Clarendon Street Vets’ advice on post-covid cat obesity & separation anxiety

May 14, 2021

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We all spent a lot more time at home during the recent lockdown, often doing less and eating more. The same has been true for many of our feline friends and for some cats weight gain and separation anxiety could now be an issue.

You may need to help your cat adjust now that we’re returning to some kind of normality. Our nurse Sarah has some advice on post-lockdown cat concerns.

Cat obesity:

Our cats may have enjoyed more time on our laps, sharing the odd snack, but if your cat is overweight, their quality & length of life can suffer.

If you have any concerns, Book your cat in for a weight check and body condition score review. Our nurses can advise you on the best foods for overweight cats, and ways to get your cat moving more.

Separation anxiety:

Some cats are thrilled to have a bit more peace and quiet now their owners are out of the house more, but others, who had become used to far more attention may be struggling to adjust.

Separation anxiety is often associated with dogs, who tend to be more social. But although cats are often seen as ‘aloof’, they can be very attached to their owners. They’re typically not as vocal or destructive as dogs, which is why cat separation anxiety often goes unnoticed until it’s severe. It can be caused by change or a lack of stimuli, or an over-reliance on human company after prolonged periods at home.

Anxiety in cats usually presents as behaviour issues:

  • Your cat may cry when you leave, often loudly and excessively.
  • They may start urinating on your clothes or soiling other areas indoors.
  • Licking and self-grooming can become obsessive.
  • Your cat may become clingy and sometimes either eat too much or loose their appetite.
  • Vomiting & diarrhoea can also occur.

If your cat is displaying some of these new behaviours, it’s a good idea to get them checked by our team. Some health issues can also cause behavioural changes. If needed, our team can talk to you about getting support from an experienced pet behaviourist.

4 ways you can help your cat adjust after lockdown:

  1. Cut back on treats, but talk to us before changing your cat’s main diet.
  2. Add more stimuli to the environment for when you’re not there – cat activity centres and toys can also help with weight loss.
  3. Designate time each day for play and grooming – great for both exercise and bonding.
  4. Ask us about using plug-in diffusers that omit natural pet pheromones to soothe your cat.

If you’d like to chat about these topics or anything else, our team are happy to help. Talk to us about your cat.

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