Some cats suffer separation anxiety and the last thing we want to do as pet parents is to add more stress onto your pet cat while you are gone, be it for work or holiday. Many owners board their cats with cage-free home boarders to have a peace of mind when they are away long-term. However, if they are gone for a short period, here are 7 ideas you can try to keep your cat calm and happy indoors alone.
1. Use calming pheromones
Cat pheromone is a type of chemical communication between cats produced from glands located on various parts of their bodies, often to mark places and objects for example. There are calming pheromones products that you can use on or around your cat which is meant to mimic natural cat pheromones. These products can be purchased in forms of sprays, plug-ins, wipes and collars, and can work wonders on a stressed cat.
2. Create a fun zone
This is an obvious one but even if you don't have much space, setting up a fun corner will suffice as the idea is to fend off boredom. As cats are intelligent felines, they can get bored easily, which can be frustrating for them. Hence, scratching, biting and pooping out of their litter box - for fun. Set up an area with complicated and stimulating toys like a cat tree with multiple levels and various perching sites, scratching posts made for climbing and claw exercises, hanging toys and food puzzles. So long you switch them around every now and then, they are great ways to keep cats occupied.
3. Experiment with your curtains/blinds
Some cats love observing the outside world from inside. Perches that overlook the front porch and street will provide hours of entertainment for your cat. If you don't mind birds by your porch or balcony, you could also place a bird feeder by the window.
Meanwhile, some cats can get more anxious by seeing other cats, dogs or neighbours especially when alone. This behaviour can cause them to claw at blinds or urinate by the window to mark their territory. In this case, it is better to close all the windows and drapes before you leave your house.
4. Provide a hiding place
As cats are territorial and solitary by nature, it is important to allow your cats to have their own territory, especially when it is an anxious one, or you have multiple cats and suspect one may be a bit of a bully. A great idea is to place large paper grocery bags or card boxes in different rooms in the house so that each cat will have the opportunity to have their own hiding spaces where other cats will have difficulty reaching.
5. Invest in a running water fountain
Cats are usually finicky about their drinking water but most love running water like tap water. Obviously we are not suggesting you leave your tap on the entire time you're away but investing in a running water fountain made for cats may be a good idea. That way, your cat also does not dehydrates itself until you get back.
6. Turn on soothing sounds
If your cat responds to certain music styles, try leaving them on softly while you're out. If you're unsure, you can't go wrong with classical or meditation music.
7. Get a buddy
This may or may not work as your cat could be used to being a lone ranger. However, if your cat gets along with his or her new sibling, playtime and shared activities can be more interesting even when you are not around. Hiring a trusted pet sitter is also another option so that your cat is being looked after without needing to leave it's house or break it's routine.
Of course, don't forget safety of your cats - that means not leaving anything that could be of danger out in the open especially when you are not around. It is also a good idea to purchase pet insurance for your furry one if leaving your pet cat alone at home is norm.