Post-holiday depression in cats

Sadness for the end of the holidays? Not a human priority – here’s how to recognize and deal with post-holiday depression in cats.

A happy and carefree holiday and a depressing return home? It is more frequent than we think and it does not concern us humans only: it seems that our feline friends also suffer from the return to normal. The causes can be different, and sometimes it could even be our (albeit involuntary) responsibility. Here is how to recognize all the signs of a cat feeling uncomfortable upon returning home and how to deal with post-holiday depression in cats without further stress for us and our four-legged friend.

The cat was offended!

Given that it is a good habit to have our cat checked both before and after the holidays, we can notice in him unusual behaviors, which manifest themselves in the days immediately following the return home. These are unusual attitudes, which the cat has never had during the holidays. Let’s face it: it is true that the cat seeks less attention than the dog, who would play in our company all day, but it is equally true that the cat must be the one to decide who, how and when!

So if we left and left him alone at home on vacation days, perhaps making sure that trusted friends and relatives visited him, we could receive a ‘cold’ welcome: seeing us again, the cat could be offended. Oh yes, as if he wanted to punish us for the time we were missing.

If, on the other hand, we carry it with us, we are careful not to make another type of mistake. It is known how much cats are morbidly ‘attached’ to their habits: upsetting their daily routine can only cause damage to their physical and mental health. Although we have taken care of his needs before departure, the cat may suffer greatly from our lack and feel abandoned by his owners. He could react by showing inappetence, wanting to be alone (on the other hand he pays us back with the same coin!) And even turning his face. In reality he will be very happy to see us again but he will never give us the satisfaction of showing it!

Post-holiday depression in cats: signs to recognize

Although it remains an animal, the cat is very similar to the human in some attitudes. In fact, as we have been able to read before, the cat takes offense and shows all its indifference to us to punish us exactly as we would when we are wronged. If we then consider that the cat is not always well disposed to cuddles and expressions of affection, the return could be even more ‘icy’ on his part. With its proud and independent personality, the cat may only be ‘alive’ at feeding time and for sleeping.

More than the manifestation of the offense, however, the cat could get annoyed by the sudden change in its routine: if it is used to seeing us and staying with us several hours a day, not seeing us anymore, it could feel uncomfortable. Changing his habits could lead him to express his displeasure with lack of appetite and with different behaviors than usual. Sometimes he might tease us, such as when the cat pees on clothes: why he does it and how to make him stop.

In summary, the signals that our cat could send us to manifest his post-holiday depression are the following:

  • excessive weight loss (due to lack of appetite),
  • coat less shiny and less soft to the touch,
  • sadness,
  • abnormal feces.

How to deal with the return from vacation if the cat has left with us

In reality, there is a way to deal with returning from vacation with our pets, but it also depends on where they have been and how they spent the entire period.

If the cat has left with us, then it is likely that he has spent most of the time in the company of his owner and the whole family. Well this can be a problem: the cat could get used to seeing us often and having us ‘at his disposal’. This does not mean that we should close him at home and go to the beach without thinking that there is a cat at home waiting for us, but maybe not always ‘fill up’ his hours of solitude. In fact, both for work and for various commitments, the cat is used to being alone during the day: if instead he sees us all day, he may have more difficulty getting used to our absence when we return. If we have been with him all the time, let him gradually get used to loneliness for more and more time during the day until the routine is restored.

Remedies for post-holiday depression in cats if they have stayed at home

If, on the other hand, the cat has stayed at home or in a cat boarding house, then we should expect him to be offended. In this case, we must be careful not to let ourselves be overwhelmed by feelings of guilt: it is true that the cat is left alone but this does not mean that spoiling him with snacks and between meals is the solution. In the same way, we will not have to ‘allow’ him to carry out behaviors that we normally do not allow him to do.

In fact, if we show ourselves more ‘weak’ to fill the sense of guilt we have towards him, it is easy for the cat to take advantage of it. At that point, restoring normality will be even more complicated because the cat will feel that he has us ‘in his hand’. If necessary, we must help him find his routine again, perhaps even asking the expert for advice.

The symptoms, as well as the offended attitude, should disappear within a few days but the speech is subjective. In fact, each cat is a world of its own, and if the ailments do not pass, it will be better to submit it to the vet for a check-up as they could be signs of some pathology in progress.

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