Cat behaviourist Jackson Galaxy allegedly inundated during lockdown
Yahoo.com has published a very short report in which it is stated that domestic cats have become fed up with their human caretakers being at home too much and want to be left alone! Yes, unbelievable. And they also say that Jackson Galaxy, the well-known cat behaviorist, has commented and said that he thinks that humans are unduly stressed out and their cats are also unduly stressed out and the two have come together.
I think it is all a hoax and fake news. It is far more likely that domestic cats will be happy that their owners are at home more often provided they are good owners. I agree that if they are poor cat guardians, it is better that they are in the office.
I don’t believe that a lot of people are unduly stressed because coronavirus. There are certainly stressed people. There are anxious people particularly those who are vulnerable who suffer from a chronic illness. However, in my estimation more than half the population in any country is not overly concerned.
It may be that women, who are more likely to own cats when living alone, who have become anxious because they are more risk averse than men. This is not to belittle or denigrate women. There’s a good aspect to being cautious and anxious because they’re more likely to avoid contracting the disease. If they are anxious they may be making their cats anxious. Jackson Galaxy believes that cats soak up the emotions of their owners and reflect them back. There is some truth in that too.
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Certainly, cats are not going to be anxious because of the coronavirus. They are completely unaware of it obviously. If they are stressed out it is because the mood in their home has become a little more stressed and intense. It may also be that the normal routines have been broken by the coronavirus lockdown. A change in routine is likely to concern a cat at least initially. However, I don’t think that feeling would last long. A domestic cat will get used to the constant presence of their owner quite quickly, perhaps in a few days.
All in all I would expect that the coronavirus pandemic lockdown has been beneficial to domestic cats. People can do more cat caretaking and to a higher standard if they can work from home.
The more likely explanation for the very short article on Yahoo.com website is that they had run out of news and simply created a bit of fake cat news to fill a hole. It didn’t work.
In the article you say “I think” this and “I believe” that. You present zero data to back you up. That is unfortunate, because your opinion carries weight with so many, and usually you are a much deeper thinker than that.
Since you are in the UK, you have no clue how people in the U.S. are actually feel. Millions of people have lost their sole source of income. Unlike Europe and even Canada, the only aid from the government was a one-time payment of $1200, which may have been helpful, but would not even cover one month’s expenses for most families.
The political friction and violence in the streets is terrifying. The dearth of leadership in the US is even more frightening. Thoughtful people are afraid, those who prefer to let others (ike certain media) do their thinking for them are furious. Domestic violence is rising. This is not good for cats.
We don’t have data on relinquishments because most shelters closed due to the epidemic. But the AVMA expects them to increase. That’s bad for cats, who have a very poor chance of re-homing from a shelter.
Cats absolutely pick up on our stresses and can manifest illness because of that. In 25 years as a feline veterinarian I have seen countless examples.
Jackson and Ms Singer are right. This is an extremely stressful time for people, and therefore not a good time for cats.
Whether or not Jackson was actually “inundated” with upset cat guardians during the pandemic lockdown, the anxieties caused by the lockdown are pretty darned appropriate and realistic. COVID19 is a novel virus, with very little known about it and how it can affect us and our kitties. Worrying about how about paying the rent, the cost of food, whether they will be able to take care of their pets if jobs are lo are all urgent concerns, and do cause a great deal of worry. Kitty guardians who worry about if they will become infected, worry about who will take care of their cats if they are no longer able to provide their kitties the care they need, especially if they are hospitalized. Of course, added to the equation is concern about whether they will survive the infection.
I disagree with Michael in this article, that people are overly concerned about the virus which may be fake news or a hoax. This virus is extremely alarming and those that believe it’s a hoax are steeped in denial. Jackson is totally on target when he stresses that cats pick up on our emotions. If we are worried about something, our cats will be affected. I also don’t believe that cats become so upset that they act out during a lockdown. Most cats that have a bonded relationship with their pawrents will be delighted to spend more time with them. In fact, when their humans leave for work each day, some cats actually develop separation anxiety.
I trust Jackson’s opinions, and I highly respect how Jackson works with troubled cats and their humans. The work he does with cats and their humans have saved the lives and homes of countless kitties.
Having personally been in lockdown for several months, I understand how anxiety can affect our cats. It is we who can lose our tempers, get angry at our partners for the “smallest” infractions, feel “imprisoned” in our own homes, long for the company of friends and families, feel alone and afraid of getting sick with the virus, can cause our kitties concern. It’s not that they are upset with us for being home all the time and that they don’t have any privacy, they are reacting to our emotions. It is we who need to stick to schedules and routines with our kitties to reassure them that all is ok and that they are loved.