or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Possible Anxiety?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Possible Anxiety?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Good Day Everyone,

This is my first post here! I do have a concern about my kitty.

Her name is Dita and she is a year and a half old purebred Snowshoe kitty.

My concern is that she is demonstrating some troubling tendencies. She has always been one to follow me around and be in the same room as myself. Recently though, she has been taking it to the extreme. When I leave the room, she will cry or call out to me until she is able to see me again. At first it was quite cute, she would make this howl type cry until she saw me and then she would run over and start purring and rubbing my hand or leg. She has also taken to crying when I am not home. There are people at home all day long and up until a few days ago, she was fine and would sleep most of the day away waiting for me to come home. However, I am told that she now spends the first hour while I am away going from room to room calling for me. Last night was the worst. She literally cried all night long as she is not allowed to sleep in the same room as us. This has always been the case and is not new for her.

She has also taken to greeting me with much more enthusiasm when I get home. She will actually get upset if I don't pay immediate attention to her when I walk in the door. She will also be all over me for the next 20 mins.

Could this be some sort of Seperation Anxiety that she is experiencing?? This is a new behaviour for her. While I am excited that she misses me when I am away, I don't want her to disturb the neighbours with her cries all day, nor do I want her to get so stressed out that she starts other destructive behaviours?

Any suggestions??
post #2 of 8
Firstly, Welcome to TCS! I hope you will introduce yourself and stick around!

My three are pretty much like that too! But I am home with them everyday, so it's not really a problem.

It could be possible that she's lonely - do the others in the house play with her and pet her? Have you thought about possibly getting her a playmate to keep her entertained while you are out?

Sorry I don't have more advice - I'm sure others will pop in to add some though!
post #3 of 8
Welcome to TCS!

I think you're on the right track that she's developed a separation anxiety.
Consider a new mate for her to keep her home with a buddy.

If that's not an option, then consider getting up a little earlier to play with her before you leave.

It could just be a phase though. I think all maturing cats go through phases much like humans do. Luna had her bathroom phase (which is still there but not as bad - she use to sleep in front of the kitty litter).

Otherwise Dita sounds like Patches. At least she doesn't sound as bad though. Patches will walk away from my BF (she's his cat), eat, then turn around and realise he isnt there and will start crying. It's not all the time, just once in a while, but still its funny/sad.
post #4 of 8
She could also just be spoiled. This happens, as kittens they are so cute we want them with us at all times. They get used to the routine and when it gets disrupted they get upset. If you know she isn't ill- meaning she hasn't been to the vet in the last week, then just stop paying attention to her when she is crying. Only pet her and talk to her when she is quiet. Put her on scheduled feeding times, take the food up after she eats- or if you work go to automated feeders. Don't pay attention to her at all if she is meowing- that only reinforces the behavior
post #5 of 8
Welcome to TCS!

She sounds lovely, though. Post a photo of the little miss, would love to see!

It does sounds like she misses you, a lot. When I leave in the morning, I turn on piano music for my little Saba, who is a Maine Coon/Tabby and very attached to me (she was a rescue). This calms her and soothes her. I also leave a worn sweater in an area I know she likes to nap, so she has my scent at all times. When I come home, I can tell she's been laying on it!
post #6 of 8
I think you may be right that Dita is suffering from separation anxiety . . . but the suddenness of her behavior change suggests she might be going into heat if she hasn't been spayed yet. If you aren't sure, you may want to take her to the vet.

Otherwise, I agree with everyone else's advice . . . put something that smells like you in her bed. You might also try to encourage Dita to seek out other family members in your absence by having someone else in the house feed her just before you leave for work in the morning. This might also distract her from focusing so much on your departure.

Also, to avoid reinforcing her habit of crying to get your attention, I would ignore her when she cries just because you leave the room. You might also want to start giving her the same, short verbal greeting every time you walk into a room where she is (e.g., "Hello Dita."), and ignore her if she tries to get all over you for more attention. This will hopefully make your homecomings seem less momentous for her (since they will garner the same greeting she gets every other time she sees you). I have a very loving but hyper Norwegian Forrest. He is very attached to me and constantly craves petting, but he also cannot sit still. I love the affection, but the constant walking around me and pawing at me drives me batty sometimes. I've had a little bit of success by giving him a brief pet, and then patting the chair or bed next to me and telling him to lie down. I will then leave my hand hovering in the area I've just patted (i.e., I won't reach out to pet him as he walks around), thereby forcing him to sit down, or at least move around less, if he wants to be pet. In the last month or so, he has started lying down next to or in my lap about 1/3 to 1/2 the time, and he is staying longer and longer.

Also, as several others suggested, it would probably help if you can get her a companion kitten. As Dita is attached to you specifically, however, it is important to try to have others tend to the kitten as much as possible until Dita seems to have accepted her, or else you will run the risk of exacerbating the separation anxiety with jealousy, and creating a barrier to her accepting a new cat. The introduction can be greatly facilitated if you have someone else bring the kitten in and put it in the bath tub or a separate room isolated from Dita and you for several hours. Make sure you have washed your hands and changed clothes so that you do not smell like the new kitten, then let Dita "find" her. With any luck, Dita will think she's bringing you the new kitty, and so will accept her more readily.

Good luck . . . and please keep us updated!!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Good Evening Everyone and Happy Holidays!

Yes Dita is in fact spayed.

I think that you are right by saying that her calling is being reinforced by attention, but the only thing is I work till really late in the night, I get home usually around 130am. Her voice is so powerful for such a small cat, and I don't want her waking everyone else in the house up. I have tried to ignore her, but when I go into the bedroom and close the door behind me, she cries until I come back and then she literally freaks out and starts jumping off the walls.

I try to spend as much time with her as I can, and I make sure that I play with her when I get home from work and before I go. The others in the house tell me that they do play with her and spend time with her, but they say she is not as into playing as she is with me. She spends most of the day sleeping I guess waiting for my arrival home. My partner tells me that she has a routine and that she knows when its getting time for me to be home. She will start sitting by the door and if I am late for whatever reason, then thats when the calling really starts.

I will post some pictures of her soon. I don't have any recent (last few months) as our Digital camera was stolen, but I will post some of about 6 months ago.
post #8 of 8
Sweety is like this to. She will meow at my roomates door when I go to the store, only gone for 5 minutes! They sometimes have difficulty understanding there is another world we have to step into, though they don't want anything to do with it!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Possible Anxiety?