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Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) is a well-documented psychological condition in which an individual experiences excessive anxiety regarding separation from home or from those to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment. And while we usually think of separation anxiety in terms of pets being stressed about being separated from their guardians, I think it exists in reverse, too. For most of my adult life, I’ve felt anxious about traveling – and I actually like to travel. I’m not afraid of flying, and I enjoy a change of scenery, whether it’s visiting friends in familiar places, or whether it’s traveling to someplace I’ve never been before.

But traveling means leaving my cats behind – and that’s something I’m never completely comfortable with. And I’m pretty sure that many of you feel the same way.

I have the best cat sitter on the planet. Renée comes to visit Allegra and Ruby twice a day, and she doesn’t just feed them and scoop their litter boxes. She plays with them and gives them plenty of love and attention. She texts me after each visit to let me know how they are. So obviously, there’s absolutely no reason for me to worry about the girls, right? But I still do.

People who don’t understand what it’s like to love a cat may accuse me of having a co-dependent relationship with my cats. And maybe I do. I miss my girls when I’m not home, but more than that, I worry about them being without human company for such long stretches of time in between Renée’s visits, because they’re so used to having me around all day, every day.

I know that they probably sleep most of the day and night when I’m not home. They probably chase each other through the house for a few minutes, and they probably spend some time watching the goings on outside the windows. They probably don’t spend a lot, if any, time worrying about when I’m going to come home.

I’ve learned to cope better with being gone. Knowing that the girls are in such good hands with Renée is a huge help. I try to let go of my need to be in control of the universe, and trust that they will be fine. And I connect with them energetically several times a day, sending them love and letting them know that I’ll be home soon.

I won’t let my separation anxiety stop me from traveling, but I rarely go away for more than three or four days at a time. I can’t remember the last time I’ve taken a real vacation of a week or more, the way I used to before I had cats. And while it sounds tempting at times to do that, I know I’d just be too anxious about being away from my girls to really enjoy it.

So tell me: do you experience separation anxiety when you have to leave your cats? How do you handle it?

 

235 Comments on Do You Suffer from Separation Anxiety When You Have to Leave Your Cat?

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one! It seems like a lot of cat owners feel this way. I have anxiety, but it’s situational and I rarely experience it. One of those situations is leaving my cat alone when I’m on vacation. I have a family member who comes to check on him every day, but it doesn’t seem like enough. I’m going on a cruise in a couple months, and will be gone seven days. That feels like an eternity when my cat doesn’t have any other cats to keep him company (my landlord is my in law and they have a stupid rule that I can only have one cat). My cat loves to sleep on our bed every night for comfort, and I just worry that he’ll be bored out of his mind and behave out of character, and possibly get hurt (indoor cat). I love to travel, but it’s been so much harder since I got him because it stresses me out.

    • Maybe by the time you leave, you could find someone to stay with your cat every day? That would probably put your mind at ease, but I know it’s hard to find someone you trust to do that. It is definitely harder to travel! My husband and I enjoyed traveling and coming and going as we pleased without any “baggage.” But we knew when we adopted our 3 kittens that things would be different. We still travel, but not as often as we’d like, but it’s worth it 🙂

      • I am so glad I found this article. Three years ago I adopted two older cats and the first time I left them for a holiday I was in bits. However, they weren’t bothered about my absence and remained aloof on my return. However, last year I rescued two really sick kittens. I have brought them back to full health with alot of time and affection. We have a very close bond, more so than the older two. They always kiss me goodbye in the morning and welcome me back after work. I am very attached to them. I go on holiday for 6 nights in two weeks. Our friend is cat sitting and visiting daily. But I am terrified of leaving them. I know they will be okay but I keep overthinking everything. What if they get bored? What if they fight with the older ones and get hurt? What if they run out of water? What if theu get out somehow? What if the house burns down with them in it? I drive myself crazy with this. I just thought it was me being soft. I never imagined other people would have these same thoughts. This anxiety? I don’t know how to deal with it. I’m so anxious. I cry just thinking about it. And I am excited for my holiday and I’m fine as soon as I’ve left (after a cry), but it’s making me not want to go on holiday

        • Thank you for your post. I have to travel for work and am considering quitting as I dread the thought of leaving my cats. It’s like they know as they have been so affectionate and desperate to sit with me the last few days

  2. Today on 25 jan 2019 to 27 jan 2019, I will go travelling with my family. I will be leaving my cat from friday morning to sunday evening. There will be a person that will come to the house to give food and cleans. I have 8 house cats and 6 outdoor cats. The thing that I concerned the most is one of my indoor male cats like to attack another young indoor male cats (aslan). So my family will put aslan outdoor since he already know to wander outdoor but I don’t know what will happen to him whether he need to eat, where to sleep, getting attack from the outdoor male cat or getting attack from indoor male cat? My father didn’t want to send for boarding or to friends house who like cats just below our house. So I hope Aslan will be okay alone and will waiting for me when we coming home.

    • Hi Hana,

      Please let us know how it went! Since you have other outdoor cats hopefully Aslan will bond with one or more of them 🙂

      • We arrived home at 7 pm. I don’t know why many of our indoor cats were outside and crying as if they have been out for quiet some times. So, we bring all of them in the house.

        My parents try to called out Aslan and if he didn’t come home, my parent will go outside to find him but later that night at 10 pm, Aslan come home by himself. We felt relieve but I really don’t understand as why his collar are missing and his paw pad black, dry, hard and have blood on it. I feel terrified but still I put an ointment to his paw pad. Now his paw pad still black and hard but the wound look a little healed.

        I think his paw pad must be injured from the rusty steal that he climb on when other cats or people tried to scared him.

        • Aww your poor kitties. Sounds like they missed you a lot, especially Aslan. It sounds like he had a hard time when you guys were gone. I hope he is doing better now that you’re back?

  3. Hi kitty Mommas out there. I truely do suffer from social anxiety and depression and hardly leave my apartment unless I have too. My cat is about 5 and is a indoor cat sadly but I also have lived in an Apartment building for 7 plus years. I am always here and just like many I suffer from separation anxiety when I do have to leave as well. I’m a mess pretty much and am not looking for pity. Anyway there have been alots of tough neighbors lately and was just told I can no longer feed my birds that I have been for 5 years and that and moving my cat are what kept me here. After this last blow I see no point and me and my better half are going to stay with his parents and save more then we already have to buy a house. I am so worried to move my cat that I can’t sleep. And on top of that I will be greating married on a cruise in 2020 and leaving my cat also really scares me so bad too.

    I’m am happy tk knos that there are thousands if us other there who worry as I do . Thank you for this site….Thank you for your story.

    • I am glad I am not the only one who worries about my babies when I am gone. I recently moved from CA to AZ with my cats. They were ok for the move, but they are adjusting a lot slower than I anticipated. I am constantly worried about them. Did I make the right choice to move? What if they hate it here and/or never feel at home here, etc…. ?

      Worst, is I hate leaving them. Even going to the grocery store is difficult. I force myself to go running. Tonight I went to dinner and concert with a new friend here and I was worried the WHOLE TIME I was out. What if there is a fire, what if I left the stove on, the heater? Did I shut the door all the way? It’s somewhat dibilitating!

      What’s more is I have to go back to CA for three days in a couple of weeks. UGH. I got a sitter on ROVER (does anyone have experience with cat sitting through Rover???)? I know they will be ok, and more, I HAVE to take this trip. I can’t not go….(medical and dental appointments while I still have insurance!)

      Also, I’ve been working from home for the past two years and I may have to get a real/office job again. The thought of being away from them for 40 hours a week is making me super anxious!!!

      I am looking up anxiety-remedying herbs now. Thanks for reading.
      – Separation Anxiety in Tucson

      • Hi Traci Joy,

        I think your cats will be fine 🙂 As I said, I noticed animals tend to adapt better than we do. We had to amputate my now deceased cat’s back leg and of course I was a nervous wreck. I mean we’re taking his leg away, how is he going to be?? It was rough the first couple of weeks, but he adapted to it in no time. He couldn’t jump like how he used to, but we moved things around and made things easier for him. Did you move things that are familiar to them from CA to AZ? Maybe you could get more things they like like cat trees, boxes, etc.?

        I do have the same fears about fires, etc. at home. I don’t have any great opinions on that except to double or triple check your stove, doors, etc. so you know you did check before you left 🙂

        I agree with Ingrid about finding someone other than those services for your cats. I know you just moved too so hopefully you can find someone in the article Ingrid shared. Don’t worry too much about your cats 🙂 You are and have given them everything they want and need so take some time to take care of yourself too 🙂

    • Hi Beth,

      I’m sure your cat will be fine as since he/she will be with you when you move 🙂 Just give your cat time to adjust. Animals tend to adjust and deal with things better than us humans do 🙂 Will someone be staying with your cat when you go on your cruise? Since it’s a year away, maybe you could socialize your cat with whomever will be watching him/her? Try not to worry too much 🙂 Sometimes I think they can sense that about us which in turn affects their feelings. *hugs*

  4. I’m so happy to stumble across this site. I struggle everytime I leave my sweet babies. It’s terrible now since losing one of them a few days before Christmas(our hearts are simply broken). I miss traveling and doing weekend adventures but I think that the pain from losing one sticks with you for awhile.

      • Thank you Ingrid, such kind words and so thoughtful. I hope that you and your furry friends have a wonderful 2019

    • Hi Leslie, I’m so sorry for your loss. No matter how often it happens, it never ever gets any easier. There will be endless tears and sadness for a while, but in time, you will be reminiscing about the funny, crazy and loving things your sweet baby did. *hugs*

      • Thank you so much Joanne❤️ It means so much to take comfort in knowing how many special people there are who feel the same way. It’s nice to find such kind and like minded people! I hope your 2019 is furry and happy

        • I did give the hypocritical “no more pets” speech after our cat passed away in 2017. We fostered 3 sibling kittens and of course majorly FOSTER FAILED! I still miss my cat and dogs a lot. But after all the sadness and pain, it helps to think I gave them a happy life which I know you have done for your cat as well 🙂 Wishing you a wonderful and spectacular 2019l Leslie!

      • I have cameras too, but I found it made me more sad to see her. Also, I don’t talk to her because I’m thinking that it will make her think “if mom is home and talking to me, why doesn’t she come see me and play with me”

    • Yes, I am very curious as to the follow up with all of the comments below. What happened while you were gone?

      I appreciate the advice someone gave below to make 3 columns, best/worst/probable case with back up plans. I just finished making my list because I leave for 8 days on Monday and am having terrible mental problems over leaving my cats.

      Probably they will be fine, they always have been except once. I am sorry to mention this but last year, one cat was found in a pool of blood under the bed and later died from kidney failure. I know that there was nothing the caretaker could have done to save him, but now I will never forget what happened. How can I ever leave any of my cats ever again and yet I have to go across the country for work next week…

      The three columns of best/worse/probable are helping, but I am already having nightmares and I know the anxiety will get to me on the trip.

      I would love to hear the outcome of those below. The more “the cat was fine when I got back” the better 🙂

      • I’m so sorry for my extremely delayed response. Out kittens did extremely well!! Can’t say the same for ourselves LOL! I think we were so worried about them that we didn’t have a great time on our trip. Whenever we checked in on them on the cameras, they were either running around, up to no good or just laying around. We were able to see them play with our caretakers when they came over. One of our kittens got used to our caretakers within 3 days, but the other 2 took longer. But eventually they all got used to them, but unfortunately our trip was ending and we were on our way home.

        It is true that kittens/cats will adapt. We have 3 9-month old kittens who have each other, but 2 years ago we had an older cat who grew up with 2 dogs. We never ever traveled while having them and after our 2 dogs passed away, we decided to go on a short trip and leave our cat with my brother. He did really well and just hung around with my brother. He has met my brother only about 2 times too! We are going on another trip, but way shorter this time. But we are having my mother-in-law stay over with them instead of having someone periodically check-in on them. I think 2 of them will be fine, but one is a major chicken. It took him the longest to warm up to the last caretakers, but he eventually did.

        Cathi, I am so sorry to hear about your cat that passed away. I hope everything went well while you were gone though?

        • I went for the 8 days and texted the caretaker every day. Got home and everything was perfectly fine! I am so happy to report! The three columns really helped me and texting every day worked. On the last day I was so relieved to hear it was all okay and then when I got home it was!

          • I’m so happy to hear that it went well Cathi! Now you will be at ease on your next trip 🙂 Happy New Year to you and your fur babies!

      • Hi Cathi, I hope that your trip went well and your anxiety with leaving the kitties lessened enough to grant you a nice trip. Happy 2019!

        • Happy 2019! Looking forward to being home for a long time now with my kitties, my heart. However when I go again in the summer, I will make another three-column list and I know that will help. Thank you for this website!

  5. I cant beleive I came across this site…my fiancee and I are planning our dream 24 day honeymoon. We never expected to have a cat but he was a rescue and just has been an unbelievable FIT to our family. Hes just turned 1yr old and I’m having severe anxiety about leaving him. I sometimes do daily just going to work. I’ve searched hi and lo for someone to stay with him. Mostly they think I’m crazy and hell be fine. But hes unlike a characterized cat. He craves people, he follows us around, he just knows our routines….people laugh when I say I shld cancel our trip over him. I’m not laughing. I’m sick about it. I’m freaking about leaving him alone esp at night. I can hire someone to come in daily but not at night. Does anyone have suggestions or are there any groups that do this…trustworthy. my family isnt an option. Bawling typing this even. My fiancee is supportive and says we can wait…he’ll miss him too! Am I going off my rocker? Will he be ok with just daily visits? He wakes me up every morning with a headbutt…who will he do that do. Can he become distressed if I’m not there? Support needed.

    • Three weeks is a long time for a single kitty to be by himself, and while he will most likely be fine with twice daily visits, it would certainly be better if you could find someone to stay at your house for the duration of your trip. Check with the staff at your vet’s office. A lot of veterinary technicians and assistants offer pet sitting services, and some may be able to stay overnight.

  6. Thank you so much for your article and for everyone else who commented! So relieved that I’m not the only one going through this horrible anxiety. My husband and I have to evacuate our house for 3 weeks for extensive repairs (foundations sinking). For their own safety, our two cats have to stay in a cattery for the first time in their 7 year old lives. The male cat cannot get on with any other cats, so they can’t stay with friends or family. My anxiety has gotten so bad, that I consulted with a psychologist. Other than temporary calming meds, he discussed some coping techniques with me. For example, draw 3 columns on a piece of paper with headings “Best case”, “Worst case”, “Most probable” scenarios. Then write down all your fears (even those irrational ones we all feel ashamed of) in the correct column. Thereafter, address each one with a back up plan. This has helped me a lot as it puts things into perspective. You will likely end up realising that your worst fears are not at all probable (possible does not mean probable) and that you can have a back-up plan for each. For the rest, meds and a lot of cuddles with our cats also help! Blessings to everyone and your cats!

  7. I’m thankful for your article. I will be leaving my 2 boys in great hands for 2 nights, but it almost makes me sick to my stomach as I’ve never been away from them. I know that I need to at some point .. what if there was an emergency with me and someone else had to care for them daily for a bit? Just nice to see so many others have similar feelings of anxiety or guilt about leaving. My sitter is on the same property, only 300yds away, has 2 cats of her own, and loves mine too, but boy howdy I feel quilty even thinking about being gone 2 nights.

  8. Hi everyone, it makes me feel a little better to realise I’m not the only one that feels like this! . I didn’t really enjoy my last holiday ( four days!) as I felt so guilty leaving my babies , I had a cat sitter in twice a day but I hate to think that their feeling I left them, not sure if I could go again!

  9. I moved across the country to SD and my cats are all the way back in As until I can find a place. My mom sends me pictures of my cats all the time. I miss my three boys a lot. When she sends the pictures, I want to cry. I have the last few times. How can I handle this?

    • I am so glad I found this site. I am wracked with anxiety about leaving my cat for 15 days next month. Can’t decide whether to hire a cat sitter for twice a day ($60), have a friend come in once a day ($35), or take the kitty to my boyfriend’s house for the duration (free). Boyfriend is dependable, but I feel kitty would be more comfortable at home in familiar surroundings. But then I worry kitty will be bored to tears for two weeks alone, as we’re together most of the time. How to decide? Money of course is one important consideration, but kitty’s welfare is what I’m most concerned about. Any suggestions from others’ experience on this?

      • Hey Willson. Most cats are actually way more comfortable being at home. It is better if you have somebody coming over a couple of times a day to feed them, clean out their litter, and play with them a little bit. Cats also understand verbal and nonverbal messages. So it’s important for whoever’s taking care of them to tell them that you will be back soon. And pet them and send loving energy to them. Generally it’s better to do that then to move them away from their familiar surroundings. They will already be stressed by being away from you and being in a new environment is only going to add to their stress. Keep them at home and get one or two reliable people to check in on them twice a day. That would be my advice.

  10. It’s so nice to know I am not the only one who feels like this. I hate the thought of leaving my three girls but myself and my husband really need a holiday. My anxieties range from thinking they will become ill to a door being left open (my cats have secure access to the back garden only). The problem I have is one of cats is so nervous around other people, espeically ones she is not familiar with. The only person we have that can cat sit hasn’t spent much time with her and she became so stressed when they came round for a longer period of time that I feel there is no way I can leave her as she wont come near them to eat by the time she has given in, my other two cats would have probably eaten it. We hope with regular visits that in time she will be more comfortable around the cat sitter.

      • Hi. I went away for three days and brought my nervous cat a feeder which is chipped sensored so I knew she could only get to the wet food if she was to anxious to eat when our family came in the house. She was very nervous and hardly seen by my mother in law when she came round twice a day. Alot of the food was no eaten 🙁 but I am hoping she ate lots of the dry food which was available to my three cats all day and night. My other two were fine. I suggest going away for a night or two to begin with so you and your kitties get used to it. I brought an indoor camera so I could check they were OK which really helped me when i was worried about them. You’re not alone 🙂

        • Thank you! We will be gone for 9 days 🙁 We had booked this trip prior to adopting our 3 kittens (they are 6 months old now). We were going to have a couple of different people staying over with them, but they got so scared when one came over for a visit. So we figure if people stop in rather than staying over, it would be better for them. We will have 2 cameras set up and bought a couple of Comfort Zones so I’m hoping they will at least just eat and not be too scared 🙁 Thank you for your reply!

  11. I am going on a six or seven day trip in oct but I know they will be ok. I also call to check so I don’t worry! Especially since they are old, but I know they are well taken care of! My mom watches them!

  12. Nothing could be more heartening for me than to read this article and the comments. I’ve actually found articles about “leaving your child for the first time” to be closer to the truth about how I feel. I have also been having bad dreams, just very intense and dramatic, about what happens to them when we’re not here. I know that:
    a. we have three cats and they have each other
    b. the cook will come and feed them twice everyday and check in in the afternoon as well to make sure the water trough is full up
    c. we’ve enlisted our neighbour to help and check in and play with them
    d. we have everyone’s numbers to ensure things don’t go wrong
    e. there’s food, water, the house is safe,etc. etc.
    And even so, my imagination runs riot. The thing that scares me the most is if the cook is neglectful and leaves doors open — and they run away. I just want them to be safe, and well fed, and happy. My heart is so full of love for them. My husband insists it will be okay and this is my anxiety talking… and I don’t disagree. But man it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

    Giving us all big hugs as we learn to navigate this anxiety.

  13. I’ve trawled to find this site and am so relieved i am not alone. Every summer I go through the same anxiety. This has been alleviated by having a friend stay for the duration but he can’t stay overnight (except at the weekends) this time. I am really worried and feel sick. My boy cat is a real wanderer and i worry about him getting stuck in someone’s garage/shed. Going away on Friday so trying to be strong.

  14. So glad to know I am not the only one. I am going away for a few days and I am already suffering from separation anxiety. A friend is petsitting but I feel no one can take care of them as I can. what a horrible feeling. Thank you for posting this.

  15. For the last three months, I’ve been out of a job and I have spent every single day with my cat. Next week I start a new job and I’m a little worried how my 14-year-old indoor baby will react. She’s gotten very used to me being home and I’ve become used to having her around all the time. It made me happy to see that others felt the same way about their cats.

  16. I was searching Google for something like this and had almost given up but I worded it in a way that brought me here! My mom and I completely feel anxiety leaving our animal companions. I’m missing but two cats after being gone less than 24 hours- I’ll be back by the end of tomorrow but I feel almost physical I pain inside thinking of them potentially missing me or wondering where I am. They have my parents most of the time to keep them company but I’m their center and I can’t help but feeling guilt even from just going to work.

    • Yep had my cat for a year and a half now, ever he was shot after only having a few month Xmas eve night he turned up just sitting on my doorstep cold wet and shivering so took him in loved him straight away , even though I never wanted a cat or dog because of my job , shift work and I still get separation syndrome , get really upset , just got back from a weeks hols that was a nightmare for me , had too look at a photo of him , just to feel better, I have a great cat sitter , and today just going too family for one night and I’m really feeling awful , leaving him alone for 24hrs not back till tomorrow afternoon, lots of dry food watt a few treats hidden , where he can find them , tears in my eyes just thinking about leaving in a few hours , IVE GOT IT BAD ,FEEL LIKE I NEED HELP

  17. I know this is an old thread and I doubt anyone will read this but I leave tomorrow for 19 days and I’m dreading leaving my girls (18month and 10month) they’re staying at home with my boyfriend who works all day and a friend is dropping in on the
    When she can. I’ve been in tears all day worrying about leaving them as they’re used to having me around all of the time they have outside access so I’m not really worried that they’ll be bored but I’m seriously regretting agreeing going on this trip that I feel close to panic attacks about it all! I can imagine everything going wrong and them being depressed or stressed.

    • Aww poor thing i can totally relate to how you feel. I feel such anxiety when i leave my cat, no matter how short or long the time is. It’s normal for cat lovers to feel like that. In my observation of my cat as long as she can keep to her basic routine she is still happy when I’m away (let in and out at the same times, fed at the same times, bit of a cuddle and scratch when she feels like it). She always gives me a lovely welcome when i do get home. Try your best to enjoy your trip away, your cat will be fine and safe and very happy to see her favorite human when you get back!

  18. I can’t believe I came across this post – I’m leaving home for a week and even though my Honey will be home with our 4 babies, (cats) I’m so stressed about leaving, they are very attached to me, and I don’t want them to think I abandoned them. So nice to read these other comments, now I know I’m not alone in feeling the way I do!

    • I really needed to find someone that understands this! I feel like no one really gets how it feels to be apart from your cat until they get one. I’m a first time cat owner. My little girl is 6 months old and I’ve never spent a night away from her. I’m staying at a friend’s house tomorrow night and my mom is staying with Marie. I can’t cancel, but I really want to stay home with her. I know it’s just one night, but it seems like forever. We’ve both gotten so used to being with each other all day, everyday, and I know no one will take better care of her than I do. I also don’t want her to think that I left her or something. My heart breaks just by thinking about it.

  19. Gurl, are we twins separated st both? Because I could’ve written this article myself (interestingly, I’m also a writer). Heck, I even call my kitties “the girls.” For years, I had two cats, one, my Annie Cat, who was found on the street and given to me and one who I drove from Chicago to adopt from the euthanasia list at a high kill shelter. I recently saw another cat on the same euthanasia list for the same NYC shelter and I drove back to the East Coast to adopt her. We had a fun time in Mamhattan together and an excellent road trip back to sweet home, Chicago. My girls all love travel and road trips, which is why I feel just awful leaving them at home when I travel. My cats sleep with me at night and cuddle with me all day at work. My clients love having the cats to cuddle with when they’re having a rough day, so working for home is a win-win. I even work with someone who is deathly afraid of cats, yet mine make her feel at ease. They’re gentle and loving and they’re wonderful kitties. I hate sleeping away from home without them, especially without baby Pebbles who sleeps in my arms every night. If I could take them everywhere with me, I would. I don’t feel like myself without my girls. Eventually, I’d like to procure a tiny house on wheels or an RV so that my babies can travel with me. I was so overjoyed to see this piece and can totally identify with what you’re saying.

    Lots of kitty love and thanks for the fantastic article,

    Dominique, Annie, Ana and Pebbles

    • Apologies, my keyboard went crazy on that one. Hopefully you get my drift! Lol. There is currently a cat laying on my arm that I am trying not to disturb, but clearly I should’ve proofread haha!

    • I am so glad I found this and all your comments – I am experiencing the same things, only with a 5 month old kitten I found three months ago, and for whom I have found a really lovely home to go to, as I have to travel between two places regularly, as well as having health problems which limit my energy in looking after him as well as he needs. The first time they came to collect him I nearly threw up when the doorbell rang! I now find I have near panic attacks every day, and feel incapable of taking the final step in letting him go…he is a lovely outgoing sociable little cat, and I now worry that I’ll make him anxious/dependent, which would be awful.
      I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s feeling like this, and does anyone have any suggestions please?

  20. I’m on vacation right now and I think I’m going home a day early. At first, I liked having the bed to myself rather than having to navigate around sleeping cats, but now I miss purring cats and cat rubs. I have to go back to see their little faces.

  21. I have enough trouble leaving my kitty to go to work each day. I can’t leave the house without hugging her tight and telling her how much I love her. She love going outside throughout the day, but I’m scared to death that she’s going to get hurt. I’ve never had a cat that I’ve loved so much and she has proven to me that she loves me too. She plays hide-and-seek when I’m sad, or even fetch. If she doesn’t know if I’m ok, she’ll come find me and start meowing until she knows. She even comes when I call her. I don’t know if I’m just overly attached to her, but she is my world and I can’t wake up, go to sleep, or go anywhere without hugging her first.

    • I am the exact same way. I am having anxiety thinking about leaving them while my daughter has her baby in January. I am not going to want to leave my daughters side but at the same time I hate the thought of leaving my children (cats). I haven’t spent the night away from my house since Jan 2014. When I’m gone longer than 8 hours in a day I start having anxiety about my kids being left alone.

  22. I’m leaving my furbaby for almost three months and I’ve been crying all day thinking about it. My boyfriends parents are taking her and I know they will love her just as much as we do but I can’t help but feel so sad and anxiety ridden inside. They’re flying home with her tonight and I just packed her stuff up… I’ve been so distracted all day, I even missed my massage appointment. I know it will all be okay and I’ll have her back in January but I’m scared that she will think we abandoned her. She was a rescue and we’ve only had her a year. I am going to try to stay busy until we leave in a two weeks. I Think it helps to share my feelings. Thanks for reading. I’m going to try not to cry anymore after today. I read a comment that someone sends their love and energy through thought, I think I will try that too.

    • I know how you feel, because of my cancer and messed up living situation I had to leave my cat with a cousin who I totally trust. It’s been 4 months since I’ve left him there and now it’s been 7 weeks since I’ve gotten to go visit him because my car has been stolen and now I can’t go see him and it’s killing me! I Cry several times a week, I miss him and I know he misses me!

    • I know exactly how you feel Brittany 🙁 I’m about to go travelling for 4 months which is amazing but all I can think about is leaving my little cat behind. He’s staying with my mum so will be well loved and cared for but far from home and without access to his cat flap (which is what he’s used to). I just feel so guilty and sad about it all 🙁 Hows it gone for you – nearly reunited?!

  23. I’m leaving my cats to go four hours away for two weeks. I’m terrified of leaving them for so long and I know I have to go.. I cry thinking about it and I’m always worried they’re going to be different in two weeks it scares me thinking someone is going to forget their water or their poopbox since I’m usually the one who does it anyway I live in a house where my sister can take care of them along side her pets, I’ve also asked my mom and another friend to make sure everything is okay for them. I’m also scared they won’t be okay without me. I’m the one they bond to and they’re going to think I abandoned them..

  24. I’ve been away from my cats 3 days, yes 3 days!, they are with pops (human pops) they are fine, he adores them just as much as me. But every night I get sad teary anxious, and I send them prayers and tell them I’ll be home soon. I’m not sure it any of u need a pillow to pet when your kitty isn’t there, but I find myself stroking my pillow and petting it like if it was my kitty then I fall asleep. I know it sounds odd but there is something about my cats particular one Coon, that calms me when I hug her tight.I hate feeling needy for them more than I miss my hubby, but I can’t help it. Glad I’m not alone on this one

  25. I am going to Florida with my boyfriend for 6 days in less than 2 weeks. I am already having high anxiety leaving my my 7 year oldcat for that long. I don’t mind leaving her for work because she knows I am coming back, but I haven’t ever left her for this long. I have friends who are my neighbors taking care of her for part of my trip & a cat sitter for remainder. The neighbors who are coming have been trying to get close to her, but she doesn’t seem to like them. She hisses & hides from them which really isn’t good & worries me. She has gotten very territorial over the past 2 years since my past relationship ended & it’s just been her & I. We have a very close bond & I worry about leaving her because I think she will be miserable since I am IT for her. I am glad to hear I am not the only one who feels this way. Any suggestions would be helpful! Also this is my 1st time using pet sitter so she doesn’t really know her that well either. I am freaking out & don’t want to ruin my relationship by cancelling, but at the same time I am really worried about the well being of my cat. Any help or reinforcement would be great!!

  26. I have a 6 year old cat & I am leaving for Florida with my boyfriend for 6 days. I am dreading leaving her!! I have neighbors that are taking care of her for 3 days & a cat sitter for remainder of the time because they are leaving for Florida too!! My cat has become very territorial since it’s just been her & I for the past 3 years!! I am it for her & we have such a close bond. My neighbors come over to visit and she hisses at them so I am worried she will be miserable when I am gone. I can’t cancel this trip because I don’t want to ruin the relationship I have with my boyfriend & I keep telling myself she will be find without me, but I am making myself sick with worry. Really glad I am not the only one feeling this way. If anyone has suggestions, I would love to hear them!

  27. As a professional pet sitter I can tell you your cat will be fine. Many times people tell me I won’t see the cat, but I do and the cat is very friendly and loving. Sometimes cats hide from me for a day or two, but I report back to the owner that I did see the cat and he/she is eating fine and litter box usage is normal.

    Just please get at least one pet sitting visit per day, and your cat would much rather stay home than be boarded outside its comfortable home. I have some clients who request 2-3 visits per day for their cat, and we accommodate!

    • Hi, im also very anxious about leaving my cat. Even when i just go out for the day. I love her to bits but she is a very playful and social cat and needs allot of attention.extrovert to the full! She loves playing and think she gets bored because she doesnt have a friend to play with when i’m at work.So i think she suffers alot more than i think because she mews allot for attention to play. I find myself so isolated because my cat lets me know and demands attention. I play with her ad much as i can and ahe has toys. I dont know if i worry too much or is she really okay..?

  28. Wow…This is exactly what I am feeling! I have a 13 month old cat – I got him when he was 4 months old and he has become very important to me. I also suffer from adult separation anxiety when I travel. Tomorrow, I am leaving on a trip for a week and I am a mess – anxious about leaving the family(grown son and elderly parents) and even more anxious about leaving the kitty! I don’t know how to manage the stress and anxiety it is causing me and I also don’t know if I am going to be able to leave tomorrow morning – I know that I will force myself to do it, but will I spend the whole week pining over the cat and the family? The only time my anxieties crop up are when I have to leave overnight…sure, I miss the cat when I go out, or go to work, but it does not feel the same as leaving him for a week. Does anyone out there, following this discussion have any experience with separation anxiety in adults?

    • Yes, I am feeling exactly like this. I’m not afraid to say it either…I think I’m extremely attached to my cat. She’s 14 months old. She’s going to stay with a sitter…my daughter’s friend. We will be gone for 10 days so I feel like maybe it is a long time. She’s never stayed there before and I’m about to clean out her litter pan, gather her food bowls and everything she’ll need including a shirt of mine and her bed and toys. She sleeps in a ceramic bowl on my bathroom counter. I’m going to take that to the sitter too. It’s rough and that’s all I can think about but I have to get some last minute things for the trip so I’m going right after I drop her off today. That way I will be distracted. I think the worse thing on my mind is that she’ll miss me and maybe try to leave his house and get lost. So that would be the worst thing to happen but I’m counting on him to take good care of her and we’ll keep in touch. I think the best thing for us to do is when we feel anxious about it maybe change our way of thinking and think and focus on something else. Finish packing, do your nails, etc… good luck and just to let you know you’re not alone and neither am I.

  29. We have an extremely shy female kitty who is 12 yrs old. We have tried taking her with us on weekends, and also tried leaving her home in her own familiar surrounding with a professional cat sitter. We knew that no matter what we do, she suffers. We found that she gets so stressed out that she has been now diagnosed with idiopathic cystitis. The obvious issue is that she has eye issues which one gets really red (virus).

    We were told by the vet that it’s from stress. This is just 2 nights trying to go away. If we go away on vacation for longer periods, we take her with us. No matter what, after the return back, the adjustment period is always the same. She suffers.

    We have tried Feliway plugins, spray, Scaredy Cat drops, brought all of her familiar items with extra tlc.

    We want to go down the beach on weekends yet we are tied to staying put. Our professional cat sitter has attempted to tell us to keep her in “her” room which we did. When we arrived back, our female cat was stuck to me like glue. It took over a month to get her back to her “norm” plus no weekend get aways! She is extremely sensitive to change. Our other female cat was so opposite!

    What do you do? Have no idea. Most definitely torn in leaving her on weekends. It’s like she senses just the thought process… :o(

  30. Thanks so much. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders I have separation anxiety from my bunnies when I’m away from him for too long

  31. I am so glad I found this article after trawling the internet for people who feel like I do – and here you all are! I go away in 2 weeks time for 9 days to visit my family. I have a fur baby who is so attached to me, and me to him. He follows me from room to room, cries when I leave for work, follows me to the bus stop, follows me to walk the dog, tries to jump in my car… when I return he’s ALWAYS waiting on the doorstep for me. He is as loyal as a dog, this is why I get upset when people say cats are selfish, disloyal and temperamental – mine isn’t! If I’m out late in the evenings he will sleep on the porch waiting for me. If I’m watching TV later than usual at night he will be restless walking from me to the stairs and back again, urging me to go up stairs with him to bed! I can’t stand to leave him because I know how upset he gets being away from me. It’s so hard. I’ve been looking for tips on making it easier on him but I don’t think there is much solution to the problem! We have a full house here and he will be well looked after with someone in the house 24/7, but I know to him it’s not the same. And I can’t bare how grumpy he will be with me when I get back.
    Love to all you lovely cat owners out there xxx

    • Carla, I have a male cat just like yours. I truly believe he thinks I am HIS human. When I worked, he waited for me by the door. My husband was home and witnessed this. Now that I am retired, he follows me from room to room. We would love to travel more, but each time we go (leaving short term with a in-home sitters that love him), I return to a very anxiety ridden cat that meows at me for days. And my time away is full of mixed feelings. Anyone else?

    • i would get another cat for him. so he has a friend. I have multiple cats so mine dont get lonely. I still have anxiety when i leave them tho. I love my babies.

  32. I haven’t been on a real vacation in the ten years since I inherited my pets. Now that I have only one cat; and no dog, I decided I would take advantage of my winter off from my seasonal job to travel. So I booked a two-week trip to Thailand (other side of the planet!), and now that there are only a few days before my departure date I absolutely dread the thought of leaving. The top concern now is my (formerly feral) elderly cat’s health has suddenly become questionable (great timing!). It’s too expensive to change the return date, so I’m stuck with not going at all or going for a short trip somewhere closer. The stress has fully enveloped my mind and I’m having a near out-of-body experience at the thought of everything that could go wrong! This is my only chance to take a much needed vacation, and the first time I’ve thought to allow it in 10 years. The thought of not going is extremely stressful! The thought of only a 5-7 day trip is extremely stressful! And the thought of going through with my original trip is absolutely terrifying!

  33. My husband and I vacation about 2 times a year and for the few weeks prior to going away – I am dreading leaving my babies alone. I have a had time getting a consistent pet sitter – I think if I knew I had someone they know – I would be better. I”m getting worse as they are getting older. My younger one (8 yrs) tends to spray on the furniture when we leave – so we have to wrap all the furniture in plastic. I have used the diffuser-but it does not work for him. My older cat (15) needs to have a little more care. We are leaving for an overnight trip this weekend – and I am sick with worry. This spring we have a 10 day trip – don’t even want to think about that yet! I have always come back home and they have been fine. Its my issue – I am too attached to them (never had children of my own) . Vacation is supposed to relieve stress…works the opposite with me! Hugs to all fur baby mama’s !

  34. This is my first time leaving my cat. She’s four months old and even though my friend will checking in on her and playing with her every day I’m still not happy about leaving for so long.

  35. My black cat, Todd, was born feral. It took many months of patience to tame him. He is now 7 years old. He is still afraid of every human except me, and will run and hide if a stranger comes near the house. Two years ago, I took him with me to Florida to stay with me in a rented home for a month. He was a very good car passenger, but we had issues when staying in the motels at night. Also in the Florida home, he stayed under the bed almost all the time. At night, he would go out on the lanai, but he was not satisfied unless I was there with him. He wanted outdoors desperately. He usually spends the night outside at home during the warmer months. He even got away from me one day but thankfully returned to the house that night. I hardly slept any night we were there, and had anxiety during each day. I finally cut the vacation short and packed him up and came home after three weeks. It was a stressful situation all in all, and I will never take him on a trip like that again. I now restrict my travel to one night away from home. I would really like to travel more, but he is so afraid of anyone else, I can’t leave him with a sitter.

  36. I have this problem too. I’ven’t been away for even one night since I adopted these two. Just thought of going away makes me cry. I’m considering going away for Christmas weekend. I still live at home, so for the cats nothing would change, except that I won’t be there. The rest of the family will still be there.
    But these two wait for me when I get home from work. The one follows me everywhere. I’m so afraid of what might happen! My first kitty was hit by a car, so he came home half paralyzed. He had to drag himself back, crying for me. I try not to imagine what would’ve happened had I not been home that day! :'(

  37. I am so glad I found this article. I have an 11 year old silver persian named Oliver and I’m about to head on a vacation tomorrow morning. I’m sitting here in bed crying while he sleeping under the comforter. I hate having to leave him. I take at least 2 vacations a year, gone typically a full week. When I do travel, he goes to my parents house, and he gets stressed and pissed off to the point you can’t touch him for 24 hours until he’s comfortable. I know he will be in good hands but obviously no know takes as good care of him as I do. I’m just glad there are others out there who feel the sam way I do because everyone else thinks I’m crazy….

  38. I could’ve written this article. You even refer to your cats as “my girls” as I do. I’m obsessed with mine and miss them BEFORE I even leave and so badly when I’m gone that it never feels worth it to go away – even to Aruba!

    Thank you for writing this! This is definitely being bookmarked.

  39. You’re not alone. I feel just about the same. I have 4 adults cats. 2 tortoishell, an orange tabby and a black cat. One of the tortie is extremely intelligent and passionate and there was an incident one time when we fostered too many cats at a time, she fell sick because she was stress and depressed because she got less attention from me. She is not just a cat, she is my baby. She was there when I fell into depression after my 2nd miscarriage. Many people don’t understand the connection and bond I have with my cats and they see them just as cats, solely motivated by foods and petting. While it is more than that. I quit my desk job 3 years ago, and a year later I adopted 2 cats. Now I feel reluctant to go back to desk-bound job because I feel I can’t leave my cats at home for 12-14 hours a day. If I do, I can confirm that my tortie will fall sick because stress.

  40. Wow ! So glad I found this site ! Here I am the night before a trip and can’t sleep thinking of leaving my one year old cat.. I have someone coming 3x a day but this is the first alone at night! I will be ok in the day but the though of him alone at night for 2 nights is so upsetting ! Glad I am alone but how do I get over this and try yo enjoy myself ?

  41. I’ve never left my Luna bug for more then 2 days. I’m going away for vacation for two weeks I’m an emotional wreck! She’s been by my side since she was 6 weeks old and she’s now 2 and a half. I know I’m leaving her in good hands with my bestfriendad but at the same time I’m scared to leave her :'( especially when all she does is go on the luggage and falls asleep. It breaks my heart 🙁 not ready for this trip

  42. I am so stressed over trying to leave my cat for vacation for anything over two days… She is 18 years old now with Graves’ disease (hyperthyroid)… She was a feral kitten when I got her and quickly became my fur baby… My only baby!! She is extremely timid and territorial and we are indeed so closely bonded. Other than me, she will only let my husband pick her up so I’m afraid to try to let anyone else care for her or much less try to board her. She is so easily stressed with strangers. She has to have transdermal (in the ear gel) once daily and continues to have vomiting problems and weight loss needing special home cooked wet foods…My husband wants me to leave her for a ten day vacation and I am so afraid the stress will kill her… If I don’t go he will be so angry!!

  43. I’m about to leave my sweet girl Monet alone for 3-4 days. I’m already getting anxiety over it. I’d love to go on vacation, but I hate leaving her even just for the day. I have left her alone over night a handful of times before, and was gone the majority of the day before and after before I got back.

    She’s such a sweetheart, affectionate, always wants love, always at my feet, sleeps on my pillow next to me. I’d have a friend visit her daily for food and love, but I’m seriously afraid of psychologically harming her by being away for longer than usual.

  44. As my fur babies get older – I get more and more anxiety when we go away (which is about 2x a year) My older one(15) is needing more attention now and my younger on (8) is my baby and always sprays all over when we go away – even tho we have someone over 2 times a day. They are always ok when we get home (stressed-but they start getting better in a few days). I know they are being well taken care of – but its never as good as I would do (in my mind!) I don’t want to rob my husband of a good vacation so Im trying to get a handle on my anxiety and stress when I leave them. I also take care of my 85 yr old father and help out with my inlaws-so vacations are a must for my mental health.

  45. I’m struggling with this right now, too–my little golden shadow Niles is super-affectionate towards me (follows me around, does homework with me, sleeps with me, cries when I’m not home) but not to the rest of my family. We’re going up north for five days or so, and we’ll have guests there with us, and I’m worried that the extra activity will stress him out. But then again, I don’t want to leave him at home alone with just my dad for company! Dad would be nice to Niles, of course, but Niles isn’t too interested in anyone who isn’t me. I’ve never been longer than one or two days without Niles, so I’m worried about leaving him behind. I know we’d miss each other.

  46. Ahgg! I’m currently dealing with this 🙁 I’m planning a trip back home, and given that it’s only for 5-6 days I don’t want to cause undue stress to my cat. But now I’m struggling to splurge on a more expensive flight to be home sooner and miss out on time with friends and family, just to get home sooner to my cat. It’s a really hard decision. Even though my cat will stay home with my relatives, one of which who is home more often than not so she will have company, but she greets me every single night and misses me so I can’t imagine how she’ll be with 6 days of me gone!!! 🙁

  47. Should I give my cat away if I don’t do my errands because I never want her to be alone? It is important that you give me an answer please.

    • I’m not sure whether you’re asking whether you don’t want to leave your cat to run errands because you worry that she’ll be lonely, or because you feel that you can’t leave her because you’re so attached to her. If it’s the first, I doubt that just being away for errands will be a problem for your cat (and if you feel that it is, you could always consider getting her a feline companion.) If it’s the latter, I would encourage you to seek counseling. While many cat guardians suffer from some separation anxiety when they have to leave their cats, not even wanting to leave your cats to run errands would be cause for concern in my opinion. I’m also concerned that “giving your cat away” would even be an option.

  48. My husband and I are going out of town for a week, and it will be our first time being away from our furbaby, Moonlight, for such a long period of time. Our vet is going to board/care for her while we are gone. I know she will be in good hands, but we both already miss her so much. I’m also worried for her, being away from us. Glad to see other people understand. Some people think I’m crazy for loving my cat so much, but for pet owners, often, they are like people. I have an incredibly strong bond to her, and hope I can still enjoy my trip despite being sad over not having her :/

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