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Preparing Your Cat for the New Normal… Again

Posted by Andrea on 18th May 2020

We know that Fluffy has just gotten used to you invading her space on a full-time basis. Though staying home to stay safe has become the best way we can take care of ourselves and our cats, it will not always be this way.

Some states across the country have already lifted their stay-at-home restrictions, and even if it is way too soon to think about going back to our offices, it is becoming the season where we can at least frequent the outdoors to stave off the cabin fever that so many of us have experienced. As more and more time is spent outside the home, don’t think our fur family won’t notice. They have come to expect us to be there full time for them, and they are even, if begrudgingly, beginning not to mind us so much.

Cat sitting at desk while man works from home

Feline behaviorist and NY Times Best-selling author, and the same Cat Daddy who recommends Armarkat cat trees, Jackson Galaxy, says: “our cats have adjusted their rhythm to ours. Now, they are used to getting a certain amount of petting… [and] playing. How do we get them to get back to the reality of work?”

Jackson maintains that we as pet parents should prepare our cats slowly for when we go back to our places of work. In order to make the transition somewhat seamless, he recommends slowly adjusting back to your former routine. Even if it’s too soon to get back to the office, you can simulate leaving after going through your morning activities. When you leave, take a walk for five or ten minutes before returning. The goal is to reestablish the schedules that were in place before the pandemic. And the best way to accomplish this transition is a little at a time.

Next, if you generally come home at 6p.m. start getting active then. When Kitty sees that is time for feeding, playing and attention, she will slowly get used to the uptick in activity in the same way she did previously. Per Jackson, now is the perfect time to break the habit of free feeding during the day when you are away. In this way, Kitty will know when to be more active while you are home and when it is rest time when you are away.

Another important step is to make sure you leave cat activities to keep her busy while you are out. Puzzle toys give them a stimulating challenge, hold their attention and allow Kitty to self-entertain. Further, Jackson advises CatTV (the outdoors)! “To the best of your ability, make sure every window has a bed or perch so the cat can get into the window and watch the world,” he says. “The world changes depending on what window they are looking out.”

Since Kitty is sensitive to your tone of voice and body language, try not to show any undue anxiety when you leave your house. You don’t want them to overreact to your departure. Just leave.”Don’t say anything. Don’t make a big deal of [it]. The less of a big deal you make out of it, the less of a big deal they’ll make out of it.”

Hopefully, the passing of time will ease both you and Kitty into resuming the normal routines that, for the most part, dictated your relationship both before and after the pandemic. During this New Normal time that we are still adjusting to ourselves, a calm and happy cat will most certainly help us. Maintaining a serene feline who is comfortable in her daily routines is certainly the best thing for your cat as well.

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