With the lifting of lockdown just around the corner, the humans can’t contain their excitement with the prospect of many a pint in a chilly pub garden so close we can almost taste it. However, we have a sneaky feeling that our cats might not be so thrilled about the impending decrease in owner time, even if they don’t show it. We often joke about cats being strong independent souls, who don’t rely on their people for much other than a tasty meal (find out if they really are sick of you by taking our quiz here). Though after such a long stint of coexisting over the course of the pandemic, our feline friends might have a tough time adjusting to life after lockdown. And this change could be especially challenging if they entered your lives as a corona-kitten, knowing no better than endless hours of Netflix and chill with their human on the daily.
We wanted to get together some tips and tricks to help your housemates ease into this new post-covid lifestyle. It’s going to be a big change for most of us, especially those who have been working from home and sneaking a little too many coffee breaks, really just to lie on the bed and stare at your cat in all their snoozing glory. No matter how aloof they appear to be, we all know that cats can actually be very sensitive to change, be it to their food or their routine, so we want to make sure we get this shift right for our favourite floofs.
Here’s a list of our top tips we’ve pulled together to ensure your entry back into normal(ish) life is smooth sailing for both you and your cat:
- Make it gradual by slowly reducing the amount of interaction and snuggle fests you have with your cat each day before the lockdown lift. An almost impossible task we agree, how do you resist face-planting that furry pillow every hour?! But this will really help when you do eventually venture back to the office and they have more alone time in your home.
- Read their little kitty body language. Withdrawn and quieter cats can sometimes be stressed with new changes, and cats playing a little more rough than usual can often be bored and frustrated with the increased separation. So make sure to take the right steps and adjust accordingly depending on your cats individual personality.
- Make the most of the time you are in the house after we are finally released back into the big wide world, by showering them with love, so they still know they really are your number 1. Chin scritches and lap sits on the regular, a long pamper session with their favourite brush and a good old game of hide and seek where you can.
- Ensure they have safe spots and hiding places to reduce any initial stress when you start leaving them more regularly. Cats often feel safe in small, enclosed spaces – our Republic delivery boxes could be the perfect place for them to curl up and reassure themselves that you will be back soon.
- Keep things calm and don’t overcompensate by scooping them up into a hug trap every time you return home. We love to do it, but this can be equally stressful for them after getting used to a little more time apart.
- Prevent boredom with cat puzzles, scratching posts, kibble feeders, cat wheels – you name it ! Especially for those precious house cats who are too naïve for the outside world (my little princess Rue being one of them), these guys need plenty of stimulation. We find access to a window for prime viewing of the outside world keeps her occupied for hours, or alternatively whacking on some cat tv provides endless entertainment.
We’re pretty sure they’ll soon snap back to being their usual solitary selves, proving once again their superiority and just why they really are the best pets ever. Don’t be disheartened if your little lion starts enjoying their own space again, their independence and stand off-ish attitude is why we truly love them. Lockdown life has been such a wonderful opportunity to truly bond with our four-legged friends, and we’re pretty sure it’s not just us that feel as though they’ve been our little furry therapists, getting us through these tricky times. But earning those purrs once again when you get home from your boozy (outdoor) brunch will make it truly worth it. Good luck cat people, we’ve got this!