When an extended trip away from home approaches, most cat loving owners will be faced with the same heart-wrenching question – will my cat miss me when I’m gone? Feline critics may easily shout HELL NO! It’s a common belief that, unlike our doggy companions, cats just don’t possess the same emotional capacity to feel a sense of separation anxiety. Most would think that they wouldn’t take a second glance back as you go weeping out the door, suitcase in tow. It’s true that some cats with certain temperaments may very well not give a damn that you’re ditching them for a week in Bora Bora with the girls. But not all of our feline friends act as casual and independent. Cats can be sensitive little souls. For some, your absence can have a profound effect.
Food and shelter are basic requirements, but comfort and companionship are also integral to your pets well-being. When you leave for an extended amount of time, cats can react in a variety of ways depending on personality, temperament and even age. Some may act out of aggression by destroying your favorite ottoman or even bless your entire house with their holy kitty urine. Attacking the cat sitter or playing hide-and-seek without the ‘seek’ are also possible reactions. A notable change in behavior strongly supports the notion that our absence does not go unnoticed. Felines thrive from a set status quo and a firm routine. With the owner gone, these two important factors of a cat’s life are disrupted, thus triggering an emotional response.
If this is your first trip away from your little bundle of purring joy then you may be thinking, will my cat remember me when I return? Similar to the variety of possible reactions when you leave, your cat may respond to your return in many ways. Again, it all depends on the individual personality of your feline companion. While some owners are welcomed by a peace-loving-purr-machine who immediately dives into their arms, others are given the kitty cold shoulder. Since you left, all those kitty face rubs have been wiped clean and you’re drenched in new and unfamiliar smells. Yuck! It is normal that your cat may need a few days to reestablish the status quo and regain comfort in routine. They may have their tails in a twist at first, but with patience your relationship will return to normal and you’ll soon be honored with a fresh coat of kitty face rubs. Welcome back to the pride!
So yes, it is possible for your cat to miss you when you’re gone. But if you’re like us, you’ll probably miss them even more.
Top Tips For Cat Owners When Going Away
- Get your pet sitter to meet with your cat in advance. Let them feed your kitty with their favorite treats. Have them engage in play with you and your cat as a group. Allow your feline to get to know and trust the sitter in a safe environment prior to the trip.
- Keep your cats in their normal environment. Taking your cat to a new and unfamiliar place will create stress.
- Before you go, leave items of clothing with your scent around the house or in their kitty bed.
- Maintain as normal a routine as possible. Feeding times, play, etc.
- Leave extra toys to promote healthy activity and keep their mind from missing you.
- Keep closet doors ajar. This will provide them with a confined space to relax in. Smaller spaces mean less area to patrol, which will reduce stress and anxiety. It’s also a warm and comfortable place that smells of your clothes. Puurfect!
- Before you go, rub an item of your clothing on the cat and keep in a sealed bag. Wearing this item on your return will help trigger familiarity in your cat’s mind. Show them you’re still a loyal part of the pride.
Any doubts? Simply watch this adorable kitty welcome home his soldier father, and hopefully this will clear up a few of your concerns 😉