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Did You Know? Cats Can Experience Separation Anxiety Too

October 23, 2013

We’ve been super busy lately.

From preparing for a family member’s wedding to working extra hours to going on a trip, things have been a bit nuts on our end. It’s been difficult for Matt and me to find quality time to spend together, let alone find quality time for our cats. And I’ve never really realized how important that is — until CG started to remind us.

Our cats love their snuggle time!

Our cats love their snuggle time!

A few weeks ago, CG started acting up. Nothing horrible, but he would do things that were certainly out of the ordinary. He became much more vocal, he would follow us around while keeping at a distance, and he would wander off on his own and cry.

It didn’t occur to me what was going on until I learned that cats can experience separation anxiety, too.

It may seem odd, but it makes sense. Cats may like to go off on their own and take naps, but at the end of the day, they’re just like you and me. If the people they love leave them — no matter if it’s for hours or days at a time — it’s going to result in a few issues.

And here’s the important part: If your cat starts to exhibit behavioral issues, it’s not because he’s mad at you and wants revenge. Sometimes that’s how we rationalize it, but the truth is we can’t apply human thoughts and feelings to our cats. Their behavioral issues have nothing to do with revenge — it’s simply how their minds and bodies react when they feel separation anxiety.

For example, some cats may go to the bathroom outside of the box or howl all day when you leave for work. Other cats may act super clingy — following you everywhere but not really enjoying your time together (not purring, etc.). Sometimes a cat may go to the bathroom on your bed or on something of yours. Others may mope, hide, avoid human contact, or over-groom themselves. Unfortunately, it’s a situation that isn’t fun for anyone, and if anything, it can add stress to an already stressful situation.

If your cat starts exhibiting any of these issues, first call your vet and make an appointment. While these behaviors can be tied to separation anxiety, other underlying medical issues may be at play, too. Speaking to your vet is the only way to really find out and to learn about how you can make life less stressful for your cat, too.

Looking for a few ways to help ease your cat’s separation anxiety? Stay tuned; I’ll post a few tips here in a few days.

Do you think your cat experiences separation anxiety? Please share in the comments. 

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