Keeping the Kitty Busy
Do you have a cat that becomes destructive when you’re not home? Does your cat eliminate outside of the litter box, or spray on your bed or clothing when you’re at work? Does your cat groom herself to the point that he is starting to develop bald spots? If you answered “yes” to one or all of these questions, then there’s a good chance that your cat is suffering from separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is a condition that affects many solitary cats, and it can cause a wide range of behavioral changes. But, it can also actually affect the cat’s health as well because cats that have separation anxiety are also prone to developing severe depression to the point that they won’t eat.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to help reduce this risk. Here are four ways to keep your cat entertained when you’re away.
Adopt Another Cat
Even though public opinion tends to view cats as solitary creatures, they actually enjoy being in the presence of others; they just don’t like to show it. If your cat is suffering from separation anxiety, then you might want to think about bringing another cat into the fold.
Of course, cats can be persnickety, especially older cats, so it will take time and commitment in order to fully integrate your new pet into your home, but in the end, having a constant companion around (other than yourself) will do your cat good.
Make a Play Zone for Your Cat
Your cat needs to have several options in order to keep boredom from setting in. Because of this, it is wise to create a play zone that is specifically his. This can consist of anything from a corner cat tree and scratching post to something extravagant, like creating a cat superhighway that allows your cat to get around your house using a series of floating shelves, or setting up an area where a special cat toy like this one will have free run of the room.
Providing your cat with a window seat is also a great option, or you can opt for an outside enclosure that allows your cat access to a fully enclosed play area outside the home.
Add Some Sound and Visuals to Keep Your Cat Entertained
For many cats, it’s the sheer silence of the house that causes them to go a little stir crazy. So turn your stereo or television into a feline babysitter. Choose a CD of light classical music and set it to play on repeat at a low volume. Or, tune your TV to the Animal Planet channel. Both have a calming effect that can help your cat stay more relaxed while you’re away.
Use Food Puzzle Toys With Cats
If your cat is a treat lover, then using a food puzzle toy will help keep him occupied for some time. These toys typically feature a space where you can stuff the treats inside. Your cat will have to work at it to get the treats out. For many cats, the combined play/treat aspect of these toys becomes utterly irresistible.
Another tip that can help dissuade your cat from being too overanxious in his wanting you to come home is to wait until you are home for a few minutes before you give him any attention or start playtime. This will no doubt be difficult starting out, but stick with it and you’ll find your cat will be more at ease and less anxious during the time he’s home alone.
Author: Giano Panzarella