My cat ignores me after vacation: it has happened to most cat owners to come back from vacation or a long period of absence from home to find their cat holding a grudge and ignoring them.
Cats ignore you after vacation because they have been upset about the significant change in their lives created by your absence. Unfortunately, you brought different smells when you came back, so they still needed time to readjust and return to the old routines.
What can we do about it?
MY CAT IGNORES ME AFTER VACATION. WHY?
A cat may very well decide to ignore you after vacation for many reasons, especially if it is the first time you have gone for a long time. For example, my cat ignores me after vacation each time. This is because cats are used to you as the owner. They love your daily habits with him; this can be feeding, sleeping together, cuddling, playing, etc.
They are used to you and your smell. They know they can trust you. What happens if you suddenly go away? Cats’ stable point goes away too, and they may feel confused. Where is that smell? How come I do not get food anymore at that time, and who is this new person taking care of me? Where is my owner?
After you go, cats may go around the house looking for you and then, after a while, realize that you are not there anymore. Changes and the absence of someone they love can upset them, cats stress easily, and the stress can cause them to act weird.
When you return from a vacation, your cat has been stressed by the changes created in his environment, so he may already be acting differently. Additionally, you come back with tons of different smells on you. He may need to smell you and get used to you again.
It can be that after he realizes it is you, he will start acting normally again, but cats have different personalities. Therefore, each cat has its timing and ways of reacting to its owner’s loss, even if temporary.
My cat ignores me after vacation; what can I do?
EXAMPLES OF CATS REACTIONS AFTER YOU COME BACK FROM VACATION
So, my cat ignores me after vacation. Should I be upset, or should I expect him to react this way?
I already know my cat will be upset when I leave the house for more than two days. He is so used to me, mainly because I spend a lot of time at home, since I work from home most of my time, that he expects me to be there.
What should you expect from your cat when you come back from a vacation?
The first time I left my cat for an extended period was about one year after I got him. So he was pretty young, and I was missing for approximately one month. I went away for work. Fortunately, he was used to my roommate and wasn’t alone. I heard that he was meowing a lot when I was away, which is very uncommon for him, especially at night.
When I came back, I entered the house and met him. He would not go near me initially. I decided to leave him his space and let him be used to my presence, so I continued doing my things. After a few hours, I decided it was time to socialize with him again.
So I found him in the living room, and I sat in the middle of the room and extended my hand so he could smell it.
I believe that I saw the moment he realized it was me; he started to meow at me like a child who lost his favorite toy. He complained, using loud meows, and then he let me pet him, and I could pick him up and kiss him. After that, I knew he would forgive me.
What I took away: When coming back, leave a bit of space for your cat so he can get used to you, and let him smell you and slowly come to you. My cat ignored me after vacation because he wasn’t happy to be left alone; he probably thought I had abandoned him.
He was two years old, and the second time, I left for only ten days. I knew already that he would be upset also this time. When I returned, he recognized me immediately and started to meow at me, complaining loudly. If I knew better, I could say he was saying: ” Where have you been? Why you left me alone? I was so scared!”
I gave him some treats and stayed with him for some minutes, he then went about his business, and we were friends again.
What I took away: Cats can get used to their owners going out, they are still not happy, but you can get back the bond faster if they know you are leaving from time to time. I had someone staying over at the house with him, so it is essential to ensure cats do not feel abandoned.
ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT LEAVING OUR CAT WHEN YOU GO ON HOLIDAY?
Cat owners are often worried when leaving their cat home alone or with other people. It is normal. I am concerned about leaving my cat when I go on holiday, so a loving pet owner. The other question is whether you should bring your cat with you.
You have to find the best solution for your cat and also for you to reduce your level of anxiety about the conditions of your cat.
What is the right thing?
When you go on holiday, whether you bring your cat or you leave him at home, there will be some degree of stress for a cat. If the cat has a very open personality, the chances are that he would not stress that much. However, cats with such qualities are rare. Most cats are scared to travel.
You know your cat’s personality; would it create more stress for them to travel with you or stay home without you?
In most cases, it is better to leave the cat at home. However, to reduce worries about your cat being left alone, one has to find a solution that suits him better.
REDUCE ANXIETY ABOUT LEAVING CATS WHILE ON VACATION
To reduce anxiety about leaving a cat while on vacation, it is essential to know that you have done all possible to make your cat comfortable.
Here are some actions you can take to reduce the overall anxiety and make sure your cat will be ok:
1. CAT SITTER
If you have family members that already live with you, the problem is solved partially. The cat is already used to this person and will be taken care of. Otherwise, finding someone who can stay at your house or come by very often to feed your cat and stay with him for a bit is essential.
The best would be to have someone your cat is already used to, or introduce the person to the cat long before going on holiday, so your cat knows the person and will not freak out because a stranger is coming to the house. Already you are missing; for him, it would be an additional stress factor.
Ensure that whoever takes care of your cat knows his habits and makes him feel comfortable by reproducing daily routines.
2. LEAVE AN ITEM WITH YOUR SMELL IN PLACES WHERE HE SLEEPS
If you have a T-shirt that you used or similar, leave it in your cat’s bed or in places where he goes to sleep; in this way, you can reduce a bit the stress of you not being there, and your cat may feel better and more secure if he smells your scent.
3. GET A SECOND CAT
Eventually, if you know you have to go away often, you can get a friend for your cat so that he feels less alone and has someone to share his day with aside from you.
My cat ignores me after vacation each time; therefore, know that this can happen to you as well; it is essential to make your cat less stressed as possible.
4. GET A PET CAMERA
If you have one of those cameras in your house that allows you to see your cat, this may lessen your anxiety a lot. You can see what your cat is doing, and maybe you have one of those cameras where you can speak, so he can hear your voice and throw treats at him.
Aside from the complexity of the camera, simply seeing your cat may lessen your anxiety.
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MY CAT IS ACTING STRANGE WHEN I COME BACK FROM VACATION
Usually, my cat ignores me after vacation and some other strange behavior. What about yours?
Now you are back from vacation. It is time to bond again with your cat. He has been acting strange since you returned, and you want to re-establish the earlier friendship. Unfortunately, some cats may be ignoring you. Some of them may hiss at you and even fight.
Here are some tips to get back in your cat’s good grace.
1. LEAVE HIM SOME SPACE
When you get back home, test your cat’s reaction. If you see that he doesn’t want to be with you, leave him some space, come back after a few hours, or wait for him to come to you. Make him smell your hands and be used to you being there again.
If you want to accelerate things a bit, use treats. You can go to your cat with treats in your hands and have him eat them from it, or place the treats near you and make your cat come to eat them; you can try decreasing the distance.
Take out his favorite toys and play with him. Playtime is an excellent way to bond with your cat again. Take some time every day. When my cat ignores me after vacation, I try to play with him and give him treats. In other words, try to ask for forgiveness!
DO CATS REMEMBER YOU AFTER VACATION?
Even though some scientific theories may advocate cats as detached animals, but cats are definitively not. If you have lived with enough cats, you may know they are affectionate animals. They have their way of showing it.
They, for sure, remember you. They know who you are; however, since you have gone and left “their” territory, you must find a way to be “accepted” again.
SEPARATION ANXIETY IN CATS, WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS?
Cats may show those signs if they suffer from separation anxiety from their owner:
- Excessive vocalization (crying, moaning, meowing)
- Distress as the owner prepares to depart (pre-departure anxiety).
- Not eating or drinking while the owner is away
- Eliminating (often urination) in inappropriate places
- Vomiting, food, or hair usually are contained in the vomit.
- Excessive self-grooming
- Destructive behavior
- Exuberant greetings when the owner returns home
- Exuberant greeting behavior
Cats sometimes sense that you are leaving and start acting weirdly while packing. To testify to this, my cat did something strange the first time I had to go.
I started packing. I had the luggage half full, and suddenly I saw him going into my bag and began to pee in it! Useless to say that I had to throw away the luggage and replace all the clothes.
My cat is two years old. This is the first and only time he peed somewhere other than the litter box. If I didn’t know better, I would bet he tried to stop me from leaving!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do cats feel sad when you give them away?
Yes, cats feel sad when you give them away. They feel sad when you go on vacation; they feel sad when given away. But, after all, cats love their owners, and they have a stable point in their lives, which is the presence of their favorite human.
Will a second cat help with separation anxiety?
Yes, a second cat can help the other cat with separation anxiety. Cats can reassure each other, play together, sleep together, and feel less alone, especially if the owner has to go away. Getting a second cat is not a bad idea if you have to leave often.
Do cats get sad when their owners go on vacation?
Yes, cats get sad when their owners go on vacation, even if you are not there to see them. However, other people observed your cat while you were away.
For example, I was told my cat would meow and cry at night when I was not there. So I know cats can miss their owners from experience.
Will my cat hate me if I leave for a week?
Your cat will not hate you if you leave for a week, but he will be upset and sad. Cats will miss you, and they might feel lost. But when you come back, they will be happy again.
What are the signs that your cat missed you?
The signs that your cat missed you are the sad-looking face, the frequent meowing in an attempt to call you, going around the house to search for you, and waiting behind the door for your return, and more.