COVID cat concerns: separation anxiety & obesity
May 21, 2021
During COVID lockdowns, did you spend way more time than normal at home in Derbyshire with your cat? Did you both eat more and do less? Chances are, weight gain and separation anxiety could now be an issue… for your cat.
You may need to help your cat adjust now that you’re returning to some kind of normality and leaving the house more. Our head nurse Lara Bettaney has some advice on COVID cat concerns.
COVID Cat obesity:
Social distancing from your sofa, cat on lap, sharing snacks… sound familiar? Doing less and eating more leads to weight gain. If your cat is overweight, their quality & length of life can suffer. There’s no need to panic, STAR Vets’ nursing team can help.
Book your cat in for a weight check and body condition score review. Our nurses can advise you on the best foods for overweight cats, and ways to get your cat moving more.
COVID Cat separation anxiety:
You hear about dogs, but can cats get separation anxiety? Yes. Cats are often seen as ‘aloof’, but are in fact very attached to their owners. They’re typically not as vocal or destructive about it as dogs, which is why cat separation anxiety often goes unnoticed until it’s severe. It can be caused by change or a lack of stimuli, and when forming a dysfunctional bond i.e. prolonged time at home with you.
Anxiety in cats usually presents as behaviour issues:
- your cat cries when you leave, loudly and excessively
- they’ve started urinating on your clothes or soiling other areas indoors
- licking and self-grooming has become an obsession
- your cat has become clingy or takes self-isolation too far
- changes at mealtimes i.e. eating too fast or not eating
- vomiting & diarrhoea (common for other health issues, get checked if more than 24 hrs)
If your cat is displaying some of these new behaviours, it’s a good idea to get them checked by our team. Some health issues can also cause behavioural changes. If needed, our team can talk to you about getting support from an experienced pet behaviourist.
4 ways you can help your cat adjust after lockdown:
- Cut the snacks, but talk to our team before changing your cat’s main diet.
- Add more stimuli to their environment for when you’re not there – cat activity centres and toys can also help with weight loss.
- Designate time each day for playing and grooming – great for exercise and bonding.
- Ask us about using plugin diffusers that omit natural pet pheromones to soothe your cat.
If you’d like to chat about these topics or anything else, STAR Vets’ friendly nurses are happy to help. Talk to us about your cat.