How to live these days of quarantine with the cat? Let’s find out the suggestions of the veterinarian expert in animal behavior.
Dr. Sabina Giussani, an expert in animal behavior, has decided to give some advice to us owners of pets, to better manage the coexistence with our furry pets in these particular Coronavirus emergency days. As we know, stress for our cats when we change their habits can affect them a lot, especially as now when they don’t understand what happens in an extraordinary moment. Let’s see how to make our furry little ones live this period to give them all the affection and support they need.
In the days of forced stay at home, surely we will all be a little strange, and our four-legged friends are certainly no different. Our relationship with cats is definitely influenced by this situation. Usually, most of us are away from home during the day and don’t have all day to be with our kitty, whether it’s for work or otherwise. On the other hand, even our cat is not used to seeing us stay at home with him all this time, which could make him nervous.
The word to the expert
Dr. Giussani, Veterinary Physician Expert in Animal Behavior, as well as Senior President of SISCA (Italian Society of Animal Behavior Sciences), underlines that our dogs and cats realize that this unusual closeness to humans is extraordinary, in fact, they can distinguish it from everyday life or a summer vacation.
Surely the proximity of a cat can be an excellent source of love for us, which is fundamental in our life. Just in this period then, a little more affection from our cat can serve us. But we must not put too much pressure on our four-legged friend, because our behaviors could be a source of stress for him.
How to behave
Our animals can easily understand our behavior, says Dr. Giussani, but emotions and our language can also transmit something to cats. Therefore, we avoid panic as much as possible, avoiding showing ourselves agitated or stressed, to avoid transferring anxiety to them.
As for pampering, however, we can do it in moderation. Pampering our cat for sure can serve us as a source of relaxation and distraction, but we must make sure not to overdo it in the search for attention, play or pampering. This excessive presence of ours could indeed be annoying for the cat, because he also needs to rest in peace or be alone when he wants.
In fact, cats need moments of tranquility and not to be subjected to continuous stimuli, perhaps in an always active environment with continuous noise. This could give them a feeling of discomfort, especially when they usually have the house available in peace and quiet while we are away on business. And let’s not forget that when we return to normal, another transition to regular life will cause another stress for our kitty.
So let’s take this time to strengthen our bond with the cat, says Dr. Giussani, but only when we see that he is actually available to play or be pampered. We also try to offer some new games, such as:
- Hide and seek: we hide some crunchy from its daily ration, maybe under a corner of the carpet or under a towel lying on the floor. So we will play together to find them.
- Water games: in a basin we put two fingers of water and dip a plastic ball or a paper boat. The cat will play to push this float on the surface.
- Treasure hunt: in a cardboard box, we put a couple of layers (at least) of balls made of paper, and we throw a toy mouse inside, so that the cat can play chasing it as if it were hunting.
- Paper planes: let’s build a paper airplane to throw and challenge the cat to catch it in flight.