By Linda Cole
Separation anxiety is a problem for some dogs. They can experience mild to severe reactions when left home alone. Because cats are thought of as being solitary, independent and aloof, the idea that they miss their owner and experience anxiety when home alone is scoffed at by some people. However, cats are social animals, and some can develop separation anxiety.
The cause for separation anxiety in cats is unknown. Scientists can only speculate, and think it could be caused by genetics and environment. Felines more inclined to become anxious are kittens that were orphaned, weaned too early, or came from a pet store or shelter. If they never learned how to be a confident kitten, s cat has a greater chance of developing separation anxiety A change in routine, like a vacation, new job, loss of a person or pet she was close to, or a new baby can cause a cat to become stressed.
What is Separation Anxiety?
Cats suffering from separation anxiety have a fear of being left alone, even if there are other pets in the home. They become anxious and stressed while you’re getting ready to leave and when you’re walking out the door. They can become upset and anxious when you leave a room or go outside for just a few minutes. You don’t have to actually leave the house to have your cat become distressed. Just the thought of you being gone is enough to trigger an emotional response before you’re out the door.
Cats express themselves in more subtle ways than dogs, and don’t try to scratch through the door, wall or floor, or crash through a window. They aren’t as apt to destroy trim around a door or tear up a couch, and they won’t bother the neighbors with barking, whining or howling. You may not even notice your cat is stressed when you leave the house, if you’ve missed the signals she’s giving you.