At first glance, pet addiction might seem like something out of a children’s cartoon. We tend to think of our furry friends as perfect angels that don’t suffer from any problem behavior. However, pet addiction is a very real issue, and cats are particularly vulnerable to many forms of addiction. Here, we’ll discuss why cats struggle with dependencies and how owners can help their pet overcome an addiction when needed.
Cats are prone to behavior problems for many reasons, but the root of most of their addiction issues typically come down to two factors: environment and breed. Cats that have grown up in chaotic, high-stress environments can learn to associate chaotic behavior with comfort. Likewise, breeds that are predisposed to certain addictions or behavior problems, such as Siamese cats, tend to be more at risk of developing dependencies/addictions.
Unfortunately, cats can easily become addicted to a wide variety of things, from food and treats, to even extremely dangerous substances, like drugs and cleaning fluids. While food and treats may not seem all that serious, excessive eating can lead to serious obesity problems that can be just as dangerous as other addictions. However, cats can also become dependent on more serious things, such as drugs like amphetamines and opiates. These drugs can be quite easily abused, and if a cat becomes addicted to them it can lead to serious health complications, or even death.
Though cats are victims of our environment, they can still be helped if properly diagnosed. The first step to treating an addiction in a pet is to determine the underlying cause. If the environment is making them uncomfortable, then owners may need to provide them with more protection and consistency. Owners should look for signs of stress and act accordingly to combat it. If a breed is predisposed to addiction, then owners should work with a veterinarian or pet behaviorist to determine how to manage their pet’s behavior and deter them from problematic behavior.
It’s also important to monitor a pet’s diet to make sure they’re not overeating or eating things that could be harmful. If the addiction is to something dangerous or potentially dangerous, such as a drug, then it’s essential to remember that the habit must be broken in order to save the cat’s life. Veterinarians may be able to provide owners with medication or supplements that can help their cat detox slowly and safely, so it’s important to discuss treatment options with a vet.
Pet addiction can be a truly heartbreaking problem and no pet should have to suffer from it. By understanding why cats can become addicted and how to identify and treat the issue, owners can help their pet overcome their dependency and live a healthier, happier life.