Those of us with pets may enjoy their company in the depths of the pandemic. Not only are pets potentially beneficial to our physical health, they are also beneficial to our mental health. In fact, they may even be a way to deal with mental health problems caused by the pandemic.
But this is still an emerging field of research, so the impact of keeping pets on human health is not always clear. Recent studies have shown that having to take care of pets during a pandemic may actually damage our quality of life-including our satisfaction with health, lifestyle, and relationships.
Likewise, the way we interact with pets and the way we choose to manage them can also inadvertently put pressure on them. Although some household pets may like their owners to spend more time with them than usual, there are reports that some cats don’t like these changes in daily activities-even reported that they will get sick due to the pressure of their owners being at home. time. So how do these dynamics work, and is there any way we pet owners can minimize them?
Affectionate but independent
Those of us who don’t like domestic cats may think they are a little cold, indifferent and calculating. For example, we might assume that compared to dogs, cats are less interested in us and do not understand our feelings.
But cats are actually able to interact highly with humans, and may be much more than many people think. For example, cats can recognize their own names and are sensitive to the emotional expressions of their owners. Cats may also be negatively affected by our personality. Anxious and frustrated owners are related to cats’ greater stress.
Cats may also master the subtle art of human manipulation by embedding “crying” sounds in their purring. Scientists think they use this sound to tap our caring instincts, just like human babies. In fact, cats can express themselves in a variety of different sounds-although we may not understand them.
However, although cats can certainly establish positive relationships with humans, they are not born with a desire to interact with humans, and therefore must be adequately cared for when they are young. As adults, some cats are more sociable than others-although even friendly cats prefer people who let them determine the nature of the interaction. Not touching them too much can even increase their emotional level and reduce aggression.
This is very different from humans, who use touch (such as hugging) to strengthen our social relationships. Humans tend to seek support from others when stressed or uncomfortable, while cats prefer hiding and being alone.
Cats also experience greater stress when exposed to unpredictable routines and handling. Generally speaking, cats value their autonomy and can avoid things they find unpleasant.
The increase in stress levels in some cats during the pandemic may be due to our inadvertent destruction of their daily peace. By staying at home more, we may create a busier and more chaotic environment than they are used to—and when we want to pay a lot of attention to them, it may put more pressure on them.
Given that cats can recognize human emotions, our increased stress levels and desire to spend more time interacting with them may make things worse. During the pandemic, some people may also make other changes-such as redecorating, having children or even having another pet.
There are many things we can do to help cats cope better and reduce stress:
- Provide predictable daily activities for cats. This means keeping meal times, play, and interactions with them within a timetable when possible.
- Give them a dedicated quiet room or area. When they are in these areas, make sure they will never be disturbed. You should also let your cat choose when to interact with you.
- Create a rich indoor and outdoor environment. To make your cat feel safe, please provide them with many hiding options and places where they can climb. Place the garbage tray in a different area from the food and water bowls, and place all these resources in a quieter area of the home. Provide toys, climbing frames, food puzzles and cat-friendly plants (such as cat clips) to help your cat be physically and mentally stimulated.
- Give your cat enough time and space for yourself. If your cat is sleeping, resting or looking happy while doing his own thing, don’t try to disturb them or get their attention
Keeping your cat healthy and ensuring that they are healthy will help rule out any potential medical problems. If you think your cat may be under stress, it is also recommended that you seek professional advice from a veterinarian before consulting a qualified cat behavior expert.
As many of us begin to return to normal, our cats will face further changes in the environment. But cats are most likely to cope better when you leave home-as long as the new daily life is predictable and they have enough time to keep them busy when you leave. In fact, many cats may like the extra peace and quiet.