Believe it or not, cats do experience separation anxiety! Often people are looking for signs that would be typically be seen in dogs (howling at the door, destructive behaviors, etc.) but cats can show separation anxiety in many different ways.
Cats are known for their solitary nature, but cats can and do become attached to their people or their favorite person. How can you tell if your cat is experiencing separation anxiety?
Possessive, Clingy or Aggressive Behavior: They might retreat, or opposite of that, follow their favorite person around endlessly. They might meow frantically when their favorite person is displaying signs of intention to depart the home (gathering the purse or keys for example), Some cats may even attack their favorite person as if pleading with them, "Please don't go!"
Grooming excessively: Your cat may be grooming more than usual, or even worse, pulling their fur out.
Soiling around the house: There are several theories as to why a cat soils the home, one of them being a form of separation anxiety. Other theories include house soiling as a way to make it easier for you to find your way back to them, or even making it so that your scent is intermingled with theirs!
Vocalizing: A Study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association cited excessive vocalizing as one of the main symptoms of separation anxiety in cats. As long as other medical problems are ruled out (loss of hearing, for example), separation anxiety could be why your cat is vocalizing more than usual. Even if you're home!
Destructive Behaviors: Even if you think your cat has enough things to scratch, he or she may start scratching other items in the house in an attempt to release anxieties they feel in your absence.
If your cat is exhibiting any of the behaviors above, I can help! There are many different ways to address separation anxiety in cats. It is a solvable problem!