With social distancing in full effect, many of us how found ourselves stuck at home to the entertainment of our various electronic devices. But for many people, this isolationist lifestyle has allowed us to rekindle our bond with our pets. We can now spend more time with them, play with them, and feel that same love that we felt during the first few initial months of companionship. But have you ever considered if your pet truly appreciates more time with you? Or have they grown accustomed of having most of the day to themselves, and value their own personal time?
Well, it should come as no surprise that the personalities of each different pet varies. Some are much more outgoing, while others tend to be more shy and reserved. My own cat for example, values her own personal time very much, and really only interacts with us during the afternoon and around mealtimes. This personality also spans across different kinds of pets as well.
Psychologist Laurie Santos, director of the Canine Cognition Center at Yale University explains that our dogs are much more welcoming of our long periods at home than our kitty companions, as they are typically more interactive and outgoing. Extended quarantine time has allowed for more play time, longer walks, and a lot more 1-on-1 attention, everything that a dog typically loves. Simply, dogs love us when we're around, and would much rather accompany us on our daily activities in comparison to their own personal time.
Cats are much more bipolar when it comes to this. Cats with outgoing personalities will appreciate their human friends at home from COVID-19, but a majority of cats tend to be quiet, shy animals. On average, a cat sleeps around 12-16 hours a day, and are low energy level animals that can only play for so long. Thus, they need their sleep, their own personal time, and their own space.
I had a friend who's cat is normally pretty friendly, but has responded negatively to their owner being at home more, but in a quite comedic way. While she's an indoor cat, she found a way onto the roof, and spends a few hours their, separated from their owner and basking in her own calmness.
So it's important to understand that your pet may be confused about you new and unprecedented schedule, and we can't blame them. Research shows that sudden changes in their life can result in a variety of issues such as stress in the animals, so it may be helpful to ease them into it. If your pet seems to respond negatively towards quarantine, make sure to let them have their own time, and don't overload them with unwanted attention.
On the contrary, if your pets seems to love you being home more, embrace it! More time at home allows us to spend more time with our pets, and provides a wonderful opportunity to catch up on a variety of activities both human and animals have been looking forward to.
And if you don't have a pet, don't fret. Animals shelters have reported that during the spread of COVID-19, animal adoptions have actually increased, as more people look to bring a furry companion into their home to be a social buddy during self-isolation. So maybe it is finally time to adopt that puppy or kitten you've always wanted, given more time while there young allows for a stronger bond as they grow up. Pets are also a great source of entertainment for younger children, and may be the solution to social distancing as a whole.
So does your pet enjoy being cooped up with you for so long? Well the answer varies from pet to pet. But also keep in mind that even pets can be house-sick after a while, so there's no harm in perhaps buying new toys to keep both you and your furry companion occupied.