Separation anxiety is a syndrome usually associated with the dog, which affects animals that can not stand to be separated from their human. However, the cat can also be a victim, which can plunge him into a deep state of stress and have serious consequences on his health and well-being.
Signs of separation anxiety in cats
A cat who suffers from hyperattachment for his master, a syndrome directly linked to that of separation anxiety, does not always present the obvious external signs. Indeed, a dog victim of this syndrome will tend to destroy everything that passes under the leg in the absence of his master, while the cat will present sometimes more subtle symptoms:
- Your cat asks you a lot of attention, which results in excessive meowing and a constant demand for hugs.
- He follows you everywhere, like your shadow.
- Your cat offers you a too demonstrative welcome when you return home.
- It is needed outside of bedding, but in visible places (bed, sofa …).
- Your cat claws your furniture excessively, or even makes your home a real battlefield when you’re not there.
- Your cat is too often toilet, until you pull hair.
- He eats too fast, and then vomits, or, on the contrary, refuses to feed himself in your absence.
- Your cat seems nervous when you are on the start.
- He may even be aggressive or, on the contrary, completely apathetic.
How to relieve separation anxiety?
The anxiety of separation is very often due to a bad behavior adopted by the master at the time of departure. Indeed, we tend to transmit to our felines our anguish to leave them alone by cuddling or talking to them more tenderly than usual. This ritual is very harmful for the cat. Indeed, the latter then becomes worried about the idea of staying alone. He may even be afraid of being abandoned.
To limit separation anxiety in your cat, it is therefore essential not to try to reassure him when you have to leave home. On the contrary, it would only reinforce his anguish. Act as if nothing had happened and ignore it ten minutes before going out and ten minutes after your return. The goal is for him to understand that there is nothing more normal than staying home alone. Similarly, do not answer all the requests of your cat. It’s up to you when you want to pet him or play with him. You can also leave the TV or radio on to provide comfort. If, despite everything, your cat can not cope with loneliness, you can arrange play spaces.
The goal ? Stimulate and avoid boredom during your absence. So, opt for high platforms, a cat tree, toys hanging on the doors, hiding kibbles scattered throughout the apartment … Also, adopting a second cat can sometimes prove to be a solution. But it can also cause jealousy of your first cat and give rise to clashes in your absence. Prefer the purchase of soothing hormone diffusers, which will relax your hairball when you are gone. Finally, if nothing works, homeopathic or medicated treatments (anti-depressants, tranquilizers) prescribed by a veterinarian may appear as a last resort.