Cats and dogs love it when their owners are around. They get the attention, companionship, and friendship that they crave. It is only natural that when you leave, they start missing you. However, in extreme cases some pets truly suffer when their owners are not at home. In this case, they usually have what’s called separation anxiety.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Generally speaking, separation anxiety is the fear of being left alone. There isn’t one specific cause that triggers this type of anxiety, but there are many possible factors. Some of the most common causes are changes in residence, changes in ownership, or being left alone for prolonged periods of time. Any of these seemingly harmless changes can lead to separation anxiety in even the most happy dogs and cats.
How Do You Know if Your Pet Has Separation Anxiety?
Both dogs and cats display bad behavior when they have separation anxiety. For cats, this usually means mean excessive meowing and a lot more “accidents” outside the litterbox. Meanwhile, dogs will also have many accidents inside the house, but will also chew, dig, bark, and howl excessively. When no one is at home they may even try to escape.
Before you confirm that your dog or cat has separation anxiety, you need to make sure that the issue isn’t another medical problem or lack of proper training. However, if you have a rescue dog or the behavior is triggered by sudden changes, it’s likely that your pet is suffering from stress and loneliness.
How to Deal With Separation Anxiety in Dogs and Cats?
Helping your pet through anxiety is important to make them feel happy, comfortable and safe. But, cats and dogs will require slightly different approaches.
For some dogs, all you need to do is put in a smaller crate when you leave. The smaller space makes them feel more secure and safe. However, if the dog creates a fuss about getting into the crate, don’t force them.
This will take some patience from your side, but might also be the best way to resolve anxiety issues. Basically, just reward your dog for desirable behavior and ignore their bad behavior. This will help show them that there is nothing to be scared about.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
This is a 4 step process that heavily involves both you and your pet: 1) recognize anxious behavior or feeling in your pet; 2) reassure the pet; 3) develop a plan that is going to help with the situation; and lastly 4) evaluate the success of the coping strategies.
EcoBalance is an all natural supplement that comes in liquid drops. You can put it in your pet’s diet or just a few drops on their tongue before you leave the house. It won’t leave them drowsy or unaware, but will help them feel safer, keep their nerves in check.
Just by slightly altering your routine and behavior, you can help your feline friend overcome separation anxiety for a long time. Simply put, just try not to fuss over your cat for 15 minutes before you leave and when you get home. Additionally, to help the cat calm down, it could be beneficial to also leave a distraction toy.
Sometimes cats can have separation anxiety from pure boredom. Keep them occupied by equipping your home with comfortable cat perches, trees, and towers. Window side bird feeders and similar amusements can also be fun tools for your pet.
Just like for dogs, you can use EcoBalance Calming Liquid for your cat. It will naturally calm your pet down and let them go about their day in a happier mood. If you do choose to opt for medication, then consult your vet before administering anything to your cat.
Add Another Cat
Some cats could do with an extra friend that they can play with every time you’re not home. It offers them a distraction from their constant human companionship. However, some cats are not particularly social – so it maybe a good idea to do some test runs with your friend’s cats before committing.
Separation anxiety can be devastating to pets and to your home. If not addressed, it can lead to your pet feeling anxious, hurt, and other emotional discomfort. Don’t let your pet suffer through loneliness and address separation anxiety as soon as you notice your dog or cat is going through it. After all, you and they both want to see them back to their happy normal self!