A few months after the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in China, the coronavirus disease has paralyzed nearly every sector of the global economy. Government agencies around the world have advised their citizens to self-quarantine, which is simply a euphemism for staying at home till viable containment measures are put in place.
Self-quarantine has not only interfered with our routines but those of our pets too. If you own a cat, you may be wondering, is self-quarantine, causing my feline friend stress? The answer is a resounding yes. Want to know how? Read on to find out.
How Is COVID-19 Causing Your Cat Stress?
An agitated cat
There are several ways self-quarantine is causing your cat stress. The fact that you must now stay at home interferes with your cat’s routine significantly. For instance, the cat might not be willing to frolic in the house as freely as it used to. Instead, it may choose to stay aloof from everyone else and in the meantime, suffer anxiety and depression.
Fortunately, there are a few measures you can implement to help relieve anxiety in your cat. One of those is using cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabidiol will not only help to treat anxiety, but also elevate your cat’s mood. So visit a seed shop and get some good CBD and Cannabis Products for your Cat.
Read on as we unpack the various ways your cat is suffering from self-quarantine and what you can do about it.
Disrupts Your Cat’s Routine
Cats, like most animals, are creatures of habit. A slight disruption in their routines is likely to throw them off balance, especially if the disruption happens suddenly and unexpectedly. As we’ve already mentioned, COVID-19 has interfered with our patterns by ensuring that we stay home for a long time.
Our cats were used to seeing us leave the house in the morning and come back in the evening. And they truly loved it that way because, in our absence, they could freely explore all their wild feline adventures. However, here’s a situation where we spend the entire day in the house virtually. Any cat would take issue with that.
It’s also worth noting that cats are highly-territorial pets. Therefore, our continued stay at home could make them believe that their territories are under threat, which might cause them to stay on edge throughout the day.
Even if you have a very loving and understanding cat, you may still not be safe. Self-quarantine means that all kids, plus other higher-risk family members, are holed up in the same place, which means increased opportunities for interaction with the cat. For a cat that was used to living in a quiet home, the sudden swell in the household's size will undoubtedly get it nervous.
The cat might start to isolate itself even during times for play, feeding, or petting. As everyone else remains indoors, the animal may choose to venture outdoors, exposing itself to attacks from ill-intentioned neighbors or other animals in the neighborhood. Your feline friend may turn aggressive, clawing, and biting any foot that it crosses paths with.
Interferes With Your Cat’s Physiological Processes
Self-quarantine stress will not only cause your cat to escape or develop violent tendencies. The new normal can also interfere with the animal's bowel and bladder movements. As your furry, little friend avoids people, it will choose to eat during odd hours, mainly when no one else is awake. During these hours, the cat may binge on food and water, leading to severe disruptions in bowel and bladder activity.
Not to mention, your pet will not roam around as freely as it used to. That means less time spent playing, which is a significant risk factor for obesity and other weight-related conditions. Reduced roaming time also means your kitty will not hunt down prey like rodents and reptiles in and around the house. Before you know it, rats, mice, geckos, and even snakes will be having a field day in your home and compound, depending on where you live.
An anxious cat shying away from people
Complications of Self-Quarantine Stress for Cats and What You Can Do About It
If you do not take urgent remedial measures to address self-quarantine-induced stress on your cat, the animal may develop a range of severe symptoms. Professional vets call these symptoms displacement behaviors.
Essentially, these are the tics that your cat adopts in a bid to cope with its new stressors. We’ve already highlighted escapist tendencies, strange patterns in bowel and bladder movement, and sheer aggression.
Here are more displacement behaviors that self-quarantine stress causes in cats;
- Obsessive-compulsive behaviors like spinning, licking and overgrooming
- Paw lifting
Though we’ve already stated it, it warrants repeating that ignoring the above symptoms is putting your feline friend on the path of a full-blown mental disorder. Thankfully, there are numerous tips you can implement to relieve the anxiety that self-quarantine causes in cats.
The following are some of the strategies that experts recommend;
Try as much as possible to maintain your cat’s routine
You can’t help staying at home during self-quarantine. But you can help your cat to cope with the new normal better.
First, do not change the animal’s mealtimes, playing schedules, or sleeping environment. Secondly, if you’ll be entertaining people that the cat is not used to, go slow with the introductions.
Also, you might want to map out the places in your house where the cat feels safe and bar everyone else from venturing into these places.
Try an anti-anxiety supplement
There are numerous pet-safe herbs that you can use to help your cat deal with self-quarantine anxiety. Examples include ashwagandha and cannabis. Cannabis is especially beneficial, as it can help to relieve various anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder.
The anti-anxiety effects of cannabis extracts, such as cannabidiol (CBD), not only calms down your pet but ensures that the animal gets ample sleep. And the good news is that there are numerous CBD brands to experiment with.
A relaxed cat sleeping on the couch
So, is self-quarantine, causing your cat stress? Yes, and in a big way. Fortunately, there are measures to help your feline companion cope with this new normal.