Separation Anxiety - Help!


TCS Member
Thread starter
Sep 7, 2021
Hi All. I have recently discovered that my cat, Toby, has what I believe to be separation anxiety. Following a tail injury back in April, he developed some behavioral issues that prompted us to install a pet camera. Prior to this, he had a crinkle bag that he would occasionally hump (bizarre, I know) and we would find it in different places all over the house regularly. We never thought anything of it. Even after installation of the pet camera, we would see him hump the bag within about 15 minutes after we left the house, every time. It is possible he has been doing this for YEARS and we never knew it. Recently, I actually turned the SOUND on our camera (I had never done this before!) and found out that he wails and cries just before and during his humping of the crinkle bag. He does this almost every single time we leave the house. Following humping of the bag and crying it out, he generally lays down and sleeps no problem. He has started occasionally doing this at night as well (minus the wailing). I am assuming this is a demonstration of separation anxiety. I have not had any change in my work schedule or the amount of time I am home - therefore, I suspect he has probably been doing this for a long time. He also has interactive feeders that I fill right before leaving. I have followed all of the instructions of ignoring him for 30 minutes prior to leaving, leaving out lots of toys and things to entertain him when gone, we have a multi-cat feliway diffuser, zylkene calming supplements, and we do play time every morning for about 15-20 minutes before I leave the house. I have also practiced leaving for 5-10 minutes at a time in the evening/weekends, and desensitizing him to things like my bags, keys, coats, etc. None of it has seemed to make a difference. He is otherwise still eating, drinking, pooping and peeing normally.

I guess what I wish to ask is, should I be more aggressive and seek professional help/possibly medication? Or, since he seems to work it out himself and self-soothe/seems otherwise fine, should I let it be? Like I said, I think he has probably been doing this for years without our knowledge! I just feel like a bad cat-mom now that I know he is struggling!


Rules my home with an iron paw
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Oct 16, 2015
North Carolina
And I would remind you that wailing like a banshee is a normal part of cat mating behavior, in both males and females. This may have nothing to do with separation anxiety, and everything to do with him expressing himself in the "heat of the moment."


TCS Member
Top Cat
Mar 27, 2017
I’m not sure if this is seperation anxiety or not. Is the tail compl

I’m reminded of the My Cat From Hell episode where the cat kept humping his favorite stuffed animal. They replaced it with “ninja tony” & it worked.(S4E3 ..... I looked it up for you.) You may need to replace the Kringle bag though part of me thinks you should let it be.... if you take their balls; at least let them hump things; kinda thing. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Salem will jump any & all velour blankets that are crumpled up. I drew a flower over his winky. He does a post coital clean up. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Nick lost half his tail to a dog. 😢 Even though he is all healed up we can’t pick him up by scooping him up at the base of his spine/tail like you would a regular cat. It causes him to meow in discomfort.... so we just don’t do it. So if your cat is showing signs of discomfort, I would have a vet check out your cat, just in case.