By Joseph Wong
The movement control order (MCO) period has been tough for the general public but pet owners have discovered that the MCO has been equally distressing for their pets, especially dogs and cats.
Pet owners with cats, which have the freedom to roam the outside environment, would have experienced that their cats have become more agitated being cooped inside their homes. Many pet owners have said their cats, which were used to be allowed freedom outside, have become more destructive. Hence, the additional scratchings on furniture. Owners themselves are also getting a fair amount of scratches and not so friendly nip and bites.
Moreover, living with cats has its challenges. Cats generally have a master-slave attitude – in that the cats deem themselves the masters and pet owners their slaves. For those working from home, they would find their cats demanding attention the moment they switch on their computers.
Cats would want to sit on their owners’ laps and play, or demand for food, even if the owners have prepared everything for them. Cats would lie on top of laptops or keyboards in front of their owners without a care.
While cat owners have taken to locking themselves in a room, their pets would meow insistently on the other side of the door.
So what can cat owners do? They say music calms a savage beast, which might prove to be true. A recent US study has found that playing music specifically created for cats can help calm them down in stressful situations. Experiment with the kind of music that will clam your cat so you will have an easier time getting some work done.
Other cats are just fine lying on their owners’ laps so it is just a matter of finding a balance of keeping a cat sleeping gently ‘while working quietly so as not to disturb it.
Dogs, on the other hand, are different. Dogs, which need regular exercise, are also extremely restless, as they become restricted to the homes of their owners. The lucky ones are those who have gardens so the dogs can have more room to run.
In an apartment or condominium, the space is limited but thankfully most dogs in apartment tend to be of the smaller breeds. Like cats, dogs are also seeking more attention from their owners now compared to before the MCO.
And dogs are bottomless pits when it comes to being showered with their owners’ attention. But unlike cats, dogs will behave and wait until their owners are ready to play with them.
Exercise is paramount for both cats and dogs. There have been social media postings of pets becoming obese due to the lack of exercise. During this time, many owners are also unwittingly over-feeding their pets, whether it is to keep them quiet or more than one family member think that they are hungry and end up feeding twice their daily meals.
Every pet’s health rests on its owner’s hands, so it is best to be a responsible owner and do what is best for the animal.
Lastly, owners will have to make sure that they are toilet trained. This is imperative; otherwise, owners might find nasty surprises when they unwitting step on their pet’s droppings.