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Going back to the office- I think my cats hates me!

Like most of the country, most the team from the Branch have been working from home where possible, some have been on furlough and others have been out on the front line caring for animals in need. Now with our shops open and staff slowly coming back into the office, the team is finally getting back together.

We have had the opportunity to spend more time at home with our pets and this is great however; it can also have a negative impact for when things get back to normality.

I got into a routine at home and so did my cat, Salty Darling. He got used to having me around more and he really enjoyed the extra cuddles I could give him as well as taking up space on my chair and joining in work meetings! The first day I came back to the office I did not really prepare much; I did the usual, packed my stuff, made lunch and most importantly I made sure Salty had plenty of fresh food, water, his entire home comforts such as his favourite blanket and some toys and I made sure his cat flap was open (he only goes outside during the day). Perfect right?

This is Salty when I first got him in February 2020

Not for Salty! When I came home, he was mad. I usually get a nice little meow from him, a cuddle and a loving purr. Instead he just glared at me and proceeded to take a massive poo right outside his litter tray. That’s right, not in it, next to it. He did this whilst maintaining eye contact, and then he strutted off and went upstairs. He came back down a bit later and refused to sit on my lap turning his nose up for a few minutes however it didn’t take him long to give in and give me a cuddle!

I clearly disrupted his routine; I got him only a month before the first lockdown so he was not really used to me going to the office.

Luckily I was not going back every day to begin with so I spoke to our Animal Welfare Team for advice and tried to prepare him as much as possible.

Here are some tips in preparing your cat for your return to the office.

  • Try leaving your cat alone as much as possible during the normal working week (as if you weren’t there).
  • Fun and games should happen at the usual time (outside of working hours).
  • Try giving your pets things that they can do alone. E.g. destruction boxes, puzzle feeders and toys which move on their own.
  • If you can go out for a few hours that would also help as that will start building the routine of you going out and coming home again.

I followed these tips from the team and now I am back in the office more often, Salty is not really that bothered! As it is warmer he does spend more time outside however he soon comes running back in for a cuddle when I get home.

So it turns out that in the end, my cat does NOT hate me after all!

EmmaGoing back to the office- I think my cats hates me!