How to Help a Kitten with Separation Anxiety

An orange cat looking at the camera

Kitten separation anxiety happens when your kitten becomes distressed when you leave home. Kittens are quieter about their distress, and they aren’t likely to bark, howl or chew like dogs do. Read on to learn more about the signs of kitten separation anxiety and what steps you can take to help your kitten.

Signs of Kitten Separation Anxiety

If your kitten has separation anxiety, you may notice some behavioural changes. Watch for the following signs of separation anxiety:

  • Your kitten is being vocal or clinging to you before you leave
  • Improper urination inside of the house not consistent with litter training
  • Your kitten is withdrawing or hiding as you are about to leave
  • Excessive destructive behaviours in the home

How to Help a Kitten with Separation Anxiety

It can be hard to see signs of stress in your kitten before you walk out the door. Read on for some suggestions on how to help ease your kitten’s separation anxiety.

Create a Routine

Kittens benefit from routines just as much as their pet parents do. If you leave and return at the same time every day, this can help your kitten adjust to the changes they’re experiencing and reduce their separation anxiety.

Make Time for Play and Exercise

Schedule designated times to play with your kitten each day. Playing an interactive game with your kitten before leaving for the day is a great calming strategy. After exercise, your kitten will typically be ready for a nap, which creates the perfect segue for you to leave.

Turn on Some Music

Deciding to leave on the TV or radio for your kitten when you leave the house is a great choice. Whether you decide to play music, put on a TV show or even play an audiobook, this can help give your kitten some engagement and distraction. In addition, hearing a human voice can make her feel less alone.

Try Stimulating Puzzles and Games

Puzzle feeders are a great way to reduce anxiety and keep your kitten mentally stimulated. Pour half of her recommended daily amount of food into the puzzle feeder each morning and then refill each evening. This will keep your kitten busy throughout the day and can help ease feelings of anxiety.

Remain Calm and Confident

You’re the pack leader so your kitten is likely to follow your lead. If you take a long time to say goodbye to your kitten before you leave for the day, you’re likely to spur those feelings of separation anxiety in her. Instead, keep your goodbyes short and sweet. If you can’t resist a longer goodbye, say goodbye with lots of petting and praise about 10 to 20 minutes before you leave. Then, you can leave without feeling guilty!

Signs of Serious Separation Anxiety

If you start to see worrisome sings like urinating outside of the box, excessive grooming, missing patches of hair, vomiting, excessive vocalization and appetite loss, speak to your veterinarian to check for potential underlying medical conditions and to learn more about behaviour management strategies for your kitten.

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