Our cats are in many ways creatures of habit. They are used to seeing us walk out the door each morning and they are there to greet us upon our return. This arrangement would suit them very well because it gives them the chance to enjoy the full run of the house without anyone else imposing on their territory. They have the whole day to groom themselves, sleep where they want and maybe knock a few things off shelves, look out the window and go wherever they choose without anyone getting in their way. However since going into lockdown not only has our world changed as we know it but things have changed dramatically for our beloved feline companions.
Our cat has had to adjust to us sharing their territory. Many of them will embrace this change as it brings with it extra attention but at the same time they would be feeling very confused. Whilst we work from home we may have had to put up with our cat walking across our computer keyboards or playing with items on our desk. They would be wondering what we are doing there. Researchers have also indicated that cats can sense when their owners are stressed which in turn can make them stressed or anxious.. These have been challenging times so it’s not surprising that we are feeling more stressed than usual.
In order to get the best out of our current situation and to prepare our cat for when we return to work here are some tips which may be of help:-
Establish a routine with feeding and playing because routine makes our cat feel secure. The best way to start is with set meal times such as early morning, evening and a snack before bed. Try to play with your cat before they eat as this mimics their natural instinct of hunting for their prey and then eating it
Cats will be looking for their own space. Give them their own area in your home if at all possible. Perhaps install some shelves high up as cats love to look down on us and they feel safe being that high off the ground. Consider investing in a cat tower with those scratching posts and little sleeping areas.This will help your cat to feel like they still have their own territory.
Give your cat some toys which encourage independent play.
Put bird feeders outside your window so that your cat can watch the wildlife outside. This could keep them entertained for quite some time.
Try to restrict the amount of time you are spending with your cat during your working day. This will make it easier for them to adjust to you not being there once you return to work.
Try not to talk to them on your way out the door. Do not make a big deal about leaving.
Hopefully your cat will adjust very quickly by following these recommendations.