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Thread: Cats and separation anxiety?

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    #1

    Cats and separation anxiety?

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    Question for all of those more experienced fur parents than I.

    Lately, Lola has been getting really bad separation anxiety. I know it's a Siamese trait to be super attached to their owners, and I love that about her. Whenever I am home, she loves to be near me (preferably on me, lol). She snuggles with me under the blankets every night, sits on my lap whenever possible, and comes whenever I call. Overall it's just adorable how much she shows her love for me. This semester, however, I've been gone a lot longer during the day. I go to the gym around 9:30-10, am at the office 1-6, and have class from 6-9. I think this has something to do with it, but lately whenever I pack my bag for the day, she gets super restless and starts crying. We're talking really sad, loud meowing. She'll follow me around and makes it clear she knows I'm leaving and is stressed about it. I used to just give her some treats or a snack - enough to distract her while I left - but lately she gets so worked up that she won't even pay attention to a toy or food. I don't have time to come home during my day to see her and I'm not sure how I can relieve her anxiety. She's been to the vet recently and she's perfectly healthy. I'm sure she's fine after 10-15 minutes of me being gone, but I'm wondering if anyone knows any ways to calm her down when I'm packing my bags/getting ready to head out.

    Anyone experienced this before? Any tips or tricks?
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    #2
    Hmmm... That's a hard one since she isn't into food or toys at that point. This may sound bad but I have heard of several cats being on prozac for anxiety. If it gets really bad I would consider talking to your vet a little more. Have you tried turning on the TV or a radio to help distract her with noise and make her feel slightly less lonely?
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    #3
    Rescue remedy is a homeopathic calming agent that you can get and put it in her water. A lot of breeders use that for their cats that get stressed at cat shows.

    There is also a pheromone collar or something that can help. My breeder friend used that to help with another behavioral problem she was having with her cat
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    #4
    Sorry I don't have any experience with this at home. My cat does something similar when first going in a car. (she was abandoned from a car by someone) We've lessened her anxiety on this somewhat with short trips. Once she's back in the car she's fine (?) so it's not the driving that bothers her. She doesn't even seem to care when we leave, but she meets us at the door when we come back, wanting acknowledged. Perhaps trying to leave the house for short periods of time then returning, to get her used to the idea, although if it was me I'd try the other things already suggested first.
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    #5
    Thank you for the advice, everyone.

    I have little pheromone plug-ins for the wall and need to replace them. I am hoping that will help calm her nerves! I also googled some ideas and am trying to desensitize her to my process of packing my food and bags. She knows my routine really well so I'm going to try to get her used to it by leaving my bag out more, packing and stepping outside for a few minutes at a time, and rewarding her when she doesn't freak out.
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    #6
    I leave out toys and hide treats for her to find. Sometimes she is so upset that she doesn't even touch them. I also leave out my stuff all the time so she doesn't panic anymore. I do the leaving/packing a few min at a time & reward too.
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    #7
    Do you know anyone that you could trust to stop in and visit her during the day to help break up the long separation? Sort of like a dog walker...but a cat scratcher or something Other than that, maybe a radio on, new cat nip toy, etc.

    Does she like laser pointers? Maybe play with her for 20 minutes to help her get some energy out so she's exhausted when you leave?

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