Phew… That lock down is finally ending, and you’re going back to work after COVID. But what about your cat? Will she be happy to have the house to herself again, or will she miss you when you’re gone all day? If she’ll miss you, check out my tips for helping separation anxiety in cats.
I’m going back to work after COVID, Thomasina, and I’m worried about my cat. I’m afraid she’s going to be lonely and stressed since she’s now used to having me at home all day. Any suggestions? — Concerned Cat Mom
Hi Concerned Cat Mom…
Don’t worry about your cat! It might take her a few days to get used to having the house all to herself. But it shouldn’t be long before she settles in to her pre-lock down routine again. And in the meantime, I came up with these suggestions to help with separation anxiety in cats.
If going Back To Work Causes Separation Anxiety For Your Cat
If you and your cat had a “going to work” routine before the lock-down, try to do things the same way now. She’ll remember the routine and know that while you’ll be away for several hours, you won’t be gone forever.
Boredom is a common cause of separation anxiety in cats, so make sure your girl has lots of interesting things to do while you’re at work. These should keep her busy.
- Treat balls. Get her several, and scatter them around the house. Pick them up at night, so they’ll be something to look forward to the next day.
- Really potent catnip toys (not the ones the pet supply chains and supermarkets sell). Put them in different rooms so she’ll find something fun as she wanders around the house.
- A window birdfeeder. Being so close to the birds will keep her entertained.
- Cat videos. Some cats love these, and some ignore them. Hate to say it, but I’m one of the ones who ignore them. I love watching soccer though, and sometimes tennis is sort of fun.
Signs Of Separation Anxiety In Cats
If your cat’s not back to her old self in a few days, look for these signs of separation anxiety: hiding or becoming very clingy, meowing a lot or even yowling, eating too fast or not eating at all, not using the litter box and grooming so much the cat creates bald spots.
But before you assume the problem’s separation anxiety, your cat should see a vet. These can all be signs of other health issues, too.
See You Soon...
If your cat is clingy or meows nonstop when you’re getting ready to leave, try a whole new “I’m going to work now routine.” At the door, give her a few quick pets, tell her you love her and say you’ll be back by dinnertime. Then toss some treats across the floor to keep her busy while you’re leaving.
Be cheerful and upbeat when you’re talking to her. We pick up on our humans’ thoughts, and if you’re not anxious she won’t be either. And within a few days, she’ll figure out how long she has to keep herself occupied between the time you leave and dinnertime.
If she’s very stressed, try calming treats or Rescue Remedy. Our human loves Rescue Remedy for us because it takes the edge off our anxiety without making us feel or act like we’re drugged. When we need it, she likes to put a couple of drops on a fingertip and rub it into the fur on the tops of our heads between our ears several times a day.
If you’ll excuse me, I need to get going now, Concerned Cat Mom. I’m feeling stressed from all the dictation. Good luck with that going back to work after COVID thing. I hope you and your cat adjust quickly and easily.