How to Detect Separation Anxiety in Cats
4 December, 2012
Most pet owners are aware of separation anxiety in dogs, but cats can also suffer from this syndrome. Since cats have a harder time expressing themselves than dogs, the signs can be harder to detect. Below will give you some insight into the symptoms of separation anxiety in cats and how you can treat it.
Signs of Separation Anxiety
Some of the signs of feline anxiety can include hiding, pacing, spraying of urine, a loss of appetite, biting at his or her tail or fur, vomiting or meowing more often than usual. If this happens, try to monitor your cat’s behavior for any significant changes or worsening of symptoms.
Try to under the cause of the anxiety
Cats can experience anxiety for a number of reasons. A new pet or family member can be enough to trigger stress. Also, situations like moving to a new home, changing your cat’s meal time or any other environmental changes can trigger an anxiety response in your cat. Believe it or not, something as simple as a change in a pet owner’s work schedule can stress out a cat.
Under stress, a seemingly sweet and gentle cat could exhibit negative behavior such as aggression and urinating to mark territory. Sometimes stress cannot be avoided, especially in situations such as moving to a new house or welcoming new family members. If you can pinpoint the cause, it is easier to determine a solution. Common anxiety sources for cats include a dirty litter box, flea infestations, and/or sudden changes in diet or strange new smells in the home.
Give your cat a place to call home
Give your cat a room or area that is quiet and secluded and away from all the household activity and noise. This can be her go-to place when your cat is feeling stressed. It could even be a climb-up cat tower or shelter. Cats enjoy being off the ground where they feel safe.
Take your cat to the veterinarian
If there hasn’t been any change in your work of home life, it is recommended to take your cat to your veterinarian for a thorough health checkup and physical. Some types of anxiety and stress could be caused by a disease or a health condition, for which stress relievers cannot help.
Your veterinarian might give your cat some medication that will foster production of serotonin, a feel good hormone that will help ease the stress your cat is experiencing. Of course, natural remedies are always an option, and will generally come with fewer side effects. Herbal remedies and vitamin supplements will be available at most health food stores and other places that carry natural remedies.
I hope that your cat does not suffer from separation anxiety but if he or she does, there are ways to cope.