The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t just impacted our everyday lives, but those of our pets too. With lockdowns still taking place and many people working from home, we are spending more time with our cats than they are used to. In the wild, big cats rely completely on themselves for survival, and this instinct to act alone is in your cat’s nature too. That’s why it’s important to check that your cat hasn’t become stressed by the change in their home environment and to find ways that help them enjoy their personal space.
How cats may show signs of stress:
- Increased vocalisation
- Urinating outside of the litter tray
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Sleeping more
- Excessive grooming
- Eating less
If you are concerned that your cat is showing any of these signs of stress, you should visit your vet to rule out any potential health issues. Below are some ways you can help your cat feel happy and relaxed while you’re all at home.
Giving your cat personal spaceIf your cat often falls asleep on you, walks across your laptop while you’re working, or curls up on your bed at night, you may be surprised to see cats and personal space in the same sentence. But allowing your cat to be in control of how and when they have space is key. That could mean letting them decide whether they want to enter a social situation, not rushing them into meeting new pets, or not forcing them to interact with you or other family members.
Sitting quietly in a room with your cat while you read, or telling family not to give the cat attention when it enters a room, are good ways to let them socialise on their own accord. Never corner them or give them too much eye contact as this can seem threatening even if you don’t mean it to. Let your cat come to you for attention and always allow them to walk away when they choose to.