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Separation Anxiety in Cats

October 1 2020
Our feline pals have a reputation for being aloof. However, this isn’t exactly accurate. Fluffy can actually get very attached to her humans, and can even suffer from separation anxiety? In fact, a recent study showed that as many as 13 percent of kitties may have this issue. Here, an Oshawa, ON vet discusses separation anxiety in kitties.

Causes

There is no specific one cause for separation anxiety in cats. It may be more common in homes where there is just one kitty and one human, as cats often bond very closely to their owners in those situations. There may also be genetic and/or environmental factors involved. However, any furball can develop separation anxiety.

Signs of Separation Anxiety

Cats can be confusing, but if you pay attention, you’ll be able to pick up on Fluffy’s distress signals. She may act very clingy when you’re home, and may follow you from room to room. (Some kitties even trail their humans into the bathroom!) Kitties with separation anxiety may also vocalize more or differently than usual. They may overgroom themselves, or indulge in bad behaviors, like scratching or soiling improperly. Your feline pal may also greet you rather theatrically, almost like a dog would. In extreme cases, kitties may also go off their food, vomit, and/or develop litterbox issues.

What To Do

If you know or suspect that Fluffy has separation anxiety, contact your vet. You’ll want to make sure that her symptoms aren’t caused by underlying medical issues. It’s also important to make sure you are providing your kitty with a fun, comfortable environment. Make sure your pet has plenty of beds, toys, and things to investigate. It’s also a good idea to leave a TV or radio on for your furball when she stays home alone. If you won’t be home before dark, turn a light on as well. It may help to get another kitty, but this is not a universal recommendation. In some cases, it could even backfire! Consider the ages, histories, and temperaments of both cats before deciding. Last but not least, be sure to pay lots of attention to Fluffy when you’re at home with her. Talk to your furball, pet her, and play with her, to make sure she feels loved and safe. Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your Oshawa, ON vet clinic, today!

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