Do you remember what it was like when you first became a parent to your precious fur baby? Recently, a new adoptee, who we’ll call Jan, confessed she is extremely overwhelmed. Initially, Jan was excited to embrace life as a fur baby parent. She explains anticipating a cat being a welcome emotional support animal to help her with her depression and ADHD. Instead, Jan feels a loss of personal space, increased anxiety, and negativity. Despite loving the cat and knowing it’s not her fault, she feels guilty for being overwhelmed and on edge. So, she asked an online pet community, “Is this normal?” Here’s how they responded.
It’s Normal to Feel Overwhelmed at First
Numerous pet lovers explain it is completely normal to have these feelings. They suggest it’s only been a day since Jan adopted, adding that it’s predictable to feel anxious and thrown off when disrupting your daily routine and taking on considerable responsibility. However, one insists that things return to normal once she bonds more with her cat and gets used to this newfound responsibility. Another cat owner admits this feeling lasted for about three months for them.
Adopting a Cat Is a Big Deal: Create Breaks For Yourself
There’s no need to feel guilty about this being a massive adjustment. Adopting a living being IS a huge deal. Your life as you knew it has changed. One woman says she experienced the same overwhelming feelings when she adopted her two kittens because it changes your world. She shares that once they got older, she was less stressed, but while they were kittens, it was helpful to talk about it in therapy and ask trusted friends and family for help.
Create a Space to Get Away
A few people boast about the benefits of creating space for yourself when you need an emergency reset. For example, a woman elaborates that sometimes she needed to shut herself in a room for a little break, though she struggled with feelings of guilt while she tried to get away. Another woman suggests Jan close the bedroom door to create a division between her and the kitten. Of course, many people respond that you’re likely to be met with scratching and whining at the door, so be prepared for that.
Seek Help For Your Anxiety
Countless pet parents admit how they felt paralyzed by the inundation with fearful thoughts about their cat’s well-being and safety 24/7. This affected their mental health, sleep, and focus. One person says this is why it’s crucial to seek help if you deal with hypochondria or generalized anxiety disorder so you can more healthily cope with the fear of being a caregiver.
Catproof Your Home and Learn About Their Needs
As you get used to the change this new responsibility poses to your daily life, you will learn more about them. An individual suggests that making sure you meet all their needs can help ease the anxiety. They further advise that you create a comfy space for them to sleep in, ensure they have the appropriate amount of water and food, and catproof the house to prevent them from getting hurt. Over time, you’ll understand their personality, energy levels, and sleeping patterns and feel less stressed.
Consider Re-Homing If You Can’t Be the Caretaker They Need
Unfortunately, some cat owners realize they have taken on a responsibility they are ill-prepared for. The fear of being judged as a failure or heartless is palpable, but if you don’t believe you can provide the high-quality life that your cat deserves, many former cat owners express that re-homing was the right decision for them. After giving it a solid effort and some time, if being a cat owner is too much to handle, you should do what’s best for the cat. Sometimes that means finding them new homes. Do you agree with the feedback from the cat owners in this post?
Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,