ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Q: I have two cats, both male, 5 years old. I travel one month at a time in spring and fall.
My two cats do not like it at all. They urinate outside the litter boxes, over-eat and gain weight. Maybe they do not like the cold weather of last November.
Dr. Nichol: Your cats don’t care about November weather but they really do hate it when you’re gone. You and their routine are the essence of their lives. One of them may actually be over-bonded.
This kitty, the likely wayward urinator, is a little lost sheep when you travel. Both of your cats need more to do than pig out and pee when they’re home alone.
Separation anxiety in cats is actually pretty common. In contrast to the frenzied destructive behavior of a wigged-out dog, cats are more prone to urine soil when their person is missing. Alone and apprehensive, your boys have little to do but fret when, as wild animals confined as pets, they should be out stalking prey, climbing, perching, spitting, cussing, and swapping uncouth jokes with their friends.
Except for each other’s company, they have been relegated to a sterile existence. It’s even worse when you aren’t there to entertain them with your comical routines. (Cats think we are very funny. They are known to make jokes at our expense.)