Separation Anxiety in Cats

You may have heard about dogs suffering from separation anxiety, but did you know that it can also affect our feline friends? Although cats may have developed reputations of being aloof, independent pets, kitties are actually very emotional, and often form very strong bonds with their owners. Some loving furballs get so attached that they become very nervous and upset when their people are away. In this article, your veterinarian Grandview discusses separation anxiety in cats.


Fluffy may develop separation anxiety for a few different reasons. She may have been orphaned, or weaned too early. Kitties that have always lived with only their human ‘parent’ will be very dependent on that person, and may be more prone to separation anxiety. A change in routine, such as a vacation, a new owner, or a move can also trigger anxiety.


Does your kitty follow you everywhere? Your furry little shadow might be worried that you will leave her. Kitties with separation anxiety sometimes meow incessantly, or over-groom themselves. Sometimes our feline friends will react to separation anxiety by defecating outside the litter box. This isn’t done maliciously; it may be Fluffy’s way of trying to help you find your way home by leaving a scent trail. We know, human noses don’t work that way, but kitties apparently haven’t figured this out yet. These behaviors can also be caused by medical issues, so have your vet check out your furball to eliminate the possibility of physical problems.


There is no one specific way to cure your kitty’s anxiousness, but there are ways to help. Making her feel safe, secure, and loved will help her become more confident. Give your feline buddy plenty of toys to keep her occupied in your absence, so she won’t be bored. It may also help to give your furball a window perch, or set up a cat tower in front of a window. Watching people and animals coming and going in your yard or neighborhood will keep Fluffy entertained, and may ease her nerves. The sound of human voices may also soothe your cat, so try leaving a TV or radio on while you’re away. If Kitty’s separation anxiety is extremely severe, your vet may recommend a cat-calming product, such as a spray, or even put your kitty on medication.

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