Going Back to Work? How it Might Affect Your Cat.

Going Back to Work? How it Could Affect Your Cat.

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Cats love routine.  Just ask our 9 yr old, Rupert.  He can tell you when each of his meals are served.  He will also let you know if you are late, by knocking the tv remote off of the end table.

Gonna share, Mom?

More people are heading back into the office now that the Covid vaccines are available.  For some people, this will be an easy transition back to an old and familiar routine.  However, have you considered how this will affect your cat and its routine?

Cats are known for not liking change.  That's true for a lot of cats, but certainly not all cats.  When offices started closing down due to Covid this was a big change for people and everyone in their home. Including pets. Some people and their pets likely adjusted to the change of working from home rather quickly.  Others might not have.  

These were stressful times and still continue to be.  Cats can be very sensitive to change, but also to how we are feeling and dealing with things.  Unfortunately, this can often go unnoticed until your cat "tells you".  Meaning, their behavior changes.  Sometimes with unacceptable behavior. Hopefully, your cat was happy and content with having you home more often.  I also hope that you found some stress relief by spending more time with your cat.  

Now, with offices bringing people back, this is another change in routine for your cat.  But wait, isn't this just like when you are home on vacation or the weekend?  No.  Those are shorter periods of time, and most likely, your cat is used to the weekend routine.  Yes, vacation time might be longer than a weekend, and your cat might feel it needs to do some adjusting. But, not nearly the same as you being home for a year.

Your cat could have 2 different reactions when you go back to the office on a daily basis.

The first reaction would be that he or she will miss you! You might have spent more time cuddling or playing with your cat.  You might have slept in more and/or stayed up later.  Your cat likely adjusted to that new routine. 

I miss you!

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Or, the other reaction is one of relief.  Yes, your cat might be happy to go back to the old routine, as much as he or she loves you.  Some cats prefer having more time to themselves and less noise or stress in the home.

Finally, peace & quiet again

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So, before you head back into the office on a regular basis (or if you have already), be sure to help your cat with this transition.


If you had been playing more often with your cat, continue to have fun play sessions when you are home.  You may have less time, but having a fun play session is a great way of spending time with your cat and sealing that ever so important bond.  Playing with your cat can also serve as a stress reliever for your cat (and you too!). Kind of like exercise can help people shed stress.  An active round of play can do the same for your cat.


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If you spent more time hanging out with your cat, cuddling, watching tv together, etc...  continue to do that as much as you can.  You can always scale back on that gradually, but please don't stop completely. 

Some cats might even experience separation anxiety, which could potentially cause behavioral problems such as not using their litterbox correctly. Try to spend quality time with him or her before and after work.  Try to do this at the same time of day each day, so your cat will know when to expect this special time with you.  

If you have not yet started working from the office, but know you will be soon, start the transition now with spending less time with your cat.  Go out for an hour or more each day, to give your cat more time on its own.  If your cat appears relaxed and has not shown any behavioral issues, reward him or her when you come back with a special tasty treat or extra cuddles. 

If there are other family members in the home, include them in the new/old routine. Your cat won't understand that you might feel tired or not up to playing with him or her as often as you were, so if others can fill in, that would be ideal.

If your cat is experiencing a change in behavior, please contact your Veterinarian to arrange for an exam.  If your Veterinarian rules out medical issues, please contact me at realworldcatconsulting@gmail.com or fill out and submit the Behavior Consultation Form.

Help Your Cat Cope During Fireworks

The 4th of July is coming very soon and it is a time for celebration and gathering of friends and family. While we enjoy socializing, eating, drinking, and watching fireworks, it is often a very scary and stressful experience for our furry friends. Of course, there are some that it won't seem to bother at all. Most of our own cats aren't bothered by it however, we live out in the country and fireworks aren't going off in our yard. However, some cats will feel anxious and scared during this time.

So, what can we do to help them cope?

Watch a firework display on tv rather than setting them off in your own yard. But, what about neighbors or if you do choose to set off fireworks in your yard? Please read on.

Providing a stress-free environment will be essential for your cats. Since noise is what will most likely create anxiety or fear, keep your cat or cats where they feel safe. If you have company over, you may want to place your cats in 1 room with access to their litterbox and a "den" type bed or box to hide in. Some cats might want to be up high, so a table or a cat tower might be helpful. Make sure they have access to a water bowl, and if they will be in there for several hours, a food bowl as well. Put some familiar and favorite toys in the room and bonus if you can include a cat scratcher. They can use the scratcher to relieve stress. Some cats might even enjoy it if you create a tent or fort by draping a bed sheet over some chairs. If you are the only ones home and planning a quiet evening, you can still do the above however, you may choose to do it without confining the cats to 1 room. If you have a white noise machine, playing that can help drone out the noise from the fireworks. Cats sometimes enjoy classical music, so you could provide that for them if you don't have a white noise machine. Play the music or white noise at a comfortable level. You may even want to try this with your cats a few times before the holiday to make sure this doesn't cause more anxiety.


If the lights from the fireworks cause your cats anxiety, cover all windows until the nearby fireworks are over.

Providing a fun play session before company arrives and/or before the fireworks begin can help your cat to relax. Get out their favorite toy, and get them running and chasing. Wand toys are great for this. Give them a good workout, then a light snack afterward. Just like people, after exercise and a bit of food, they might feel relaxed.

There are products available to help ease a cat's anxiety. Please note that not every product might work, but some do. Be sure to follow the instructions provided for any product. Some popular products are:

Comfort Zone Calming Collars

Nature's Miracle Calming Spray

Thundershirts/Thunderwraps for Cats

Even if your cats are comfortable with all the commotion of people around and fireworks, placing them in their own room might still be worthwhile. This prevents any escapes out the door as people are coming and going. At the very least, keep an eye on your cats and ask your family and friends to do the same.

Another really important thing to do is to ensure your cat is wearing a break-away collar with it's tags on it. In case your cat does escape your home, it's a good visual to anyone that spots your cat that it does belong to someone. You definitely want to make sure your cat is microchipped. A week before the festivities, contact the company the microchip is with to ensure the information they have is up to date. Also, it is always a good idea to have your vet scan your cat's microchip at each visit to ensure it is still working.

Some cats can become reactive or aggressive when they feel stressed. They may think that when someone pets them, that it was actually that "loud scary noise". Your cat might react by swatting, scratching or biting someone (or another pet). If this is the case, your cat should be kept in it's own safe place until your company leaves. Some cats can take up to 24 hours to calm down.

If your cat is reactive or shows signs of stress and fear, help them. Don't punish them for their behavior. Do not force your cat into being pet or held, by anyone and especially by strangers. We all love for our family and friends to meet or interact with our furry friends. But, during a time when your cat might be feeling more stressed than usual, it is a better idea to show them the millions of photos on your phone instead.

If your cat's history of dealing with fireworks, storms or loud noises causes your cat to have an extreme reaction such as aggression, or eliminating outside the litterbox during this time, please reach out to your veterinarian for advice. Please do so weeks in advance of an event you are aware of in case medication is prescribed and needs time to work.





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