Although people think that cats are very independent, aloof animals, they grow very attached to their owners. They may not make a big noise and cause a lot of damage like a dog will, but cats can suffer from separation anxiety too. If your cat is experiencing separation anxiety, it can be quite distressing for the cat and for the owner. It can lead to destructive behavior and the cat may start soiling your home.
In extreme cases of cat separation anxiety, a vet is likely to prescribe anti-anxiety drugs. These drugs usually come with many negative side effects. This leads people to search for more natural ways to combat separation anxiety.
In this guide, learn how to treat your cat’s anxiety using natural remedies like CBD for cat separation anxiety. But first, let’s dig a little deeper into the underlying issue…
What Is Cat Separation Anxiety?
Cat separation anxiety is a condition where a cat displays the symptoms of anxiety when they are separated from their owners. Separation anxiety is more commonly associated with dogs. People tend to think that cats are independent creatures. They don’t worry if their owners are there or not. Cats do, though, form a very close bond with their owners. They are also very aware of changes in their environment.
When a cat’s attachment to its owner becomes dysfunctional, separation anxiety can become severe. This can lead to behavioral problems. A cat with separation anxiety may become very clingy. They will want to be with their owner all the time and will often follow their owner from room to room. They may try to get between the door and the owner if they believe the owner is about to leave. A cat with separation anxiety may also become destructive when left alone. Cat separation anxiety is unpleasant for the cat, and it can cause problems at home for the owner too.
What Are the Causes Of Cat Separation Anxiety?
The causes of cat separation anxiety are not fully understood. It is believed that both genetics and environment play a part. It could also be that a health issue is a reason why a cat has become overly attached to its owner. Here are some of the things that are believed to be the cause of cat separation anxiety:
Weaned Too Early
Kittens who are taken from their mother too soon are more likely to display symptoms of cat separation anxiety. Orphaned kittens are also more prone to anxiety. Kittens shouldn’t be removed from their cat family for at least eight weeks after birth.
Highly strung breeds, like Burmese and Siamese cats, are more likely to develop cat separation anxiety. You can’t change a cat’s genetics. But, mental stimulation and exercise can help avoid anxiety in cats that are predisposed to the condition.
Lack Of Stimuli
If a cat is bored, it will become more attached to its owner. It will see the owner as the only way to relieve the boredom. So, when the owner is away, it won’t know what to do to occupy its time.
Changes In Environment
Anxiety in cats can be triggered by changes in their environment. Moving home, the death of a family member, or the addition of a new pet in the home could make your cat feel unsettled.
Your Own Anxiety
Cats are far more perceptive than most people give them credit for. If you are feeling anxious or upset, the cat will sense this. The more anxious that you appear to be, the more anxious your cat will become.
Other Underlying Health Problems
A cat’s separation anxiety may be a result of another health issue. If they are feeling unwell, they will want their owner to be around them. If your cat suddenly develops separation anxiety, it would be advisable to take your pet to a vet for a check-up.
Symptoms Of Cat Separation Anxiety
The symptoms of separation anxiety in cats are not always as obvious as they are in dogs. A cat won’t destroy your home like a dog might, but you may see some signs of destructive behavior. Many of the symptoms of cat separation anxiety are also the symptoms of other health issues. The diagnoses of a cat with anxiety are often based on the elimination of other potential causes of the symptoms. The common symptoms of cat separation anxiety are:
- Excessive and loud meowing
- Excessive grooming
- Soiling the home
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Scratching furniture and carpets
- destroying property
- Signs of distress when the owner is about to leave
- Exuberant greetings when the owner returns
Another common symptom of cat separation anxiety is urinating on the owner’s clothes or bed. This is not vengeful behavior as some people believe. It is more likely that it is a self-soothing behavior designed to help the owner find their way back home.
Natural Treatment For Cat Separation Anxiety
If your cat is diagnosed with separation anxiety, there are several things that your vet may recommend. There are steps that you can take at home to minimize your pet’s anxiety, and in severe cases, your vet may prescribe anti-anxiety medication. There are also several natural remedies that you can use to treat cat anxiety. One of these is CBD for cat separation anxiety. Here are some of the common natural treatments used to treat cat separation anxiety.
It might seem counterintuitive to give your cat an herb that you know will excite it. But, catnip can be used as a natural treatment for cat anxiety. If you give your cat some catnip fifteen minutes before you go out, all the excitement will wear your pet out and it will be calm by the time you leave.
Lots of people drink chamomile tea to help them relax. The same calming effect that chamomile has on people will work on cats as well. Instead of giving your cat tea, though, you can scatter a few dried chamomile flowers around the home.
Valerian is another herb that will work like catnip. After your cat has calmed down, it will probably go to sleep for a while. Valerian creates a euphoria in cats. It will leave your pet feeling calm and very relaxed after the euphoria has died down.
Hops are another plant that will calm a cat’s anxiety. If you leave some dried hop flowers in the home, it will help your cat relax when you are not there.
Bach Rescue Remedy
Bach Rescue Remedy is a flower essence combination that will calm a cat down fast. The human version of this anti-stress remedy contains brandy, but you can get alcohol-free versions for pets as well.
CBD For Cat Separation Anxiety
CBD oil is another common natural remedy for anxiety. Most people find that is much more effective than any of the herbal remedies. CBD is a natural substance that is derived from the hemp plant. It is safe to give to cats and will not get your cat high.
Studies on humans and animals have found that CBD has a powerful anti-anxiety effect. When it interacts with receptors in the brain, it rebalances the serotonin levels in the body. It works in a similar way as pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medications do, but without any negative side-effects.
CBD oil for cat separation has become very popular with pet owners. Especially those who don’t want to give their cats strong drugs. You can buy CBD oil for Cats in many forms. CBD oil drops or CBD cat treats which already have CBD in them are a good way to deliver needed Cannabidiol to your cat. CBD is easy to administer and very effective.
How To Prevent Cat Separation Anxiety
As well as natural remedies like CBD oil for cat separation anxiety, there are also some simple steps that you take at home to ease your cat’s anxiety. Here are a few of the things that you can do to make your cat less anxious when you leave it alone.
Give Your Cat More Playtime
Boredom is often where separation anxiety in cats begins. If you play with your cat more often when you are at home, you can encourage your pet to play more on its own when you are away. Try introducing new toys for your cat and encourage your pet to play with them.
Cat Trees & Scratching Post
Making your cat’s environment more interesting will also help. If you put a cat tree by a window, your cat will be able to entertain itself watching what is going outside. Scratching posts will occupy your cat’s time, and they will also stop your pet from scratching your furniture.
You can also work on desensitizing your cat to your leaving the home. There will often be a trigger for cat starting to become anxious. It could be you picking up your car keys, putting on your shoes, or fetching your coat. If you look like you are preparing to leave a few times a day, but you don’t leave, you cat will gradually become less sensitive to these triggers.
Don’t Make A Fuss Of Your Cat Right Before You Leave
If your cat shows signs of anxiety as you are preparing to leave, ignore it. That might seem cruel, but if make a fuss of your cat, you are reinforcing their anxious behavior.
Provide Distractions For Your Cat
Make sure that your cat has plenty to do while you are out. You could leave new toys for your cat to play with or leave a puzzle feeder to occupy your cat. Make sure that your cat can get to a window they can see out of. Leaving the TV or a radio switched on can also help.
In some severe cases of cat separation anxiety, you may need the help of a vet. In a lot of cases, though, CBD oil for cat separation anxiety combined with some of the steps like those above will make your pet feel a lot happier when you leave it on its own.