Stress In Cats - Why Is My Cat Stressed Out?
Nobody likes to feel stressed out or anxious, and your cat is no different. Stress in cats is known to intensify other physical issues, which can be downright uncomfortable for your feline friend. Additionally, your pet's stress and anxiety can lead to unwanted behaviors like aggression, depression, litter box avoidance, hiding, and much more.
Your cat is a member of your family, so it’s crucial to keep an eye out for signs of stress in cats and understand what makes your beloved pet stressed or anxious. Keep reading to learn more about cat stress relief and how you can help.
Why Is My Cat Anxious?
If you are a cat owner, then you know that these furry friends are particular and picky creatures. Even the tiniest change in their environment can make him or her uncomfortable and anxious. Large changes can easily send your furry love over the edge.
External causes of anxious cat behavior include:
- New family members: Whether your new family member is of the human or animal variety when introducing someone new, take the process slowly so that everyone has a chance to feel comfortable
- Vet visits: Try putting a light blanket over their carrier for the journey to create a more calm and safe feeling while in their crate
- Change in routine: Offering treats before you leave the house and after you get home at night might help your cat adjust to new hours or a new routine
- Moving to a new home: Moving is a cause of feline stress so keep your furry friend closed in a designated safe room with their favorite toys, blankets, bed, food, and litter box to help them adjust slowly
- Redirected aggression: If your cat lives strictly indoors, he or she probably spends a lot of time by the window. If they spot an animal outside, it might need to let out some territorial aggression and. Since your cat is inside, it may turn to the nearest object - you!
Common Emotional Stressors In Cats
The most common reason for emotional stress is environmental changes.
- Loud noises: From lightning to 4th of July fireworks to parties, your cat probably won’t respond well to loud noises. Accordingly, be sure your furry friend has a safe space ideally where you can close the door with its bed, food, food, water, and litter box to feel safe
- Aggression from other cats: If you own multiple cats, you probably recognize that sometimes there’s bullying amongst them. If this is going on, be sure to give the one who is being picked on their own space for eating, drinking, and using the litter box
- Common health issues in cats: Avoidance of using the litter box and hair loss in cats can be linked to stress and cause problems for your cat’s health, so be sure to check in with your vet
You can likely learn how to destress a cat by closely monitoring the situation and paying attention to the environment. Once you notice the details, like how your raucous game night sends your cat under the bed for hours, you’ll be able to take proactive measures to help your pet feel safe and secure. In more serious cases, a visit to the vet or medication may be necessary, so it’s wise to check into your cat insurance options.
Anxiety In Older Cats
Like most creatures in their old age, cats appreciate some peace and quiet. Loud noises, small children, kittens, and puppies are enough to send a senior cat into an anxious state. To reduce stress in an older animal, be sure they have a space of their own to escape the noise and chaos of everyday life.
How To Decrease Your Cat's Anxiety
If your cat is trying to tell you about his or her anxiety, it’s best to listen. Here’s how to help a stressed cat:
- By eliminating the object causing stress, you can halt its anxiety. This can range from buying another litter box to closing the window shades to not hosting a loud party in your home
- Natural and homeopathic remedies are available and might help reduce cat stress
- In very serious cases, anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed by your veterinarian
Above all, try to listen to what your cat is trying to tell you. As a dedicated pet owner, you should be able to help make your pet more comfortable and happy by taking care of a few simple measures.