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Glass Half Full
with Jessica Loftus, Ph.D.

Clever Cat’s Clues to Cope with Coronavirus Captivity

Although many states and countries loosened stay-at-home orders, we all need to remain cautious. An indoor housecat offers insights on making the most of staying at home.

Clue #1: Sit still and quiet yourself.

Perhaps one lesson learned from COVID-19 is that many of us usually pursue a constant state of chasing our tails. Taking time to slow down, purr and reflect quietly on the purpose of our lives may prove quite fruitful.

Clue #2: Stay curious.


Curiosity may have killed the cat, but we humans may find this is a great time to catch up on reading classic books, delving into history or learning how to catch birds.

Clue #3: Get plenty of rest.



Given all the additional stressors brought on by COVID-19, many of us need more rest. Although catnaps may work well for cats, they may interfere with human sleep patterns. Try to follow a reasonable sleep schedule.

Clue #4: Experience nature.



Even indoors, there may be some trees, birds or stars to watch. If the views from your windows seem a bit drab, take a virtual vacation on YouTube to Niagra Falls, The Grand Canyon or Sub-Saharan Africa, where most big-cat lions roam.

Clue #5: Stand cautious and aware.



Please respect others by wearing a mask and pursuing social distancing per CDC guidelines. Use caution when away from home to keep alert for those who mistakenly or deliberately violate these guidelines. Pounce to safety when necessary.

Clue #6: Tolerate boredom.



We all need to adjust our expectations in life. When we can find more contentment with ordinary experiences like resting on a ledge, we will feel less disappointment and resentment.





Clue #7: When you see red, express your anger appropriately.

No question, most every cat and person seems a little (or a lot) angrier these days. Anger is a normal part of the grieving process. Remember, we all suffered losses during this pandemic; in some cases, quite profound ones. Reflect on the valid reasons for your anger before hissing. Then decide on appropriate productive ways to address your frustration (e.g., respectful conversation with others, a creative project, brisk physical activity).


Clue #8: View the cat food dish as half full.



Spend a little time focusing on the positives in your life. Often, you will notice life’s little treats.


Clue #9: Maintain grooming.



Few things boost mood more than a clean shave, refreshing shower or a proper brushing of fur.

Clue #10: It’s okay to be a fraidy cat.

Amid a pandemic, economic turbulence and social unrest, we all have good reasons to feel anxious. Acknowledge your fears and determine what is in and not in your control. For instance, you can control your practices of social distancing or wearing a mask; you cannot control what others choose to do. Empower yourself where you can and offer up to a Higher Power what you cannot. An excellent way to ease anxiety is to pet a cat : )

Clue #11: Be Grateful.



No matter how bad things seem, there always remains something for which to be grateful. Each day, focus on one aspect of your life (a small one will do) that brings you peace, joy, love, beauty, humor, or contentment. Hint: this is easy for pet owners and grandparents.




Remember, we will get through these troubled times as we cats and humans have so many times before in our world history. We can emerge from this stronger, more resilient and more compassionate – that’s our choice.


Image for Clue #8 is under license from

All other photos were taken by Jessica Loftus and Jack Murray.

Clever Cat’s Clues to Cope with Coronavirus Captivity

Jessica Loftus

Jessica Loftus has worked as a licensed clinical psychologist and national certified career counselor for more than 20 years. She currently offers counseling sessions via telehealth in Illinois. Her website,, outlines steps for making a career decision. details. See her retired blog, "Pet Ways to Ease Stress,"

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APA Reference
Loftus, J. (2020). Clever Cat’s Clues to Cope with Coronavirus Captivity. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Jun 2020
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