Tuesday 22 January 2008

Cat Behavior and Separation Anxiety

Cat behavior and separation anxiety is almost certainly a growing issue. I have first hand experience of it. I don't know if I am being over sensitive or over protective but I think that if we agreed to live with our cat (and she agreed to live with us) we have created a situation where our cat adapts to us being around. We provide the food and warmth, that's agreed. And she provides her presence and companionship.

It is our presence that becomes a part of our cat's life. I can see this in my cat. When I was working I was away all day and she would wait in the house at the front door for hours on end. She was delighted to see me on my return, that was obvious. Was she delighted to see me because I was going to give her some prawns? Or was is because she likes me to be around? Of course the two are linked.

Recently I have been at home a lot more and she sleeps next to me while I am at the computer. So she likes to be near me. When I go into a different room and watch TV she follows me there (albeit about 10 mins later). This tells me she likes me around and I know she likes prawns so it's a bit of both.

Some cats are more patient and able to deal with separation than others. But cat behavior resulting from separation anxiety is noticeable. My former partner worked hard and liked to play hard. She wasn't at her flat a lot. She had a large boy cat. He had to stay in the flat all the time while she is out. What do you expect? Apparently he urinated on her bed. A sure sign of cat behavior resulting from separation anxiety.

When a cat does this he is transferring his scent to you in the same way that he brushes against you when her greets you and when he wants food. He is mixing his scent in his urine to your scent on your bed clothes. He is scent sharing or doing a scent exchange to make himself feel more comfortable and less anxious.

Separation anxiety is not the only reason for peeing on your bed or outside the litter box. Some reasons are:
  • Cystitis - my girl cat get this. It can be brought on by stress and not drinking enough liquid. Drinking more liquid helps to flush the kidneys reducing the possibility of infection.
  • Stress caused by some other reason. Apparently cat's urine contains pheromones (a stress reducing hormone), which when released the cat can benefit from.
  • Dirty litter tray.
  • If you have 2 cats and one is urinating outside the litter the other may mark the area with urine compounding the problem

Pictures: Top copyright imen, bottom copyright .snow
mine knowledge and http://en.allexperts.com

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