Video: Fear Of Separation In Cats
Many people know that separation anxiety occurs in dogs, but it is generally believed that cats are not affected by it. However, recent studies by animal behaviorists have shown that separation anxiety can also develop in cats. In defiance of past beliefs, it is proven that cats are highly social animals and can form strong bonds with humans and other animals.
Signs of separation anxiety in cats. A cat shows signs of separation anxiety when an attempt is made to separate it from a person or animal to which it is strongly attached. Such cats will try to constantly be near the owner, follow him from room to room. Seeing that the owner is about to leave the house, the cat gets angry and hides or tries to get between the owner and the door. When the owner returns, the cat just goes crazy with joy.
Separation syndrome in cats manifests itself in the same forms as in dogs. They give a loud voice, they can make a puddle or a pile near the door or on the things belonging to the owner, they begin to gnaw and scratch furniture. Sometimes less visible signs may indicate separation anxiety. For example, when left alone, the cat gets nervous and stops eating. Or she vomits when her owner is not around. More rarely, excessive licking occurs, to the point that bald spots appear on the body.
The reasons for the fear of separation. It cannot be said with certainty what causes this syndrome in cats. It is assumed that both genetic factors and the environment may play a role here. If the kitten was an orphan or was taken away from its mother early, then it may have a predisposition to fear of separation.
What if you suspect your cat has separation anxiety? The first step is to discuss the situation with your veterinarian and conduct a complete health study of your cat. It is important to make sure that the cat does not behave this way because of health problems. For example, a cat that does not urinate in a litter box and meows violently may have a urinary obstruction or inflammation. If your cat often licks itself, it is possible that she has a food allergy. Your veterinarian will recommend tests that include blood tests, biochemistry, urinalysis, thyroid hormone tests, and blood pressure checks. As separation anxiety is just beginning to be explored in cats, it can be helpful to talk to a behavioral expert who can help you rule out other potential fears.
How to treat separation anxiety? For dogs, the most effective therapy is a combination of behavior correction and drug use. Probably the same is true for cats.
15 minutes before leaving the house and for the same time after returning, the owner should ignore the cat. You can distract her with some kind of toy. Take, for example, a cylinder from an exhausted toilet paper roll, glue its ends, punch holes in the sides and fill it with various treats that will fall out of it when the cat starts rolling it on the floor. There are also ready-made toys of this type on sale. Another way to distract the cat is to hide various tidbits in the secluded corners of the house. All the toys that the cat especially loves should be given to her before leaving and hidden again upon returning home. When the owner returns, he must ignore the cat for at least 15 minutes.
Try to make the cat's environment more interesting. Prepare a comfortable place for your cat to look out the window, especially if the bird feeder is visible from there. Also, cats love different climbing frames and scratching posts. Leave the radio or TV on quietly. Some cats are very fond of "cat videos" with sounds and images of birds and other animals. The cat may be less nervous if another animal is left at home, but this depends on the nature of the cat. It is possible that your cat will not like it.
Sometimes medication should be used for a short time. Your veterinarian may prescribe Prozac, Buspar, or Clomicalm for your cat. Further research into this issue will provide us with more information and help make our furry friends' lives happier.
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