Two years ago, COVID 19 arrived, and with it, a new way of life for both humans and pets. Many people started working from home, and those who were also "fur parents" found they had more time to play with, train, and generally spoil their beloved companion animals.
In 2022, boosted by vaccinations, health issues have improved, and cities across the country are reopening. But unfortunately, many of those same pet guardians are now headed back to the workplace, leaving their dogs, cats, and other pets alone for the first time in several months. According to the 2019-2020, National Pet Owners Survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), about 85 million U.S. households have a pet of some kind. As a result, many animals may be left feeling confused and lonely for those with working pet parents. And their humans may feel guilty about not being able to spend as much time with them.
Between work and expanded social lives, schedules have gotten packed again. So here are some suggestions of ways to show cats how much they are loved, even when they must be left at home.
1. Entertain them while you are gone with various toys, especially those with sensors that mimic prey so your great hunter can prowl in the "wild" of your home or apartment.
2. Provide puzzles that help keep your cat's mind stimulated. Some have treat dispensers that will appeal to feline foodies.
3. Don't forget inexpensive items, like paper bags and cardboard boxes. Anyone who has ever been owned by a cat knows these are often preferred over expensive contraptions from a pet store. Place them in various spots around your home, and don't forget to rub catnip on some of them to send your kitty cat into ga-ga land.
4. Be sure you have a scratching post of some kind. When alone, some cats become anxious. Being able to engage in what experts call "therapeutic scratching" can improve their emotional well-being. Armarkat scratching posts are a good choice for your cats.
Experts tell us cats sleep about 15 hours a day. When awake, they are usually easily entertained. But if you aren't home for several hours, they'll need substitutes to keep them engaged rather than bored. And we all know a bored kitty isn't a happy kitty.