Despite seeming quite aloof and finding your presence an annoyance, cats are social creatures that love their owners. Therefore, a change in routine, such as when kids and teachers head back to school, can be challenging to adapt to. Indeed, watching everyone leave while remaining home alone can cause feline distress and anxiety.
Cats are creatures of habit and like to know what to expect and when. Within a few short weeks, they become accustomed to having more people around for more prolonged periods. When that pattern changes, they might feel abandoned and neglected.
Here are five things you can do to make the back-to-school transition easier for your kitty:
Ensure that you and your kids leave the house for a few hours at a time in the weeks and days leading up to the return to school. This gradual approach produces better results than a sudden adjustment. Separation anxiety is often the cause of a cat’s distress when its routine alters. Going ‘cold turkey’ and heading off for a long day away from your feline could prove too much for them to bear. Changes in appetite are a symptom of cat anxiety. As cats typically do not drink enough water as it is, feed your kitty organic kidney supplements for cats that prevent UTIs (urinary tract infections). Cats are prone to such conditions as they do not ingest sufficient liquids. While choosing a supplement, decide from Only Natural Pet, Nutri Vet, Hill’s, Scruffy Paws Nutrition, etc so that you get only the best for your feline friend.
When leaving the house, ensure that your cat has access to a supply of food and fresh water. A kitty might want to comfort eat some extra food as a stress management technique. However, do not encourage overeating as the feline will need to go on a special diet to lose excess weight. If you do not intend to leave extra food, consider giving your kitty a treat before leaving home.
While everyone is home, your feline is getting loads of extra attention, including playing games. It will miss this time once everyone’s schedule returns to normal. Start weaning your cat from long play sessions by making them shorter each day. However, ensure that it has toys to play with by itself as this prevents destructive behavior that typically arises from boredom.
Cats learn and receive mental stimulation through play, and this can continue when they know how to do so alone. Cats are independent creatures and will adapt well to toys they can play with alone. However, they also value interaction with their owners, so do not eliminate your play sessions entirely. Shorten them to periods you would have available after returning to school.
Make time spent apart fun
It is unnecessary to buy expensive cat treats when a quick online search provides many recipes for homemade treats your cat will love. The added advantage is that you get to control the ingredients and ensure they are healthy. Additionally, you can make the cat treats smaller to give a feline more of them.
Consider incorporating treats into a fun activity instead of having your cat some when it is time to leave. Hide treats in different parts of the house and see if your cat hunts them while you are gone. Cats have natural hunting instincts and prefer finding their food instead of having it served to them.
Indoor cats love having a spot where they can lie quietly and watch the world passing by. Ensure that your kitty has such a spot and keep it clear of clutter. Consider buying a cat tree with different perches and placing it in front of a window.
Passing pedestrians and delivery people provide entertainment for your cat by helping it realize it is not alone. Looking at birds and squirrels in the garden will also give your kitty some mental stimulation. City cats love watching the hustle and bustle of traffic and people from a favorite window. However, avoid having lace curtains at the window as your cat may get a little overexcited and pull them down in a bid to get a clearer view of everything happening outside.
Prepare for an adjustment
As much as your feline has enjoyed having everyone at home and misses them when things go back to normal, owners and family members will also miss their kitty quality time. This could leave you distracted and worried about your cat while you are working. It is normal for owners also to have some separation anxiety. If you know this will affect your work performance, consider setting up a wireless camera in the home where you can check up on your feline periodically.
When householders are experiencing back-to-school blues, felines pick up on it and might start mirroring the behavior. Chat with your kids about how their attitude and behavior affect everyone at home, including pets. Remind them to remain calm and positive around your cat.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
If you enjoyed this post you can follow more of our life, opinions and antics over on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Plus feel free to come and join in with my parenting group ‘From One Parent to Another’ on Facebook.
If you’d like to contact me you can either leave me a comment or drop me a line via my contact me page.
For other topics similar to this one check out these suggestions below…