Newsday Tuesday – Your Pet After the Pandemic

We’re all counting on there being life after the pandemic, but this may not be something your cat is looking forward to or that she will adjust to easily. Experts are especially concerned about pets that were adopted during the pandemic, and that is a lot of cats and dogs. They’ve never been alone—at least since you brought them home. And we all know how cats, especially, like routine and dislike change.

I’m sharing an article today on how to help your pet adjust when you go back to work or resume travel or just ramp up your life outside your home. Whether you’ll return to a job of volunteer work, socializing, spending time with your grandchildren or an ailing friend or relative, or you resume an active travel agenda, your absence may be difficult for your pet. It’s recommended that you take baby steps. Make gradual changes to your routine now to help acclimate your cat or dog to what’s to come. Already we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. You may already be venturing out a little with the opening up of things.

You’re walking because the weather is nicer and maybe starting to spend small pockets of time with neighbors and friends. If you’ve been off schedule—getting up at odd times—try to get back on schedule, as you were before the pandemic.

Separation anxiety is real for some pets, but there are ways you can help your cat or dog to adjust. Animals react differently to separation anxiety. Some might become lethargic, sleep a lot, and seem depressed. Others will tear up things and become aggressive. Olivia (our calico kitten) dismantles her drinking fountain when we’re gone for long. That may not be a symptom of separation anxiety, she’s probably just thirsty for that fresh-running water.

Experts point out that you might feel some of that separation anxiety yourself when you go back to your normal life. I’m already dreading being away from Olivia, who has never been left alone for more than an hour, when we resume some of our activities. Yes, keep a watch over your own reaction and response to separation—guilt, sadness. It’s certainly something to consider and prepare for.


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