Life is slowly returning to the ‘new normal’. More people are headed back to work, and it looks like it won’t be long before pubs and other recreational opportunities increase. This is obviously great news, but like many humans, some cats may find it hard to adjust after experiencing lockdown life for so many weeks. If you’re about to return to work outside the home, you may wish to help your cat prepare for the change. Here are a few tips that we hope will help.
Create a ‘New Normal’ Schedule
If you’ve let your usual schedule of getting up at set times, eating times and bedtimes slip it’s a good time to start them back up. It will help you and your cats get used to the new life once it arrives. Cats love to have a set routine so set one up and stick to it for the last few days/weeks of your personal lockdown experience. Bring back regular mealtimes and daily routines that will be returning soon.
Increase Left Alone Time
You and your cats may have adjusted to spending a lot more time together, but the ‘new normal’ life will no doubt change that time to fewer hours. While creating the new schedule, leave the house for periods of time that will line up with your work hours. Try to increase the amount of alone time your cats will have so they can slowly get used to you not being around so much. Play out your usual habits of packing a bag, getting your shoes on and keys ready so they can once again become desensitised to the whole routine.
Create a Calm Environment
Some cats can feel anxious when you leave the home. Help to reduce the anxiety by creating a calm and familiar environment. Leave your jumper or dressing gown close to where they like to sit or sleep so they can cosy up to it and feel peace thanks to your smell. Additionally, leave on some music or TV with soft playing sounds in the background.
Consider Hormone Diffusers
If your cat has become particularly attached, you could buy some hormone diffusers to see if they help. The pheromones are said to help relax cats and reduce stress levels. You could also try this if you notice behaviour changes once you have returned to work.
Some cats are now enjoying the indoor life after many humans became concerned about their safety surrounding the virus. Cats cannot spread the virus, but they can catch it. That concerned many people, but cats were also kept indoors due to the limited vet and cat centres that were available. If you have a new indoor cat you may want to help keep them occupied and happy once they are left alone for longer periods of time. Consider adding new toys and climbing opportunities. You can even increase the amount of space that is available to your cat with cat fences or catios.
Have your cats enjoyed you being home more? How do you think they will adjust to the ‘new normal’ as the lockdown continues to ease? Come and share your experiences with us over on our Facebook page.