While some cats have thoroughly enjoyed having the whole family at home with them during the day, many have actually been finding it challenging to share their personal space 24/7. Cats, on the whole, are lone rangers who like our company; but on their own terms!
Due to our cat’s natural tendency to enjoy some ‘alone time’, many owners have nothing to worry about when it comes to going back to normality after the lockdown lifts. In fact, they may discover that their cat has a tiny calendar on which they are diligently marking the days off until lockdown ends!
For cats with outside access, their lives may not have changed too much during lockdown anyway, especially if they tend to spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. For those with cat flaps, you may have noticed them choosing to go out more often; it is great that they have the opportunity to do this and can keep their anxiety levels low.
How to help your cat adjust to life after lockdown
Of course, there are some cats who are very sociable creatures and have relished having more cuddles and play time with the family members who have been home more. Similarly, many kittens were brought home during lockdown or just before, and it will be a bit of a shock to the system when they discover that their two-legged friends aren’t always permanent fixtures within the home. For these guys, the end of working from home and the reopening of schools may be something they find hard to deal with. To help ease the transition, it is sensible to start distancing yourself a little now. This may mean reading a book in the room next to them or going for a long walk at a time you would normally be with them. Having them understand they can’t rely on you to be around all the time is important for confidence building.
Top tips for if your cat needs a helping hand
Many cats will do just fine and will quickly get used to the return of their familiar routine. For those who need a helping hand there are certain things that can be done including:
- Installing a calming diffuser within the home such as a Feliway. You can buy this at your local veterinary practice.
- Providing some natural calming supplements in their food once a day (your vet can advise you on which ones would best suit your kitty).
- Keeping them occupied with plenty of toys, cat nip and perhaps a cat tree or some cardboard boxes.
- Maintaining a predictable routine e.g. feeding at the same time each day, as most cats are creatures of habit and find comfort in familiarity.
- Trying to dedicate time to them when home every day, whether this means five minutes of grooming or a game of ‘find the treat’. While not every cat will seek out your company, you may find that they thoroughly enjoy a bit of one on one time when it’s on offer.