DEAR PAW'S CORNER: My cat Jewel meows like crazy every time I leave her sight. She'll sit at my closed bedroom or bathroom door and meow. She meows for several minutes when I first get home from work. And she'll often claw at one leg on the sofa even when I'm in the room. What is up with this behavior? — Chuck in Wichita Falls
DEAR CHUCK: Those are signs of anxiety, and you need to figure out how to calm Jewel down. She's very anxious about being separated from you — in fact, your time away from home at work is probably no picnic for her.
Of course, you can't quit your job and spend every minute devoted to Jewel's happiness (as much as any cat would enjoy that). But there are some things you can do to ease her anxiety.
• Provide distractions: Set up a window perch so she can watch the outside world, and put out cat-safe toys for her to play with while you're out.
• Make her feel comfortable: Place an old shirt that has your scent in or near the cat bed.
• Give her constructive attention: Spend time playing with your cat several times a day to distract her from your sofa leg.
• Try a home remedy: Add a homeopathic treatment like Bach Flower Remedy to her water bowl each day. Also, try giving her a catnip-filled toy to see if the herb helps calm her for a while.
If these methods don't improve her meowing, talk to Jewel's veterinarian about other measures, including prescribed medication, to ease her anxiety.
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