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Stressful statistics

I'm amazed - and horrified - at the statistics below:

Are we really a nation of animal lovers?
A quarter give their pets away when they move home

While our beloved pets are always said to be an integral part of the family, almost a quarter of people (24%) admit to getting rid of their pet when they move home.
That’s according to new research which shows people are giving their pets to family, friends, neighbours or even a rescue home when the removals van turns up. Nearly 2% of people surveyed even admitted leaving their cat in the neighbourhood when they’ve moved.

But our reputation as a nation of animal lovers might be intact, as it appears that pet owners may be sparing their pets the stress of a house move by giving them away.

Cat Behaviour Counsellor Vicky Halls explains, “A house move can be a stressful experience, especially for cats. As territorial animals they find coping with a new environment particularly difficult and often show stress-related behaviours like urine spraying and scratch marking. While I would never advocate abandoning a cat, it may be that rehoming the animal in the area is the kindest thing to do and will avoid problems for both the cat and owner later on.”

The poll of more than 1,000 pet owners shows most people (65%) think moving home is equally as stressful or even more stressful for their pets as it is for them. Almost a fifth (16.3%) say it took their pet over two weeks to adjust to their new surroundings, with many pets becoming confused (27%), nervous (24%) or unhappy (19%).

Research, commissioned on behalf of leading pet behaviour products Feliway and DAP, shows even those people who think they’re doing the best for their animals by putting them in a cattery or a kennel whilst they’re on holiday, may be causing stress for their furry friends. Almost half of pet owners (45%) claim their animals meowed or whined sadly, were agitated, shook or hid as a result. So just what is the best way of ensuring your pets are kept happy during a move, or when you go on holiday?

Juliet Penaliggon, company vet from Ceva Animal Health, manufacturer of Feliway and DAP says  “Pet owners who are aware of the stress that these changes can potentially cause to their animals, can help their pets adapt to challenging situations at any key stages of their life. I would encourage worried owners to ask their vet for advice before the move and investigate using products like Feliway and DAP to help the animal settle in the new home”

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