Hanford Veterinary Hospital Blog
Giving Back: Keeping Your Cat Company in Unprecedented Times
There have been a lot of amusing videos and memes lately that document cats unsure of the constant companionship at home. For many felines, life was just the way they liked it before stay at home orders. The house all to themselves, they did whatever pleased them, whenever the mood struck.
Now that cat owners face extra time at home, some human-feline pairs are having more fun than others. Keeping your cat company during quarantine (or any time, really) doesn’t have to be tense or unpredictable. With our tips, it can be comforting, relaxing and rewarding.
A Matter of Space… and Time
Cats answer to a delicate, often mysterious, balance. This can be seen when they’ve suddenly had enough of the petting they were obviously enjoying but a second ago. Petting-induced aggression is just one way that cats keep us on our toes, and serves to remind us that they are not always available at our whim.
Back Off. Please?
Keeping your cat company is truly only possible when they’re given an option to get out of the agreement. They dislike being snuggled on demand. In fact, you may have noticed that when they do get into nap mode alongside you (or on top of your laptop), it was entirely their idea to do so.
In other words, be glad that they’ve made themselves available to keep you company!
Keeping your cat company during all this time at home can challenge their idea of who you are to them. Previously, your role at home was to feed them, clean the litter box, play with them, and provide a warm lap on which to snooze at least once a day.
Be sure to maintain your cat’s daily routine, as they are creatures of habit.
Getting a Needy Vibe
If your cat reacts openly and contedly to all your extra time and attention, lucky you. Otherwise, be prepared to experience a feline version of the cold shoulder. They may retreat or hide from you. As long as they aren’t masking any signs of illness or injury, you can coax them out with patience, encouragement, and maybe a healthy treat or two.
Up the Ante
Keeping your cat company, now that you’re home together all the time, is definitely more fun when you have a few tricks up your sleeve. Invest in some high quality activities, such as a cat tree, window perch, or wall hammocks. Design and construct a catio for your cat to enjoy the best of both worlds, or make some fun toys out of items you already have around the house.
Keeping Your Cat Company
A word of caution to cat owners: be sure that your cat knows they have their very own space to retreat to if needed. Try to keep the lines strong between your areas and theirs. Continuing this mindfulness when you return to work can make all the difference and may inhibit the development of certain behavioral concerns.