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    Separation Anxiety

    Separation Anxiety

    Cats who develop really close bonds with their owners become distressed when left alone for long periods and can develop an obsessive-compulsive behavior such as overgrooming, licking or grooming a particular area until all the fur has been pulled out and the skin is red and raw, behavior known as psychogenic alopecia. This same problem can occur as a result of boredom. Try alleviating your cat's distress by giving her things to do while you are out; for instance, leave toys out so she can spend her time playing and hide treats around the house so she can occupy her time on a tasty treasure hunt. A treat ball allows you to record a message so that she can hear your voice as she rolls the ball around to trigger the message and a treat. Another way to lessen separation anxiety and help your cat while away the hours is to provide her with visual entertainment. This can be in the form of a secure (in other words, has a sturdy lid and can't be toppled) fish tank or special cat videos played on the TV.

    To comfort your cat in your absence, place some clothing you've worn or slept in around the house. She can breathe your scent for reassurance and when you come home, you may find her snuggled down for a nap in your sweatshirt. If you think getting a second cat for company may be the answer to separation anxiety, consider all the possible ramifications before acting on the idea. Discuss it with your veterinarian or a behaviorist first. Sometimes this is not the answer and only causes more problems in the household, especially if your first cat becomes possessive and territorial about you and your home or is made to feel more anxious and insecure.

    Some cats become bored and lonely when left alone all day and start to suffer from separation anxiety.

    From The Cat Bible, Copyright by Sandy Robins, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with I-5 Press

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