Pets, Travel and Separation Anxiety

Scout is about seven months old now and seems comfortable in his role as King of the House. When I planned my summer vacation and arranged for Scout’s care, I thought he would struggle but it never occurred to me that he would be crippled by my absence.

But that’s exactly what happened.

I arranged for my aunt to stay with him for a few days and for my mother to take care of him the remainder of the time. Despite having company and care, Scout was terrified and acted out.

Actually, he was just mean. Viciously mean, in a way that only a terrified pet can be.

When I found Scout, he was about ten weeks old and living on the street. A tiny tyke, he weighed two pounds and had terrible food insecurity issues but was an absolute doll.

Almost immediately, I became his human. He’s nice to other people and happy to play but he’s very quick to come back to me and is even a bit clingy at times. He seems to remember being on his own and to understand that I was his rescuer; he rewards me every day with affection and gratitude.

However, he still gets mad when he’s hungry, scared or feeling somehow insecure so I was apprehensive about leaving.

Turns out I had good reason to be and I feel terrible for the pain he experienced that week and for how mean he was to my family.

Poor little guy. He just missed his mom and didn’t understand.

When I came home he was thrilled to see me, purring and sweet for about ninety seconds. Then he remembered himself and became angry. Another week passed, alternating between being angry and ignoring me before life returned to normal.

I stayed at a friend’s house Monday night and Scout came through like a champ with me being gone for just an overnight. So I’m hopeful that he has figured out that I’ll come home when I leave.

Is it possible future vacations won’t be so scary for him?

Want to read more about Scout? Here’s the story of how I found him and a more recent story about his temperament.

23 thoughts on “Pets, Travel and Separation Anxiety

  1. He’s looking really good – is he still chewing your LPs?

    I would think he’ll be ok in the future – once he gets a handle on the fact that you’ll be coming back. Was this holiday the first time he’s been on his own?

  2. Wow look how cute he is! I think he will be okay once he understands and realizes that you may go away sometimes, but you will always come back. We had a cat for awhile that had terrible issues at first when we left, but he got much better once the trust was firmly established. As for our girl kitty, she hates being separated from us as well, but she too got much better with time, even if she still shows us some “punishment” by ignoring us and whining a lot when we get back. 🙂

    • Oh, they do love to punish us! Scout was good last night when I came home but furious when I went left for work today. He’s been acting out some tonight but I think he’s doing ok since he’s still a kitten.

      Thanks for your words of encouragement! I’m hoping he will be ok as he learns that he’s not really being abandoned.

  3. Oh that poor baby!! He didn’t understand that Mama would come back! Well, now he does so hopefully he’ll be a better boy next time. Any chance of getting him a brother or sister so he’s not alone when you’re gone? He really is a beautiful cat!!!

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