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You may not think of cats as paying much attention when their owners come and go, but some cats can develop separation anxiety when they form a particularly strong bond with their owners. Keep an eye on your cats for signs of anxiety and take steps to ensure peace of mind in your absence.
- Know the signs of separation anxiety. They can range from prolonged vocalizations or excessive grooming when you're away, to urinating on your personal belongings or near the front door. Basically, you're looking for anything that's a departure from their otherwise normal behavior.
- Make sure your cat's needs are being met. Cats are more sensitive to routine that affects them, especially mealtime routines. Be as consistent as possible in your feeding habits - the location within your home, the time, etc. Also, don't fall behind on litter box scooping despite demands on your schedule. A cat food that helps reduce stool odor might be helpful, too.
- Provide opportunities for stimulation. Make sure your cats have plenty of engaging toys to enjoy while you're away. And make the most of playtime when you're available. Playtime limits frustration and helps your cats maintain emotional balance. Visit PetFit.com for tips and pointers on healthy ways to have fun with your cats.
Your veterinarian can help you cope with separation anxiety issues. If you've tried the above and don't see results, your veterinarian may need to take a closer look to rule out underlying health issues or provide additional treatment for anxiety.
SOURCE: ©2009 Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.