Treatment Of Stress In Cats
Once medical causes for the behavior are ruled out, treatment of stress in cats relies partly on trying to determine its source. Below are some general ways to combat feline stress in your home.
Some cats need anti-anxiety medicine to help them break the stress cycle. These medications do have potential side effects and must be carefully dosed. Your veterinarian can help you determine whether one is necessary for your cat and, if so, prescribe it. Never give your cat any medicine without your veterinarian’s approval. These medications work best when used for a short period of time in conjunction with the modifications described above.
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Causes Of Stress In Cats
The main things that we know about that cause signs of stress in cats include:
- Too much competition for resources. This most often occurs in multi-cat households when cats feel like they must compete for food, water, clean litter box space, scratching post real estate, or time with their humans.
- Inadequate territory. If a cat doesn’t feel like the master of a piece of territory, he might become stressed. This is usually the case when he doesn’t have a good scratching post to mark, or there are other cats in the home that bully him out of spaces.
- Changes in the household, including the addition or removal of pets or people. Cats are sensitive to change, and it can stress them out. In fact, when people in the house are feeling stressed, the cats often exhibit signs that they’re stressed, too, indicating that our emotions can rub off on them.
- Remodeling or other noisy events in the home. Most cats are not fond of loud noises, so remodeling projects, loud parties, and other noise can cause them stress.
- Veterinary, grooming, or kennel visits. Traveling in the car, being in an unknown space, and being handled by strangers can all work together to result in stress for some cats.
- Boredom. Cats that are bored and don’t have an outlet for their energy, especially their predator instincts, can become stressed.
Get To The Root Cause
One of the best ways to determine what your cat needs in order to stop feeling so stressed is to figure out what is causing the stress in the first place. You may have to trace the strange behavior back to a source; for cats, this is often having strangers or new people around the house , introducing a new pet into the home, or health related. These are some of the most common reasons why a cat would be stressed. Once you realize the source of stress for your feline friend, then you can work to remove or alleviate that stressor.
A Sudden Onset Of Aggression
Again, if your cat is usually calm and sweetand suddenly those claws are coming outthis can be a sign that they are stressed. Our cats dont have the ability to sit you down and tell you exactly whats bothering them, so if they react out of anger or frustration, take notice. Never for any reason should you shame or scold your cat for being suddenly aggressive towards you or others in the home. When a cat is stressed, they are highly defensive as a means to deal with the situation. Help to make things easier on them and come to them with calmness and concern.
Kitty Follows You Everywhere
Just like dogs, cats can develop separation anxiety. If your cat doesn’t want to let you out of its sight, and begins to follow you everywhere, anxiety might be behind this behavior. “Some cats become more attached to their owners when they are anxious,” Princeton Veterinary Hospital explained. “This can be endearing behavior, and often makes us feel loved by our cats, but it could be a sign that she is stressed or anxious.”
Pacing And Loud Meowing
Some cats will be quite forthcoming with their increased stress. If your little tiger is seen pacing around and meowing in the house, this could be a cause of stress.
With all these indicators you will hopefully be armed to handle anything that comes your way. Remember, it could be the smallest of things right down to a distaste for their food that could increase their stress levels, but we recommend finding the cause of this increase and dealing with it as soon as possible.
There will be some things you can do at home to help manage increased stress levels, but sometimes a vet can help with the more physical symptoms such as loss of appetite, bald or sore patches and diarrhoea. No matter what, there will always be someone available to help.
Your Cat Hides Most Of The Time
While some cats are less social than others, if your cat hides all of the time to the point that it feels like you don’t even have a cat, Fluffy could be anxious, according to PetMD. Typically, research has found that this sign is typically short-lived. However, if you notice that itâs continuing on for a few days, that is your sign you should take your kitty to get checked out by the vet.
Urinating Outside Of Their Litter Box
Uh-oh, did kitty make a mess? Sudden and unexplained changes in your cats bathroom habits can be a clear indication that your cat is experiencing stress. This stress signal is easy to spotand smelland shouldnt be taken lightly. If bathroom accidents become a new habit, its best to take your cat in for a medical examination at your veterinary office.
Tips To Beat Cat Anxiety
Finally, if youre finding it hard to identify the problem, Inga recommends easing your cats stress with these simple tips:
- Provide places to hide Cats feel safe in high places or under the bed.
- Avoid making big changes in your home Cats are very scent-oriented so new furniture or a new carpet can make them feel anxious.
- Manage your own voice and body language owner anxiety often leads to cat anxiety.
- Dont take it personally Your pet isnt hiding away or spraying in the house because she dislikes you.
- Use a pheromone plug-in diffuser or spray.
- Consider specially formulated nutritional supplements These are available from your vet and are a natural way to help ease stress.
Emotional Stressors In Cats
Most of the environmental changes resulted in emotional stress in cats. One way of understanding this is that environmental changes are the cause and emotional stress the effect. There are other emotional stressors, including:
- Fear. Fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornados are classic examples of fear-resulting stressors. Although many of these environmental stressors cannot be predicted, it is still essential to have a plan for dealing with an emergency before it happens by preparing your cats for disaster. Predictable fear-associated stressors, such as noisy festivities like Halloween, 4th of July, New Year Eve, can be planned for ahead of time. Keep cats confined to an interior room on such occasions, with low lights and soft music playing. Fear also is sometimes exhibited when one cat is being “picked on” by another. A classic example of the factor is the cat that is “trapped” in a closely confined litter box by another cat. The end result, of course, is litter box avoidance. You can help ameliorate this situation by giving the “victim cat” its own uncovered litter box with plenty of opportunities for escape.
Visitors In Their Domain
Where cats are quite solitary and territorial, a stranger in their home can cause high levels of stress. If your little tiger is happy and social, they will probably enjoy the extra company and make you or the visitor aware they are happy to interact. If they are not looking for any additional attention, make your visitor aware and ask them to be patient as they make their way towards them. And tell your visitor not to worry about the staring your little tiger is just making a judgement call on whether to interact or not a pocket full of treats might help them settle down.
How To Help A Stressed Out Cat
If your cats behavior changes suddenly in any way, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. He or she can rule out any underlying medical issues as well as make recommendations to help lower your cat’s stress level. Here are some tips for helping to alleviate stress in your cat:
- Play/exercise with your cat regularly Physical activities like a game of “chase the mouse” or “follow the feather” are a great stress reducer for cats.
- Create a safe zone Set apart an area or secret hiding spot in your home for your cat to escape high-stress events like thunderstorms and parties. In a multi-cat household, blocking the line of sight between cats with a solid barrier can be useful, especially when one cat tends to bully or aggravate the other.
- Choose a high quality cat food Your cat’s diet is an integral part of his health and wellbeing. Providing your cat with a diet that is not properly balanced for his or her life stage and lifestyle may cause unforeseen repercussions that may lead to anxiety and stress.
How To Calm Cat Anxiety And Stress
During these worrying times of COVID-19, everyones life is being affected, including your pets. Cats are usually independent creatures so their day to day life should not be overly changed by the current lockdown.
However, it is important to stick to normal routines with your cat as much as possible and be aware that a change in your behaviour can have an impact on your cat. Animal behaviourist Inga MacKellar shares her advice:
We asked animal behaviourist Inga MacKellar for the signs to look out for if your , and how you can help. Here are some tips on using your body language and surroundings to ease your pet’s distress.
Have You Ever Asked Yourself The Question Is My Cat Stressed What Are The Signs What Are The Health Risks
Dr Rowena has joined us to explain the signs of stress and anxiety in cats. She is also going to explain the affects on feline health that stress and anxiety may have.
Stress can affect the health of every member of the family, even our pets. But it is a lot harder to detect stress in some individuals than in others. Heres a quick test to check your powers of stress detection in pets.
Pick the mood in the following photos 1, 2, 3
So how did you do?
If you confidently picked our canine friends as
Congratulations! Being able to determine your pets mood allows you to respond appropriately. But how did you fare with our feline pictures?
Cats have a reputation for aloofness, preferring to assess a situation and respond with manners rather than drool over the pants of every visitor. Experienced cat owners, educated over the years by their long-suffering feline companions, stand a better chance of knowing that in the photos above the cats are
Cats are fastidious creatures and can develop aversion to litter, litter boxes and litter box location faster than you can change a roll of toilet paper. Changed elimination patterns, refusing to use the litter tray, inappropriate toilet preferences in cat language this is a loud cry for help.
To contact Vet24, Balcatta and discuss your cats anxiety please
Cat Anxiety: Understanding Your Stressed Cat
You may tease someone for being a “scaredy-cat” or even get a chuckle when something startles your kitty and makes them jump. But a fearful, anxious cat is no joke. Cat anxiety can be a serious problem, especially if left untreated. If you think you might be dealing with a stressed cat, keep reading in order to understand what’s going on with your kitty and how you can help them.
What Are The Signs Of Stress In Cats
If your cat is feeling stressed, their behaviour may change. Some of these changes can happen suddenly and be very obvious, but others can develop gradually or be harder to spot.
Some signs your cat might be feeling stressed include:
- Hiding or staying out of the way all the time
- Avoiding certain places, other pets or people
- Poor coat quality
- Body language that shows they are worried
- Peeing in the wrong place, urine spraying or marking, blood in the urine
- Meowing or yowling more than normal
- Sudden changes in behaviour
- Aggression towards other pets or people
Many of these signs can be caused by medical problems as well as stress. So if you’re worried about your cat or they show a sudden change in behaviour, always contact your vet for advice first.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Cat Is Stressed
If you have been to the veterinarian to rule out medical causes of your cat’s behaviors and you are left suspecting that your cat is stressed, here are some things you can do:
- Increase interactive play with your cat. Allowing your kitty to exercise his hunter instincts by playing with a wand toy or one that mimics rodent behavior can help him let off steam and feel calmer.
- Give your cat more scratching posts. Scratching helps your cat release stress, so provide good quality scratching posts in prominent areas of the home. Marking his territory this way, in high-traffic areas of the house, will help your cat feel better.
- Consider using Feliway. This product is made to mimic the pheromone that cats produce when they’re feeling calm. When it is diffused or sprayed, cats often feel calmer.
- Be sure you have enough resources available. Cats become stressed when they feel that resources are scarce. This can become an issue, especially, in multi-cat households. Make sure you have enough food and water bowls, cat beds, scratching posts, and clean litter boxes, so your cats don’t have to compete for them.
Kitty Is Pacing Or Can’t Sit Still
Cats sleep a lot, so if your cat is spending more time pacing than sleeping, it’s a sign that kitty is anxious. “For an animal that sleeps up to 16 hours on almost any given day, a restless cat shouldnât be a difficult sign of anxiety to spot,” iHeart Cats noted. “Humans who suffer from anxiety are known to pace or have difficulty sitting still, and this is true in cats as well. Anxiety triggers sensors in the mind that can cause your cat to feel stressed, nervous, and uneasy for no reason at all.”
Kitty Is Extra Aggressive
If your cat is aggressive for no known reason, anxiety might be behind kitty’s behavior. “A well-behaved pet wouldnât go repeatedly berserk on you without a solid motive, so try to discover the root of the problem and fix it for them,” iHeart Cats advised on its website. What’s more, “boredom can result inanxiety for a cat that needs attention, and taking out their frustrations on your belongings is one way they can express their discontent to you.”
How Do You Know When Your Cat Is Stressed
Here are seven quick signs that could mean that you might have a stressed out kitty.
Urination Issues. If your cat has suddenly decided that the litter box is no longer the proper venue to do its business, or you notice that your cats litter box is suspiciously lacking the pee clumps that regularly wait for you each day, this can be a sign of a serious stress-related illness. Urethral obstruction is a very serious medical emergency. As Ive stated before, a cat that cannot pee is a cat thats going to die, unless appropriate veterinary medical care is obtained immediately.To learn more about feline urethral obstruction, including how to recognize it and what you can do to prevent it, click here.
Decreased Appetite: One of the routines that cats seldom ever deviate from is their hunger and appetite. Youll never see your cat suddenly adopt a new fad diet. So if your cat does go off script, and starts eating less , this is an important sign and one that can indicate stress, pain, or another serious problem.
Increased Vocalization: Many cats love to meow and even howl. But if you notice your cat expanding its vocabulary to long, extended talking, or even talking at different times they just might be trying to tell you that something is wrong. Do them a favor and visit your vet to make sure everything is alright.
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How To Deal With Stressed Cats
First, you should know where the stress is coming from. Identifying the sources of stress makes it easier to deal with the pets. For instance, there is an unfamiliar cat into the home that stresses out your home cat. Moving home and a new pet could also be the source of stress for cats.
Afterward, you will know how to deal with your stressed cats. Going to the vet is the first step to manage to reduce the stress in your cat. It is advisable especially when the physical health of the cat declines.
Seeking professional advice, specifically a cat behavior specialist, will provide more detailed guidance in taking care of a stressed cat. Your vet will be responsible for referring you toward pet specialists. Then, the specialist ensures to give a high standard of advice to cure a stressed cat.
It demands more patience to take care of cats going through hard times during this pandemic. If seeking professional help seems so expensive for you, then find another way to relieve stress in cats. Pet toys would work well to keep them entertained in these tough times. Avoid being too harsh over cats, just show them overflowing care and love to ease their anxious heart.
While Every Cat Has A Different Personality The General Signs Of Separation Anxiety In Felines Are:
As veterinarians and pet owners, we know that some of these things can be frustrating, particularly the elimination outside the litter box. Many cat owners have gotten the gift of defecation on the bed, in a shoe, or on an item of clothing. Its important to remember that this isnt necessarily a sign of spiteful behavior but can often mean that your cat is looking to mix their scent with yours. Cats believe they are also helping you find your way home. Instincts run deep!
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Stressed
What do you need to look for in your cat to determine if he is feeling the effects of stress? Just like with people, there will be some indicators, and while not all of them may definitely point to stress as the problem, if you see several of these factors at work, then you should consider the possibility that your cat is not feeling their usual cheery self:
Yawning Is A Key Sign Of Anxiety In Dogs
If your dog starts yawning when you know they are well-rested, it’s likely they’re feeling some amount of anxiety.
“Yawning is one of the most overlooked signs of stress in a dog. It’s a displacement behavior, meaning your pet is conflicted as to what to do and are anxious,” said Johnson.
Johnson added that another sign of stress that owners should watch out for is when a dog pants while yawning.
How To Know If Your Pet Cat Is Stressed Out During Lockdown
The pandemic lockdown has been stressing out many people, and feline pets are not excused. This home pet is very sensitive to what goes on around them. Most especially now that things are not the same anymore, they just feel it. Here is a post that will help you spot whether your cat is in constant worry by providing subtle signs of stress. Read on!
Part 1 Of 4:recognizing Physical Changes
Spotting Signs Of Stress
Many of the signs of stress are similar to those when your cat is in pain.
With any unusual behaviour change, it is important to get your cat checked out by the vet. Signs of stress can include:
- becoming more withdrawn or hiding more than usual
- becoming less tolerant of people
- hesitating or becoming reluctant of using the litter tray, going through the cat flap, sitting on your lap
- eating or drinking less
- a scruffy or matted coat
- house soiling
How To Know If A Cat Is Stressed
This article was co-authored by Brian Bourquin, DVM. Brian Bourquin, better known as Dr. B to his clients, is a Veterinarian and the Owner of Boston Veterinary Clinic, a pet health care and veterinary clinic with three locations, South End/Bay Village, the Seaport, and Brookline, Massachusetts. Boston Veterinary Clinic specializes in primary veterinary care, including wellness and preventative care, sick and emergency care, soft-tissue surgery, dentistry. The clinic also provides specialty services in behavior, nutrition, and alternative pain management therapies using acupuncture, and therapeutic laser treatments. Boston Veterinary Clinic is an AAHA accredited hospital and Bostons first Fear Free Certified Clinic. Brian has over 19 years of veterinary experience and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 84,849 times.
Are you stressing over whether or not your cat is stressed? It’s easy to tell when a cat is reacting to a stressful momentit arches its back, flattens its ears, hisses or growls, even urinates on the spot.XResearch source But chronic stress isn’t so easy to pinpoint. If you are wondering if a change in your household has negatively affected the family cat, follow these steps for diagnosing the problem.
How To Recognize Stress In Cats
Has your cat been acting strange? Has it been hiding at the sound of the doorbell, or acting cautious and upset with family members or houseguests? Maybe your cat has been urinating of defecating outside of the litter box. These behaviors can all be signs that your cat is stressed.
What causes stress and anxiety in cats?
One way to determine whether your cat is stressed is to look at a situation from their point of view. While having a houseguest might be exciting for the owner, it’s a new smell, a new person and a disruption in routine for the cat. Other common causes of stress for cats include new pets, new babies, remodeling, construction, storms, or general changes to their routine.
How to recognize stress in cats
Cats exhibit stress in a variety of ways. They may have skin, bladder and/or gastrointestinal issues. They may also urinate outside their litter box, vocalize excessively with growls or hissing, act aggressively toward people or other animals, or groom obsessively. Some cats have even been known to lick themselves bald from stress.
Helping prevent or alleviate stress in cats
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