Although studies of cat separation anxiety are only in the initial stages of understanding, many have noticed signs. I will tell the story of my two cats, Bubba and Charlie.
Charlie was my future wife’s cat for 4 years. About 6 years ago when we moved in, Charlie was estranged and at least avoided me. When she realized I was here to stay, she started accepting me. At first a little parted but slowly took me to the point that she was lying on my knees to my wife’s resentment. At that time, my work was on the road, with periods at home. We soon noticed that when I was gone, Charlie was too tempting to get a bald spot on her side. When I was home, the excess seduction would cease. In retirement, the only time we were out was every two weeks, my wife had to go back to the hospital she was working to do their paycheck. We would be away 2-3 days every 2 weeks. When we return we will see Charlie vomit all over the house and on our bed. The reason we know this is that once we came home we started vomiting. As soon as we brought our suitcases, Charlie would hide under a bed, sofa or dinner table to avoid us.
Bubba, on the other hand, was a disgusting child that I adopted about a year after I moved. The best part was guessing he was about a year old. It took a while, but Charlie and Bubba became good buddies. The only sign he had with him on his return was that he would not let us out of sight. If you went to the bathroom, he should have been there too. He walked with me, rubbing against me to almost stop me.
In research, these are all signs of cat separation anxiety. Cause speculation ranges from genetic to environmental factors. Some people say that being orphaned or early weaning can lead to the development of separation anxiety. As this subject becomes more studied, more information may be obtained.
The things to do are subjective. The first thing would be for the vet to do all the physical work to make sure the behavior is not caused by any major physical problem. This may include blood work, urinalysis, thyroid tests or blood pressure check.
Some other suggestions include making departure time less stressful by changing the routine. Some experts advise that the owner ignore the cat 15 minutes before leaving and returning home. Leaving a distracting toy can be helpful. Someone suggested hiding delicious dishes in different parts of the house. Environmental stimulation can be beneficial. A cat tower with toys attached to a window could help. Sometimes they just like to see what’s going on outside.
Some experts have suggested that some situations may require short-term anti-anxiety medication. You must be aware that they are not labeled specifically for cats and should / should be designated and supervised by a veterinarian.
Future research should give us more insight into the cause and treatment of cat separation anxiety and make our little cat friends’ lives better.