I’ve seen so many memes the past few weeks about how our cats are angry that we’re home. It does make me laugh, because we know how particular our kitties are. They absolutely thrive on routine and let us know when we vary from that routine—even a tiny bit.
But we also know that’s not the whole truth. Because our cats love having us home, but they also might want to continue their routine and they may be looking for ways to include us in it.
Recently, a client of mine noticed some new things about her cat now that she’s working from home and it got me thinking about how we can use this to get to know our cats a bit better and make sure they’re living their best indoor lives.
This particular client has one cat and has always worked away from home. Like many of us, she probably didn’t give much thought to her cat’s behavior while she was at work. But now that she is sheltering in place, she is getting to see and learn her cat’s daily routine.
And one thing she noticed is that her cat wakes up and becomes active every day at 5 p.m., which was shortly before she would normally be coming home from work. Something tells me her cat really looked forward to her coming home. This has given her new appreciation for her feline companion and she says she’s really bonding tightly to her cat.
Personally, I think this is a great time to learn our cats’ patterns. When do they nap? When do they eat, and when do they play? And then we should ask ourselves what we can do to make their days a little better.
Can you put a soft bed in their favorite sunny spot? Or maybe you can sprinkle some silver vine on a plus toy and hide it for him to find. Instead of her usual kibble, maybe your kitty would love a special treat that she doesn’t get very often. At the time you would normally arrive home, try pulling out a wand toy and playing with your cat for five minutes. I bet he’ll appreciate the attention to his usual routine and be excited to see you.
Because the reality is, we’re going to get back to normal eventually, and that means our cats will be home alone a lot of the time. Let them know you’re there for them, and that you’re not trying to interrupt their routine. Pay attention to what they need, so that when you’re away from home, they know their favorite toys, beds, and treats are still there to comfort them when you’re not.
For now, I’m getting in extra cuddles, purrs, and playtime because I know it won’t last forever. But I’m also helping my cats stick to their routines because we’re living on their turf, after all.