DOG SEPARATION ANXIETY—”SCARED TO BE HOME ALONE”

August 23, 2014 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Behavior

howling_dog

Cats and dogs make wonderful pets. However, taking care of these pets can be quite challenging as well as rewarding. Dogs are social animals that prefer to live in groups. Like humans, dogs also undergo different kinds of emotions and express diverse behaviour patterns. Understanding these various aspects is crucial in bringing up your pet dog. Separation anxiety is a common behaviour problem in dogs that occurs when the dog is separated from its group represented by the owner or owners. This is the second most common reason that most dogs are given up or euthanized.

Although separation anxiety is common in all breeds of dogs, German Shepherds, Airedales, Springer Spaniels, Australian Shepherds and Weimaraners are more prone to this condition. This is not to say all of these dogs will not cope being left alone, as with all dogs it will vary greatly depending on the individual. The affected dog shows signs of distress on being separated from the family group or owner to which it is highly attached.

Separation anxiety is primarily triggered when the dog becomes irritated and upset because of separation from guardians. The dog being attached to the guardians displays such behavioural pattern. Dogs with separation anxiety display escape attempts that are often extreme and can result in excessive household destruction as well as self-injury. The dogs usually attempt the escape attempts near the doors and windows and may cause injury to themselves during this process. Read more…

How to Deal with Cats Home Alone?

July 27, 2010 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Behavior

Have you ever known cats left home alone develop stress? Yes!!! Most of the cats will develop boredom, stress or separation anxiety. Try to know how to cope up with this condition. One of my friends cat to nap away their day while he was gone.

How they spend home alone?

  • Vomit while you’re gone
  • Depressed -Many cats will slink, hide, and sulk, away from you
  • Anxious – Some cats will vocalize and cry through out the day until you return
  • Some cats will go anorectic 
  • Destructive- Urine marking and defecate in the house

How to deal with this problem?

You can alleviate this problem of separation anxiety by following different enclosure enrichment methods. The common ways are-

  •  Provide your cat with Cat sitter DVD or something like that
  • Make your cat tired by playing with her before going out
  • Try to provide a good cat tree andplace it near the window

Much of the time, your cat cannot come along. So try to follow these simple ways to get rid of separation anxiety in cats.


Understanding Separation Anxiety in House Cats

April 20, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Behavior

Separation anxiety is a problem of children, we all know. The same can affect the cats too. This psychological problem of cat bothers the pet owners most. The separation anxiety in cats is expressed differently, unlike dogs. The cats don’t bay and howl like dogs. They don’t dash and bite the door or even the window sills of the house. They don’t make any attempt to escape from the new environment. They suffer in silence and only the pet owner could understand the uneasiness of the cat.

Separation anxiety, we all know stems from the animal’s low confidence level and the dependency on others like pet owners, fellow kitten or mother cat. Though the expression of separation anxiety is due to environmental factors the susceptibility increases due to genetic factor. e.g.  Breeds like mainecoons are less susceptible whereas the breeds like Burmese and Siamese are highly prone for separation anxiety.    

Separation Anxiety -Signs

There are few signs which can be observed to understand the cat’s separation anxiety. Here they are.   The cat will follow the owner, where ever he moves about in the house.

The cat may express signs of depression when the owner prepares to move out either for work or any other purpose. The cat will start mewing, hiding, slinking away, sulking etc. the cat will start crying, and meowing or moaning once the owner left the scene. This can be observed by the household of the owner.

The cat will not eat in the absence of owner. In some cases the cat will urinate or defecate on the owner’s cloth or property or on the door through which the owner left. At times the cat may indulge in excessive self grooming or destructive behavior or may vomit. 

Treatment- Behavioral

The separation anxiety in dogs can be corrected to some extend by proper training, but in cat the training is tricky and bit difficult too. Teaching "home alone environment "and by training the cat to sleep in the cat bed while the owners is not in the house will help to great extend. We can also make the cat to have a full view of the surrounding by taking her to up-stars. Positioning the windowpane bird feeders strategically   and providing mobile toys helps to some extend to overcome the separation anxiety. The radio can be put on even when the owner is away.

Treatment -medical

Incase the behavioral treatment is not providing the necessary result one can opt for medical therapy. There are many anti anxiety medications available in the market which can be used after the consultation with vet. Medication like clomipramine [primarily dog use], fluoxetine, and buspirone serves the purpose.

Conclusion

The separation anxiety in cat is not major problem as it is in cats, hence same can be ignored. Those who are having the genetically susceptible breeds like Burmese can take extra precaution. The behavioral therapy is best recommended as it has no side effects like the medications.