In the past few months, many have spent more time at home than usual. What does this mean for our pets? How to tell if your cat needs a break from you – and when they are suffering from separation stress.
Anyone who has a cat knows – if the kitties get too much, they withdraw and take a break. However, many house cats currently find difficult conditions for this. Because in Corona times, many a kitchen table becomes a workplace and the living room becomes a classroom.
Does this constant closeness to your cat’s family sometimes become too much? It all depends on the personality of each kitty. Social cats, in particular, are at risk of separation anxiety after returning to work and school. Other velvet paws, on the other hand, may have difficulties being together all the time.
In general, the following applies: Whenever something changes in their environment, it can be a challenge and a source of stress for cats. “If you normally go to work every day and now work from home, that can be a new stressor for your fluffy friend,” explains veterinarian Dr. Barbara Boechat across from “Catster”.
Therefore, it could well be that your cat needs a break from you in between when it gets too much for her. How do you know that? For example, when your cat suddenly no longer goes to the litter box, it no longer eats, vomits, or hides.
Not All Cats are Equally Social
It is important that cat owners remember that cats overslept a large part of their time. “Cats sleep an average of twelve to 15 hours a day, mainly during the day, because they are naturally nocturnal,” says veterinarian Dr. Dora Ramos. Older cats would also sleep more than younger kitties and kittens.
It is therefore important to respect cats’ sleeping times and not disturb them. When they are awake, cats spend different amounts of time with their humans or other conspecifics. That depends, among other things, on the kitty’s personality and her social status, explains Dr. Ramos.
Your Cat Should Be Able to Take a Break
Because different cats have different needs, they should be able to decide for themselves when and how much time to spend with their owners. Therefore, you shouldn’t force your cat to stop petting or playing – even if you are at home all day.
“If your cat feels constricted, give it space, be aware of its feelings and keep an eye out for changes in behavior,” advises Dr. Ramos.
By the way, cats should also have physical space to retire on their own. These can be small, hidden corners or high-altitude viewpoints. The main thing is that your cat feels comfortable there. And when she feels the need to play or cuddle with you, she will come to you – all by herself.