Common Cat Problems Solved: Separation Anxiety
Question: My cat really struggles to be alone. When I leave the house for any extended period of time, such as to go to work or out for a social occasion, I return to a scene of devastation and a very unhappy cat. I can hear my cat crying out for me as I leave the house, and while I’m not there, they have a habit of destroying furniture and knocking things over. I can’t always be at home – so how do I stop it?
Answer: One of the most common causes of this is loneliness, as this type of behaviour is seen most commonly in house cats where they are the only animal present. A simple solution is to take on another cat, as company for your existing animal. When they have another animal to socialise with, your existing cat may find being separated from you less distressing.
However, that isn’t always an option, so the next step is to create a comfortable scenario for your cat to be alone in. Fill a room with toys and a comforting, familiar blanket. Then, use a small wind-up radio and leave it running. Your cat will therefore always be able to hear a human voice, which they should find reassuring. Ensure when you come home, you lavish affection on your cat to cheer them up and create a sense of confidence that you will always come back.
If your cat is destructive when you are not there, it is best to keep them to one room only while you are not present. Make sure ‘their’ area has some toys, a water dish and a tray, and remember to let kitty out as soon as you’re home.