“Cats are animals of habit” explains Tiny De Keuster, who is a professor of animal behaviour at Ghent University. “I can imagine that when they want their favourite cushion between 10AM and 11AM and somebody is bashing about on the computer, it disturbs them. When routines are changed, they feel out of sorts.”
“Children being at home more often creates an awful lot of stress for cats. Not because they don’t like people, but because they set store by their privacy”.
There have been reports from Paris and Barcelona of lockdown driving cats potty. Prof De Keuster notes these are large cities and the problems are probably linked to the fact people live in smaller accommodation.
“Cats build up their own routines and they like to stick to them. They are not too bothered about their owner’s routines.”
Animal therapist Ineke Vander Aa insists it’s not all cats that feel under the weather when their owners are home more often. “It depends on the cat” she told VRT. “There are cats who are overjoyed their owners are home more often.”
“Extra stress can trigger all kinds of ailments. Some cats will scratch all over the place setting out smells. It’s a form of communication like peeing around the house. They are doing it to make something clear.”
“Everything that contrasts with your pet’s normal behaviour may be a signal. You should keep an eye on your cat, especially if they seek greater attention or become more reclusive. If a cat suddenly starts scraping the floor or needs to pee a lot more, consult your vet!”