The study showed that 13.5% of animals experience discomfort during the absence of their owner.
While there has been a lot of research into dog separation issues, very little attention has been paid to the same situation with cats. There is a widespread belief that cats can be happy alone for extended periods of time, but recent observations of cats and their owners show that pets are social and develop close bonds with their owners.
To assess separation issues, experts have developed a questionnaire for cat owners. In the questionnaire, the researchers asked for the following information: whether your cat displayed destructive behavior when you were absent; tell us about yourself and your interactions with the pet, and describe the animal's habitat.
The data showed that 13.5% of cats exhibited destructive behavior in the absence of a host. Also, in many cats, excessive vocalization, inadequate urination, apathy, aggressiveness, anxiety have been noticed.
Scientists say the questionnaire requires additional testing based on direct observation of the cat's behavior. As many owners may misinterpret the actions of their pet (for example, scratching surfaces is normal for cats, but owners may consider this a deviation from consistent behavior).
While there is still a lot of work to be done on the relationship between humans and domestic cats, this questionnaire can serve as a starting point for future research, as well as point out certain environmental factors that can help cats during separation.