After your relaxing vacation, you are probably looking forward to going home and meeting your beloved cat. You open the door, expecting a great reaction, but not the one you get! Your usually affectionate and sweet cat is aggressive, and you are left wondering: What happened during my absence? Why is my cat weird after I return?
It’s actually quite common for cats to act strange or aggressive after their owners return from vacation . They are sensitive to change and your absence has not only changed their routine, but also their bond with you.
Experts advise slowly introducing yourself to your cat and reintroducing him to his usual routine.
In this article I give you a series of tips for you to apply, before leaving, as well as during your trip, and thus achieve a warm welcome from your pet.
You may be interested in reading the article: Aggressive cat with other cats and people. Causes and solution.
What Causes Strange Behavior in Cats After an Absence?
We think that cats are too independent or distant to care much about the comings and goings of their owners, but that is not true. Cats remember and miss their owners.
- Cats can suffer from feline separation anxiety
Yes, contrary to what one might think, dogs are not the only ones who suffer from the absence of their owner. Cats are social animals and form deep bonds with people.
A cat may have more separation anxiety problems if he was weaned early or perhaps taken away from his mother too early. Some breeds are also more prone to anxiety problems, including Siamese and Burmese.
- Cats are animals of habit
Another reason your cat might be acting strange after a vacation is that cats enjoy the routine , and your leaving is a cause for disruption in that routine. When you return home, they are confused with another change in habit and the new smells you bring. That can cause aggression in your cat.
In that sense, they need a perfectly calibrated life routine to feel healthy and safe. It means eating and getting up at the same time every day, watching your human partner come home from work at the same time of day, etc.
Not only the change in routine can cause a cat to behave strangely, but also the new smells that you have caught during your trip. When you return home, your cat may not realize that it is you at first. This is because cats rely on smell to identify many things, including people.
How to calm your cat when you return home from vacation
If your cat is acting strange or aggressive after returning from vacation, act slowly to help calm him down.
The best thing to do when you return is to let your cat take the first step towards you . If he wants to hide or glare at you, let him do so until he gets used to you and your smell again.
Having special treats on hand for your cat can help, praise your cat and let him enjoy them away from you until he acclimates.
Don’t reward your cat for being aggressive . You can only offer rewards when he’s calm and well-behaved.
Easy tips to prepare your cat for the next time you leave
To help your cat stay calm during your absence and when you return, groom her well before you go on vacation. You can achieve this with one of these tips:
- Work with your cat’s vet
If you notice any signs that your cat is becoming aggressive, consult your vet for a solution before going outside again . Some solutions can be as simple as using soothing sprays, such as Feliway spray soothing , and calming chews for cats, which help relieve anxiety your cat and make it meno prone to aggressive behavior.
- Familiarize your cat with the pet sitter
If you hire a sitter to stay at your home with your pet , try to have that person visit and meet your cat before the departure date .
When a cat suddenly meets different strangers, it tends to stress. Ideally, the sitter should work on your cat’s daily routine. Get him to come, feed him, play with him and get acquainted with your feline before you leave.
When you leave, make sure the pet sitter uses the calming sprays or treats recommended by your vet. Also, check that he understands your cat’s routine and follows it as closely as possible.
- Make your travel arrangements calmly
Pack your bags and plan your trip in advance so that your cat does not see you with last minute nerves. Although cats do not understand what we say if they are able to recognize emotions.
They may not understand the words, but they have a sixth sense that allows them to recognize fear, anxiety, and worry.
Remember that your cat when you return may not recognize your scent. That unfamiliarity sometimes causes biting, scratching, growling, and other sudden and aggressive behaviors.
To prevent your cat from not recognizing your scent when you return, you can store clothes that you have worn at home in a paper bag. When you return, put on those clothes before entering your house and seeing your cat.
- Keep in touch with your cat when you leave
It’s also a good idea to keep in touch with your pet while you’re away. You can do this by leaving out any worn shirts or socks so your cat can smell them. With today’s technologies, you can even communicate with them through video or audio systems .
Although you may have prepared the best you could, sometimes cats only need a few days to realize that everything is back to normal. Be patient and don’t take it personally. You are their world.
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