feeder right outside the window. Place scratch objects near their tree to keep them comfortable.
Avoid any Goodbyes
The love between you two is so strong that you feel like hugging your cat before leaving is a terrific idea. However, you need to avoid this for cats with separation anxiety.
Such emotions give your cat a clue you are about to leave. As a result, it can do more harm than good by fueling her anxiety. As much as possible, avoid giving your cat clues you are leaving. In other words, stop grabbing your keys, packing your bag, or dressing up in their presence.
Improve their Litter Experience
An anxious cat will urinate to mark and defend its territory. In the same way, they can urinate around as a response to separation anxiety. As a result, it is pretty standard for the cat to urinate on things important to him and use it as a form of self-comfort.
Providing your cat with a comfortable litter box can help mitigate this habit. Put the litter boxes in various places around the home, especially if you have more than one cat. They do not like to share, so you must provide multiple boxes not clustered in a single place.
Also, ensure all their litter boxes are clean. Your cat might not want to use the box if it is dirty. It can even fuel their anxiety so, take note.
Work with a Trusted Friend
Rather than leaving your cat alone, leaving them with a familiar face can help. Whomever they are familiar with will work.
In other words, a neighbor that has been around your home and spent time with the cat might help. Such a person needs to be aware of your cat’s needs, especially meals and medications.
Even if you have no familiar face, you can request a visit from your friend. This way, the cat will get accustomed to having them around, and the change will not be drastic.
Deal with the triggers
Your cat might be worked up when she sees you preparing to leave. Seeing your suitcase all packed up, your pair of shoes laid by the bed, and your car keys on the table, might not go down well with your cat.
If these objects and activities trigger separation anxiety in your cat, consider carrying them around or leaving them around in the house, even though you are not leaving the house. With time, your cat will no longer associate it with your going, not triggering anxiety.
You can do many things to help your cat with separation anxiety. These six points can guide you on the best ways to support such a cat and reduce any tantrums whenever you leave.