What Are The Signs Of Stress In A Cat
There are numerous cat stress signs to spot although theyre not always obvious. Signs of stressed cats can include:
- becoming more withdrawn or hiding more than usual
- becoming less tolerant of people
- hesitating or becoming reluctant to use the litter tray, go through the cat flap or sit on your lap
- eating or drinking less
Play With Your Cat More
Engage your cat’s mind more frequently. Cats may be stressed if they have too much pent-up energy. Get out a feather wand toy and encourage your cat to chase you around the house. Try clicker training. You can even set up an escape-free, enclosed cat tent outside and take your kitty out there every day to engage her mind more.
Stressed cats can make everyone in the home feel stressed. By finding the source of the stress and helping your cat deal with it in a healthy way, you can leave everyone feeling happier, including your fur baby.
Is This Quiz Accurate
This stress level test is not meant to be used as a diagnostic tool.
Based on your answers to the questions, youll receive a result that gives you an idea of how stressed you are. But the results wont tell you whether your health is at risk from the stress youre experiencing.
If youre concerned about your stress levels, the physical symptoms of stress, or youd like a health screening, consider seeing a trained medical professional, such as a doctor or mental health professional, for help.
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Alleviating Stress In Cats
If youre noticing any of these signs of stress in cats, consult a veterinarian to make sure there are no major health concerns at play. Once those are ruled out, its time to look for ways to help kitty and alleviate some or all of that stress. Here are some suggestions:
How Do You Treat Anxiety In Cats
Treatment for behavior disorders like cat anxiety often involves a combination of management of your cats environment, giving supplements or medications for cat anxiety, and trying behavior modification. Any underlying medical conditions need to be treated as well.
If left untreated, these disorders are likely to progress. Most treatment options will be long-term, possibly years, depending on the number and intensity of symptoms and how long the condition has been going on. The minimum treatment averages four to six months.
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Common Causes Of A Cats Stress
There are multiple reasons that cats become stressed. The more common ones tend to be major upheavals in the household, but they can sometimes be less obvious.
Many things can contribute to your cats stress. We have a few tips you can follow that should hopefully lessen that stress and make your cat feel a little more comfortable.
Aggression Toward Other Pets Or Humans In The House
A cat that suddenly becomes aggressive toward the other cats, dogs, or even people in the household might be experiencing stress. Misplaced aggression is a common culprit for causing this behavior. In this situation, the indoor kitty might be feeling stressed because he can sense an outdoor cat that he can’t get to, so he attacks his housemates instead. Sick or injured cats might suddenly become aggressive, too, so this is another sign that must be examined closely to determine the cause.
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Recognising Stress In Cats
It can be worrying if your cat’s behaviour changes, especially if you don’t know why. Behavioural changes in cats can often be down to stress, so it’s important to be able to spot the signs as soon as possible, even when they’re subtle.
Stress can affect your cats quality of life. It may make medical issues worse and it can also cause medical problems, like stress cystitis, which is a painful and potentially dangerous problem for cats. So its important to be able to notice when your cat is showing signs of stress so you can help them.
If your cat has a phobia or something upsets them, you may see obvious signs that theyre feeling stressed. But if your cats stress has built up slowly over time, it can be harder to realise, especially if youre not sure what to look out for.
What Is Feline Stress Where Does It Come From
Feline anxiety can be a serious problem, especially if left untreated. Stress in most species is commonly linked with a suppressed immune system, so just as in humans, a chronically stressed cat can suffer negative health consequences. They may even display undesirable behaviors as well.
Stress manifests itself when the cat anticipates dangereither real or imagined. That means the cause of their stress may not be obvious to us. Some triggers, like the arrival of another pet, a new baby, or a move to a new house can be apparent. Outdoor cats, whether they are neighborhood cats or feral, can be a major source of anxiety for indoor cats. Outdoor cats often engage in territorial display, threatening indoor cats through windows, and they very frequently will urine mark doorways. These signals may make an indoor cat feel bullied and can be quite distressing for some cats.
Other potential causes may come from aging, illness, pain, separation anxiety, boredom, or a change in your cats normal routineeven new furniture has been a trigger for some kitties. How well your cat handles stressors depends much on their inherent personality or past experiences. A cat with a history of trauma, abuse, neglect, or abandonment can have a particularly difficult time coping with stress.
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Weight Loss And Cat Stress
Unexplained weight loss is a very concerning development for any animal, but especially for cats. Weight loss can be a stress sign for cats and can be very dangerous if not addressed. Your cat’s healthy daily diet is an important part of their quality of life, so if your cat experiences dramatic changes that keep them from getting their daily nutrition, they might be feeling stressed out.
Cat Anxiety: What Causes It
Some causes are easy to identify – perhaps you’ve introduced a newborn baby or new pet to the household, you’re having building work done or a neighbours cat is muscling in on your cats territory.
But smaller changes can also disturb your cats peace of mind – a new brand of litter, for example, or a house guest they’re not familiar with.
Fireworks and thunderstorms can be hugely stressful too.
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How To Help Your Cat If Theyre Stressed
When you have a stressed cat, the solution may be as simple as creating a cat-friendly space in your home or helping her settle down after a major change in your household. However, sometimes the stress can be caused by an illness, in which case you may need to work with your vet to figure out the best treatment solutions.
Your vet can examine your cat physically in person to figure out what might be causing her stress. The vet will also listen to your accounts of your cats experience with stress at home and use this information to determine where to go from there. For more information or advice on what to you if you notice your cat is stressed, call any one of our Village Vets locations. Our team is always happy to help you determine the best course of action so your pet can get the care they need.
Causes Of Stress In Cats
Cats are creatures of habit. They know every inch of their territory, who is in it, what it smells like, and anything that is new or different. Houseguests, new pets, new babies, or even new objects are all potential sources of stress.
Things happening outside can also play a role, even for a strictly indoor-only cat. Neighborhood cats could be seen through a window, or loud noises can be scary.
Multi-cat households can be responsible as well, as many cats will simply not get along and have a constant source of conflict and competition.
Also, consider that owners can be a source of stress! Constant petting and attention can create problems for a cat that just wants to be left alone, so take your cat’s personality into consideration.
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Reasons Why Your Cat Might Be Stressed
Stress and anxiety can have debilitating effects on a human’s health. Stress in cats acts much the same way. Not only can it exacerbate existing physical conditions, but it can lead to a number of problems often considered behavioral, such as litter box avoidance, aggressive behavior, or depression and withdrawal.
When behavioral problems suddenly appear, savvy cat owners soon learn to look first for signs of health problems, such as urinary tract infections with litter box avoidance, and next for stress factors, such as changes in the environment.
Common Causes Of Stress In Cats
There are several causes of stress and anxiety in cats, mostly due to their daily routine being disrupted:
- Moving to a new home
- A new pet has been introduced to the house
- Competition for food and water
- A new baby has arrived
- Guests are visiting
- A change in your cats diet has occurred
- The litter box is too small, not cleaned enough, or placed next to the food and water
- A change in your routine, such as being away from home for longer periods than normal
Some of these changes are preventable and easily remedied after your cats stress has been diagnosed. Other changes, however, are pretty big and unavoidable. The best thing you can do in terms of unavoidable change is to keep your cats routines as normal as possible while these bigger changes are going on. Keep an eye out for any of the below symptoms in the meantime.
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Hiding Pacing And Cat Crouching Are Stress Signals
Hiding in a small, detached space is an extremely common stress response for cats. As smaller creatures, they tend to try to avoid and escape stressful threats rather than facing them. A stressed cat might dive under the couch, hide in closets, or retreat to small spaces between furniture when the doorbell rings or they experience another stressful situation like the appearance of the vacuum cleaner.
Cats sometimes take on a lowered stance or posture sort of a crouching position with their belly and shoulders close to the ground when they feel stressed. This aggressive, on-alert pose is sometimes accompanied by growling or hissing. A nervous cat may express their discomfort by crouching down into a lowered position, and this behavior might even be accompanied by snarling or hissing.
Pacing is a behavior used by many animals, including both cats and dogs, to communicate stress. If your cat is walking back and forth across the room rapidly, retracing its steps, this is a definitive sign of a stressed-out cat.
A Change In Litter Box Habits
The next stress-inducing issue on the list is when I notice a drastic change in my cats litter box habit.
Cats are creatures of habit and structure.
You will probably notice that your cat uses the toilet at about the same time throughout the day.
After 14 years of studying my cats toilet habits, I can tell pretty quickly if something is off. Toilet habits are important especially when it comes to peeing because it is linked to the cats kidneys.
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Considering Changes In The Environment
Create A Peaceful Relaxed Life For Your Cat
Ultimately, determining if your cat is stressed out is going to be an equation involving many factors: their typical behavior and routine, how that may have changed, and your interpretation of it all as their closest and most caring buddy. Once youve identified what causes stress in cats, you will know better how to help a stressed cat. There are many behaviors and physical indications that might qualify as signs of stress in cats, and its your job to monitor your pet closely and decipher their efforts to communicate.
Calming CBD products for cats can be an amazing addition to your cat’s daily wellness routine. Our CBD Cat Calming Tincture includes calming ingredients like valerian, passion flower, and lemon balm. By establishing these relaxation pillars in your cat’s daily life, you give them the best chance to thrive and live stress-free.
With your veterinarians help, there are many ways to help stressed cats return to a life of normalcy and joy. CBD oil for cats can support your pets health maintenance, along with a proper diet, plenty of activity, and as much affection as they are willing to receive!
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How Do I Know If My Cat Is Stressed
Its important to know your cats habits, so you can recognise changes. Alterations to your cats sleep pattern, appetite and level of energy may all be signs that they are becoming stressed. As the stress worsens and accumulates over time, your cat may exhibit signs such as aggression, trembling, excessive grooming or meowing, and unpredictable urination.Be careful many of these signs of stress can also be evidence of an underlying medical problem. If you notice these behaviours its best to visit your vet to make sure your cat is in good health.
Stressful Situation 1: Changes to Your HomeCats are naturally territorial and changes to your home environment can set them on edge. You will be surprised just how sensitive your cat can be to your interior decorating! Here are some changes that often cause cats to stress:
Top Tip: When making changes around the house you will need to be very sensitive to the position of your cats food, water, and litter box. Moving or blocking access to these items can abruptly interrupt their feeling of safety and cause intense stress. Imagine if someone put an obstacle in front of your fridge!
Top Tips: When moving house, stick to the following guidelines to help your cat:
Physical/illness Signs Of Stress
- Poor and patchy coat quality
- Discharge from the eyes and nose
- Symptoms worsening or taking too long to improve when a cat has a chronic health condition
- Pain while urinating or defecating
- Not using the litter box as often as normal
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- Walking with a low body, flat back, and head and tail down
- Twitching and rippling skin along the back
A few of these signs can be associated with cats that are just temporarily on alert or afraid of something . But if your cat seems physically stressed most of the time, you should pay your vet a visit.
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