We hear the phrase all too often; ‘Adopt, don’t shop.’ Out of all the posts for adoption I encountered, one of them deeply caught my attention. An owner looking in desperation to re-home her cats or they will be handed over to the shelters. Behind that cute fluffy faces and mighty paws, a touching story began to unfold as we got to know the cats better. Because of the circumstances, we weren’t given ample time to let the cats get used to our “scents”. There were not much time to fully prepare for their arrivals but hey, I remembered how excited and nervous we were!
Separation anxiety commonly occurs when a cat is too attached to its owner or a pet buddy during the course of separation. As first time cat owners, my husband and I read some articles to gain knowledge so we can be responsible pawrents to our adopted furbabies. What we didn’t read on was, if separation anxiety is real for such an independently known animal.
On the first night with our furbabies, they were shivering and barely touch the food served. One of them got scared till he peed on the cat carrier and refused to move away from it. Both of our furbabies began to lay on top of one another, as if hugging each other tightly. Occasionally one of them would lick the other’s head, as a form of comforting. We learnt of their close bonding with their former owners, through updates via text messages. With a wishful of happy thoughts and all the information we had on hand, we saw progress. Miraculously, both of them started to show positive behaviours as the third day gone by.
We strongly encourage all keen adopters to do a little research before adopting. Understanding the cats you’re bringing home plays an important factor in their emotional stability later on. The more you understand your furbabies, the higher chances of bridging the gap of bonding they once had with their former owner.
The common signs in cats with separation anxiety include excessive Meow-ing, rejecting food, urinate and even poop outside their designated litter. One of the ways we tried to ensure smooth transition for our furbabies was to use some of their former belongings and place it into our home. We ensured both cats receive plenty of quality time. It seemed to work well for them. Take time to get to know their characteristics, their likes and dislikes. We promise, it just gets better each day! Getting vertical scratching posts and tall cat condo also help to provide a sense of security for cats.
We are no experts in handling separation anxiety but hope that sharing our experiences will help cat owners, especially a greenhorn like us! If you have tried all means to treat your furbabies and the signs persist, it is always recommended to see a vet when in doubt. After all, putting yourself at ease allows you to make the right choices for both you and your new furbabies. Good luck!
“Rescuing one cat won’t change the world, but it will change the world for one cat.” – Unknown