- Is there a single lifeform this virus isn’t messing with?
How long have we been in quarantine for by now? Sure, we could venture into the outside world again for a moment due to the vaccine, but the resurgence in infection rates has forced people back to working from home.
We the people aren’t the only creatures suffering from being cooped up within our own four walls. Apparently, it’s also causing stress to our pets — particularly cats.
It’s common knowledge that cats aren’t as sociable as, say, dogs. Sure, your kitty loves cuddles and pets, but cats also need plenty of time to spend in their own regal company.
But thanks to COVID-19, we’re now spending most of our time at home. And apparently, that’s ruining cat’s lives.
According to UK animal charity Cats Protection, vets are reporting rising numbers of blocked bladders in male cats and cystitis in female cats. These are potentially life-threatening conditions, and they both can be caused by stress.
“It would appear that some cats may have become more stressed in their home during the pandemic,” a Cats Protection spokeswoman said, according to the Express.
“Changes to a cat’s routine always have the potential to cause stress, as they are creatures of habit.”
And established routines were one of the first things to go out the window when the pandemic hit.
The reason cats are getting so stressed is because we’ve invaded the spaced where they used to go for some me time.
“’Safe’ or ‘quiet’ places that a cat could have escaped to in the home previously may have been repurposed as a home office, so the cat no longer has a quiet place,” said Cats Protection.
Not only that, stressed cat owners may seek comfort from their kitties at inconvenient times. Imagine how annoyed the cat must be when it finally discovers a good place to rest, and someone comes to pick it up for the day’s eighth “who’s a good kitty” session.
Yeah, you’d be pissed off too.
Cat owners taking their cats to the vet have noticed the change in their behavior as well. One cat owner on Twitter shared her experience.
“Today the vet told me that since COVID, they’ve had to treat a number of cats with depression caused by irritation that their people are at home all day,” she wrote.
“Obviously it’s not really funny but… That’s the most cat thing I’ve ever heard.”
Dogs, apparently, aren’t having the same issues. Suppose they’re just happy their people are around all day, every day — which is probably irritating any potential cats in the house even more.
How to Tell Your Cat is Stressed
If you have a cat and have been stuck at home for the past year and a half, you might be wondering if your cat is stressed. Luckily, there are some telltale signs that show your cat had had enough of your constant hovering around it.
Stressed cats usually become withdrawn, tolerating even less contact with people than before. So, they don’t really differ all that much from people.
Some cats might try to self-medicate by drowning their sorrows in food. If your cat has food constantly available, you might notice habitual overeating.
They can also begin to groom themselves over and over again, which of course isn’t healthy. They could even start peeing and pooping all over the place in silent protest, instead of politely using their sandboxes.
Give Them Space
If you suspect your cat is stressed, there are steps you can take to help your kitty feel better. The first and most obvious is leaving your cat alone.
After all, overexposure to their owners is the root cause of all these issues. Allowing your cat to get some much-needed time away from you will help them feel more comfortable.
You can help your cats take a break from you by arranging a selfcare space for them. Put down a pillow or a cat bed in some quiet corner of the house. Perhaps by a window so your cat can dream of the wide outside world without you to bother them.
It can also help to establish a clear daily routine, even if you’re working from home. Your cat can more easily take a break from you when it knows what rooms you’ll occupy at a given hour.
And finally, make sure your cat has plenty of water, food, and toys to keep itself entertained and fed. Just like you, your kitty will be much more disagreeable when it’s hangry or bored out of its skull.