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Tips for Preventing Cat Behavior Problems during COVID-19 Isolation

The world as we know it has certainly changed. Everyone is experiencing such a mix of emotions as we drastically alter our lifestyle and try to stay safe and healthy during COVID-19 self-isolation. Every day brings hope though, as we learn about all that is being done to bring treatment, a cure, and hopefully a vaccine.

I know that during this time of self-isolation you have so much on your mind, but I wanted to provide a few tips to help you avoid some behavior issues that could develop with your cat, as well as use this time to enhance the relationship you share with your feline family. Here are a few tips to help you to keep everything going smoothly in your cat’s day-to-day life during a time when nothing seems normal anymore.

Stick to Your Cat’s Feeding Routine

During the time that you would normally be out at work or school, your cat would be sleeping, playing, or keeping himself occupied in his normal everyday way. Now that you’re home all the time, your cat may attempt to convince you that his food bowl needs a more frequent fill-up. You may also not realize how often you’re giving in to those meows by adding more food or offering more treats.

cat eating

Photo: Fotolia

Stick to the feeding routine you’ve always had in terms of schedule and amount. When self-isolation  is finally lifted you don’t want to come out of this with a cat who is now overweight. If your cat already has health issues such as diabetes, IBD, etc., you wouldn’t want to risk the complications associated with dietary changes. If your cat has arthritis, added weight can increase pain to joints.

Don’t give in to those mournful meows and pitiful looks. Stick to your already established feeding routine.

Watch for Attention-Seeking Behavior

Because you’re home so much, your cat may feel as if all that time should be focused on him. You might be watching TV, on the computer, reading, or playing a board game with family and your cat might view this as the perfect opportunity to get in the middle of things. While you should enjoy this extra time with your cat, be careful you don’t fall into bad training habits by rewarding unwanted behavior. Don’t acknowledge constant meowing, pestering or jumping up in the middle of things. Follow good training techniques by acknowledging and/or rewarding behavior you want to see again and ignoring the behavior you don’t want.