In this article, guest contributor Molly Brown shares her tips on attention seeking cats!
Though cats are known for being independent creatures, they are definitely fans of routine. In this article, guest contributor Molly Brown shares her tips on dealing with needy cats!
When a cat's owners goes away and the cat sitter is left in charge, they can often be prone to stress and separation anxiety. This can lead to some undesirable behaviour in the form of attention seeking cats. This is something you should be prepared for as a cat sitter. You may also have a particularly needy cat as an owner so these tips could be helpful to you too!
What are some attention seeking behaviours?
There are a number of things cats may do in a bid to get humans attention. While this can be cute, encouraging certain behaviour can become a more serious problem or indicate an underlying issue. As a cat sitter, if you’re in doubt about a cat’s behaviour, it is always best to communicate with the owners who can let you know if this is out of character.
Some of the behaviours which may take place in attention seeking cats include:
- Excessive meowing, crying and noise making
- Scratching at doors
- Jumping up onto out of bounds areas, like the dining table
- Constantly begging you for food throughout the day
- Pawing at you or jumping on your lap (excessively) to get attention
You can also check out our article, " Is Your Cat Stressed?"
Why this is happening and what to do
Sometimes, meowing or crying could indicate that a cat is suffering from an illness or injury and is seeking comfort. If you have reason to believe this is the case, it is best to call their local vet and get advice or go in for a check-up. You can contact owners beforehand to confirm this is what they would also be comfortable with.
In other cases, cats are just very vocal (particularly Siamese and Oriental breeds). By determining what is normal for each feline, it will then become easier to spot when something may be wrong. As pet owners and sitters, we usually have a reasonably good understanding of when something feels off.
If cats are persistently trying to get your attention, be it jumping on your laptop or pawing you, this could indicate they are bored. Ensuring there is enough environmental enrichment for cats is very important.
While cats do not require as much attention as dogs, you should try and allocate roughly half an hour dedicated to playing with your furry friend. They may have some favourite toys, enjoy being brushed, or be fond of a stroke. Having a specific time each day where this happens can help them feel at ease.
Try not to reinforce behaviour that is attention-seeking and annoying. If you are happy to give them affection every time they jump on your lap, this is fine, as long as you are aware it will happen again! However, it is best to ignore cats when they are demanding attention in a destructive or annoying way, and reward them when they act appropriately (discouraging this behaviour from happening again).
Our feline friends can be easily stressed with change and become attention seeking cats, but with the proper care and love, they will become their pawsitive selves again!
Work, family and social commitments mean that there often aren't enough hours in the day to give our pets the attention that they deserve. Click here to find out how Tailster can put you in contact with hundreds of pet carers in your local area, meaning that you can rest in the knowledge that your pets are being well looked after.