This article first appeared on iCatCare right here.

With knowledgeable perception into the developments and points that have an effect on the lives of cats worldwide, we invited iCatCare’s Feline Wellbeing Panel members to provide us a round-up of the feline developments that they’ve witnessed in 2020 and their predictions for what we’d see in 2021.

iCatCare’s Feline Wellbeing Panel is a global group of motivated cat professionals. Members come from a variety of disciplines with backgrounds from tutorial {and professional} {qualifications} to intensive sensible expertise. Chaired by Dr Sarah Ellis, the panel is devoted to serving to International Cat Care enhance the psychological wellbeing of cats.

2020 Trends

Remote consultations

With many nations in lockdown on account of COVID-19, companies have needed to discover new methods of working in an effort to proceed reaching shoppers. For many people, video calls have now grow to be an integral a part of work, and behaviourists aren’t any totally different, utilizing video consultations to see their feline sufferers.

As nicely as permitting professionals to proceed working to assist cats, a serious good thing about distant consultations has been decreasing extra stress by eradicating the necessity for cats to depart their territory and journey or be in shut proximity to unfamiliar individuals. It permits behaviourists to see the cat’s behaviour of their regular atmosphere with out the misery that an unfamiliar determine can typically trigger.

Some panel members additionally reported that this new technique of session has made behavioural recommendation accessible to a better variety of individuals. Not solely is it handy, appointments aren’t restricted by location, so cat house owners who dwell a good distance from a behaviourist can simply get recommendation.

It’s not simply the strategy of session that’s modified, some professionals have seen a change within the points that house owners are looking for assist for. An improve in kitten aggression in the direction of people and different cats has been reported. This is probably going because of the improve within the variety of kittens which have been adopted however may additionally be brought on by the working from house practises that we’ll have a look at within the subsequent part.

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Working from house

With work practises altering, extra individuals have been working from house, spending far longer with their cats than they often would. Some panel members have been involved that this has led to cats receiving extreme consideration, with their common solitary time now gone. Many cats who could have been used to having free reign of the family throughout the day could now be pressured to share their area with somebody for lengthy durations and should obtain extra consideration than they’re snug with, as individuals use their cats to refill their day.

This implies that some kittens and adolescents are being over-stimulated and over-handled, with few retailers for pure behaviour or time to relaxation.

On the flip facet, elevated time at house has allowed house owners to note beforehand unobserved points for particular person cats and unknown issues in relationships in multi-cat households.

Fostering/adoption

Being at house for longer and doubtlessly remoted from family and friends, extra individuals now have the time and need to undertake a pet. This has led to a rise within the variety of cats being fostered, with house owners additionally being extra receptive to homing centre employees suggestions on account of their lack of ability to fulfill the cats previous to adoption in lots of instances . Rather than merely selecting the cat that appeals to them bodily, house owners have taken employees recommendation on which animal would greatest go well with their life-style.

COVID-19 has additionally modified how homing centres function, with fewer employees on web site each day to work together with the cats. One member reported that some rescue centres have been involved that kittens have been extra skittish than pre-pandemic, as they haven’t acquired socialisation from as many individuals as they often would. This highlights the significance of kittens being fostered with their moms in house environments for the optimum socialisation course of.

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Another consequence of the massive improve in cats arriving into new properties has been an elevated demand for providers that deal with behavioural points which have developed after introducing cats to the family, this may additionally be influenced by the adoption of a better variety of under-socialised kittens.

2021 Predictions

Separation anxiousness

When places of work start to reopen and other people make the shift away from working from house on a regular basis, some panel members raised considerations that the cats and kittens which have grow to be accustomed to having their proprietor at house will undergo from separation anxiousness once they’re not there all through the day. Of course, this depends on the cat having a detailed bond and emotional reliance on their proprietor. This could also be one thing we usually tend to see in our canines than cats.

Some believed that anxiousness might also be on the rise with house owners, or at the least elevated curiosity of their cats whereabouts, and consequently there’ll in all probability be an elevated demand for know-how that enables house owners to observe their pets at house throughout the day by video displays and GPS collars.

Owners returning to the workplace might need some constructive outcomes, with some cat’s glad to have more room and time to themselves, however how cats are affected by this second shift in work practises is more likely to be on a person foundation.

Continued rise of distant consultations 

Although behaviourists and different feline professionals will seemingly discover it simpler to see their shoppers in individual once more, members predicted that distant consultations received’t disappear. Due to their comfort and the way they may help keep away from stress in cats, they’re set to be a everlasting function of how professionals work together with cats.

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Food

A pattern that has been rising over latest years is a better curiosity by house owners of their pet’s meals. Different diets, their impact on their cat’s well being and the sustainability of how they’re produced are all rising considerations for pet house owners, and look as if they’ll proceed into 2021.

More analysis into the human-cat relationship

2020 has seen the publication of some essential analysis regarding feline communication, it was only some months in the past that the gradual blink approach was scientifically investigated for the primary time. The human-cat relationship is more likely to be a well-liked analysis matter subsequent 12 months.

Linked to this can be a gradual change in the way in which we body the ‘proprietor’ cat relationship. Cats are more and more being recognised as a member of the household slightly than a ‘pet’, and a bigger marketplace for premium merchandise has emerged. The rise in on-line buying and other people spending extra time at house with their cats has additionally led to a increase in subscription containers and enterprise capital enterprise primarily based on feline merchandise, and these enterprise fashions additionally look set to develop subsequent 12 months.


Find out extra concerning the Feline Wellbeing Panel right here

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Source katzenworld.co.uk