What should you do about stress in cats?
Our cats do a lot to help our stress levels, so it is very important to remember that they can also get stressed and to help them when they need it.
The odd stressful situation may be good at keeping a cat stimulated and engaged – it’s a natural part of being a cat. Can a cat really say it has lived if it hasn’t been chased once or twice by a big dog?
The outside world is full of stressful triggers that can be very healthy. However, chronic stress in cats may have serious negative consequences.
How do you know if your cat is too stressed, or even chronically stressed?
There are indications of chronic stress that we need to look out for in our pets. These are things like changes in appetite or sleeping patterns. It may also include withdrawal from social environments, hiding from people, or a sudden drop in energy.
Signs of cat stress
Other serious signs of stress in cats include:
- diarrhea and vomiting
- poor fur health caused by excessive grooming
- runny nose and eyes
- fast weight gain or weight loss
- eating inedible items like fabrics
- excessive meowing
- becomes aggressive and violent
If you see a lot of these symptoms, it may also be wise to check with your vet to rule out more serious medical issues. There are other reasons for runny cat eyes beyond stress, for example.
Also remember that a chronically stressed-out cat can develop other illnesses, sickness, or disease as a direct result of stress (just like humans). Cystitis in cats is one possible complication.
Causes of stress in cats
You will already be aware of come causes of stress in cats. Fireworks and cats are not the best mixture, for example. Stress can be one of the effects of rehoming a cat as well.
Here are some other common causes of anxiety in cats:
- No available quiet & secluded space
- Loud music
- Maintenance/construction in the home
- Odd animals outside the home
- New people in the house
- Traveling outside the house
- Unclean litter box
- Changes in the litter or food brand
Every cat will become stressed and show stress differently, and for some, it may also be difficult to recognize. You should naturally notice a change in cat behaviour, or even your cat’s body language, and investigate.
Build up of stress may happen gradually so that you don’t pick up on it, so every once in a while it’s good to stop and consciously think about the health of our pets. It’s easy just to go through life passively without thinking until something massive changes!
What to do about a stressed and anxious cat
If you notice any of the signs of major stress in your pussy, consult your vet.
As already mentioned, this is to make sure that there are no major health concerns. Once you get the all-clear, it’s time to look for some ways to help your cat and alleviate its stress.
Firstly, if there is a single obvious problem, you need to resolve that. Have you gone away on holiday for 2 weeks and left a house sitter looking after your cat? Hopefully, things get better upon your return.
Did you forget to change the litter box for a month? Change the litter box!
Here are some other ideas for alleviating cat stress:
- Use interactive toys – playful cats may be less likely to experience stress
- Play with your cat regularly – make time to pet and play with your puss
- Keep the noise down – avoid playing loud music around your cat
- Provide escape – let your cat go to a room it feels safe when visitors are around
- Keep litter boxes clean – good for the health of your home too
- Slowly initiate changes – cats are pets of habit, so even small change may affect them drastically
Although there are a lot of things you can do at home to help manage and reduce stress in your cat, don’t hesitate to take her to the vet for a good check-up as well.
Pet behavior advice
If you can’t work out why your cat is stress, you could also consult a cat behavior specialist. He or she will be able to provide more detailed advice specifically catered to you and your cat’s situation.
Professional behavior specialists may only work with you if you’re referred to them by your own vet, so speak to your vet first.
A pet behavior specialist can be quite expensive, so it really is a last resort. Keep reading all that you can online, and watching tons of videos about cat stress, and you should be able to sort it out!
How to have a happy cat
We all want our cats to be happy and healthy, so now that you are aware of the different signs of stress in cats, you can monitor things effectively.
Thanks for visiting us here at Meow Lovers, and be sure to leave a note down below if you have any comments or questions!