In general, stress is almost always due to a change in the environment suffered by the cat. Even small movements of furniture or just changing the place of the litter box are enough to make cats nervous because they love familiarity and absolutely hate change. If it is really necessary to make these changes inside the house where the cat lives, try to do them gradually and not suddenly.
Changes in their routine can stress them a lot. In this article, we will discuss some of the things which lead to stress in cats.
10 Things That Can Stress Out Your Cat
- Travel: For the cat its territory is sacred, a move or a trip could stress them enormously. Since the cat is a habitual animal, every change is experienced by it causes an emotional conflict.
- Other animals in the house: Cats like to believe that they are one incharge of the house. Therefore, the introduction of a new animal that they do not gel with can cause anxiety in some cats.
- Routine changes: In addition to travel, cats do not like when their daily routine is compromised in any way. So it’s a good decision to not break the rhythm of your cat’s routine.
- Obesity: This is a great risk for your cat’s health. Obesity can lead to many health problems in our pets. Your cat will be much happier when at a normal weight.
- Physical trauma: Pain and injury, including surgery, can increase your cat’s feelings of stress. Therefore, if your cat looks stressed it’s a good idea to go to the vet for a thorough check up. It may be an indication of an underlying health problem.
- Parasites: Ticks, fleas, worms and other types of parasites can cause intense irritation and cause stress in the process. Simply by administering deworming and anti-flea and tick medication you can rule out this possible stress factor.
- Loneliness and boredom: Although they are much more independent than other pets, most cats need attention and affection from time to time.
- Mourning in the family: The death of another animal or a human can cause cats stress and pain. Separations in families or the arrival of new people into the home are also a source of anxiety. Mourning is experienced by cats and it often causes emotional trauma, so you should try and console your cat by giving it extra attention.
- Separation anxiety: Your cat can feel very stressed when your work routine changes or when you have to go on vacations.
- Jealousy: The cat may be jealous of another human or another animal that deprives it of your attention.
Some Solutions to Cat Stress
Aside from the obvious solutions, such as spending quality time with your cat after the holidays are over, here are some tips to keep your cat from feeling stressed:
- In the case of jealousy, divide the two animals and give each of them individual attention.
- In any case, before placing a new animal in the house, it is always a good idea to get advice from the veterinarian on the correct way to introduce a new four-legged friend.
- Provide your cat with safe space to climb and play games to keep itself entertained even when you are busy.
- When you’re out, leaving the TV or radio on can help. However, some cats are completely oblivious to TV, so this tactic may not work on all cats.
- If you notice a sudden change in its behavior and there have been no sensitive changes to your cat’s routine, it could be a health problem, so we recommend that you make an appointment with your vet.
Symptoms of Cat Stress
- Too much scratching
- Higher affinity to marking different areas in and around the house
- Your cat obsessively cleans itself
- Constantly biting on nails (onychophagy)
Cats often tries to communicate its state of anxiety or stress by meowing continuously for seemingly no reason, or by hiding or sleeping too much. In this case, the tail and posture must be observed, the stressed cat generally has the ears lowered and folded back while the tail is shaken. If a cat demonstrates behavioral discomfort, a symptom of stress or anxiety, great care must be taken to first try to identify the source of stress. Sometimes it just takes time and patience.
There are also products in the market that mimic the natural pheromones such as Feliway Spray for stress relief in cats and create a sense of calm. They are used to reassure the cat that it’s in a safe space. In the event that you cannot find the cause of the stress then you should contact your veterinarian.