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  • Kristin L., CVT

Clingy Kitty: Separation Anxiety in Cats

We don’t often think of cats as having separation anxiety. Lots of cats are independent and seemingly unbothered by their humans’ absence. But, believe it or not, cats do suffer from separation anxiety. With more people working from home, it was a big transition for many pets when their pet parents started returning to work. Every cat has a different personality, but there are several signs to look out for that may indicate your cat is experiencing separation anxiety.

Signs of Separation Anxiety in Cats

  • Excessive meowing, crying, moaning

  • Acting distressed when you get ready to leave

  • Eating too fast when you’re around

  • Not eating at all or eating less

  • Excessive grooming

  • Urinating or defecating outside the litter box

  • Destructive behavior

  • Excitement when you return home

It is important to note that some of those symptoms could indicate other health concerns. Therefore, it is best to consider your cat’s behaviors as a whole and always speak to a veterinarian if you suspect something is wrong.

How To Help Your Cat With Separation Anxiety

  • Leave the tv or radio on while you are gone. There are cat-specific channels on youtube.

  • Keep your departures and arrivals low-key. No excitement or announcing you are leaving.

  • Create a safe haven for your cat.

  • Puzzle toys are great for feeding. They keep them busy and let them use their hunting instincts.

  • Provide an area for them to look out the window with a nice view.

  • Calming pheromones can be helpful; they come in wall diffusers or sprays.

  • Severe cases may require anxiety medication, which your veterinarian can prescribe.

Again, taking your cat to the veterinarian is still very important if you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior. However, ruling out all other serious health concerns is the first priority before determining that your cat indeed suffers from separation anxiety.


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