Your Cat Avoids Normal Activities
If your cat avoids doing activities that they may normally do, this could potentially be a sign of anxiety. âYou might find that your kitty avoids things they usually love to do â for example, they might play less often,â says Austin. Pay attention â is your cat opting out of play time? Are they avoiding you? Take note, and keep track so you know how much your cat is acting up, so you can relay the information to your vet.
Why Is My Cat So Stressed When I Take Her To The Veterinary Clinic
Cats are very attached to their home territory, and most of our pet cats live a very sheltered life with a very predictable routine that does not involve travelling away from home. For most cats, a visit to the veterinarian is an overwhelming experience. The cat is taken out of its familiar home environment, usually roughly pushed into a carrier, put into a noisy car, driven to the veterinary clinic, taken into the reception area where there are intense smells from many other pets and people. They are then taken into an examination room where an unfamiliar person examines them and administers various treatments. Any one of these things can be stressful, and when they are all combined together, its no wonder that your cat is frightened or stressed.
Is Stress Always Bad
Its impossible to eliminate all stress in a cats life. Some degree of stress is essential when it comes to survival. When an animal feels threatened, the acute stress response triggers hormones that trip the fight/flight/freeze response. The surge of hormones from the stress response helps an animal prepare to fight, run to safety, or freeze in place. This response is intended to be short-lived to equip animals for what is needed in a temporary situation. After the threat is gone, all physiological systems go back to normal settings.
The problem for most cats isnt the obvious acute stress, but rather, the more subtle and easily overlooked chronic stress. This is the type of stress that seems to stay under the radar of many caregivers. Chronic stress, if allowed to continue long-term, can contribute to medical problems, behaviour issues, and even depression. The body wasnt created to endure unrelenting chronic stress.
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Avoid Sudden Changes In Environment
Cats typically do not care for change. In fact, changes in environment or routine can be quite stressful for your cat. Trying to keep changes to a minimum in your cats environment and keeping your cats daily routine constant can be useful in preventing or alleviating stress and anxiety.
Is Your Cat Sick Or Healthy
Clearly, if there’s a disease process going on then that has a high chance of causing your cat to lose their appetite.
Any disease is something that we really need to address before we then started looking at the tips for how to get a cat to eat discussed below.
It could be that your cat has got terrible dental disease and they have stopped eating because of the pain that they are in. As a side note though, it’s amazing how much pain that they can put up with. Don’t take the fact that just because your cat is eating their teeth must be fine. I’ve actually discussed this in a separate article all about dental disease in cats.
Your cat could have an intestinal problem. Something like pancreatitis, which is actually pretty common but potentially quite challenging to diagnose. Your cat might have advanced kidney disease, they might have a liver problem, they might feel nauseous because of inflammatory bowel disease or any number of other conditions that can cause a cats appetite to be reduced.
So, if your cat is really not looking very happy, if they got a change in their normal character, or if they have simply been a bit picky for a while then getting them checked over is a very good idea.
Once you know if anything else needs to be addressed you can then start thinking about the most appropriate technique to get your cat to eat.
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How To Alleviate Your Cats Stress
There are six basic things you can do to help prevent or alleviate feline stress, advises Dr. Hofve.
1. Stick to a schedule
Cats thrive on regular schedules, says Dr. Hofve. They hate surprises. Feeding your cat on a regular schedule is important. Although some cats are fine with two feedings a day, others fare better with three or four.
2. Implement play therapy
Although all play can help a stressed cat, the difference between casual play and play therapy is that the latter is scheduled, interactive play. A feather toy on a wand gives your kitty an excellent opportunity to hunt. You control the preys movements the feather can be skittered along the floor or behind a chair, or made to jump and fly. Put this special toy away at all other times. Schedule your cats play sessions at the same time, once or twice a day. Feed a high protein snack at the end of a successful hunt.
3. Factor in variety
Provide a variety of toys for your cat, apart from the wand you use during play therapy sessions. Laser toys may be irresistible, but since theres nothing tangible to catch, simultaneously add a substantial toy that paws can grasp. Some cats enjoy playing early in the morning, while others prefer playing right before bedtime. If your cat tends to wake you in the middle of the night, a pre-bedtime play therapy session plus a snack is just what the doctor ordered!
The difference between casual play and play therapy is that the latter is scheduled, interactive play.
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.
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A Happy Cat Is A Healthy Cat
If your cat is getting stressed, try not to beat yourself up about it. It is impossible to avoid all stress triggers all of the time as a pet owner, all you can do is your best to make your pets life as happy and healthy as you can. If you have tried all of the above suggestions and your cat is still displaying the symptoms of stress, we would advise it is important to take them for a veterinary check-up to rule out any medical causes of their symptoms and to make sure that your cats anxiety isnt making them ill.
Signs Of Cats Feeling Stressed And What You Can Do About It
Just like humans, cats are prone to stress although it might be tricky to tell if your cat is feeling unsettled.
Cats are subtle in their body language, so youll need to keep an eye on them to ensure they are content.
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
If you already know that your cat is struggling with stress, it can be difficult to know what to do to help. In aid of Stress Awareness Month, weve put together our top five tips for reducing your cats stress, so you can make sure youve got a calm kitty.
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Whats Your Cat Stressed About
While youre juggling your bills, finding enough time to go to the gym, food prepping for the week, and staying calm in traffic, your cat is sitting by the window at home twitching her tail. So you may be wondering: What do cats have to worry about? Though your cat doesnt have to present to her boss or run to the post office before it closes, cats do experience their own kind of stress, which is a result of their anxiety and fear.
Cats can experience stress if theres a changeto their routine, a dirty litter box, new additions to their home, loud musicor fireworks, and more. Most cats hide their stress, which may turn into a slewof health issues. Stress can compromise your cats immune system, making themmore vulnerable to illness, depression, and could even compound and createbehavioral issues. But were here to tell you how to spot if your cat isstressed and what to do to make sure shes back to her calm, happy self.
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.”
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Is Your Cat Freaking Out
Stress can make anyone a little crazy, even our cats. The tricky part is while the anxiety and fear associated with stress affects our cats in much the same way it does us, most cats tend to hide and mask their inner turmoil. Even worse, stress can be an indication that your cat has a health issue. According to Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D., a certified applied animal behaviorist, chronic stress can even “suppress the immune response, causing a broad range of illnesses.” Here are some signs of stress you’ll want to watch out for in your cat, especially if they occur suddenly.
What Is The Best Type Of Carrier
Individual cats may have specific preferences for a carrier, but some options are better than others. Although cardboard cat carriers are inexpensive and disposable, they should only be used as a temporary form of transport because a determined cat can break out of them in no time. Durable options for transporting your cat range from soft-sided carriers, to wire crates, to hard plastic carriers with wire doors. Whatever the type of permanent carrier you choose, it should be easy to clean and you should be able to get your cat in and out of it without a struggle. Purchase a carrier that fits your cats size. If you have several cats, provide each one of them with their own carrier.
The ideal carrier is strong, lightweight, and waterproof, with a large opening to allow easy access to the cat, and an easy to remove top with quick release fasteners. If you have a carrier with a removable top, your cat may be able to remain nestled in the bottom of the carrier while your veterinarian performs some parts of the routine physical examination. And if your cat needs to stay in the hospital for any reason, the bottom part of the carrier can be put into the hospital cage to provide a familiar and comforting bed.
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Understanding Your Cats Behavior
You probably already know that your cat is most comfortable with the familiar, and needs time to adjust to things, people, or places that are unfamiliar. When you bring your cat to visit the veterinarian, it is often difficult for her because the carrier, car, and the veterinary hospital are usually unfamiliar places and experiences.
Here are a few tips from our feline veterinarians:
Respect your cats need for time to become familiar with new situations, people, and places. Leave the cat carrier out and open in your home so your cat can become familiar with it. Consider taking your cat on short trips in the car so she can become familiar with it and hopefully learn that a car visit does not mean you are taking her to the veterinarians office. Give your cat rewards to encourage positive behavior. For example, if your cat is sitting calmly in or near a carrier, give her a treat.
Your cat perceives the world through her senses. Weve broken down ways to help keep your cat calm corresponding to the way your cat experiences her environment.
Cat Stress Relief: Tips And Tricks
In order to provide your cat stress relief, Kornreich recommends pet parents do the following:
- Establish a schedule and try to adhere to it.
- Remove known stressors from your home.
- Avoid sudden changes in your cats environment.
If you cant remove a stressor , consider keeping them in separate rooms and then gradually reintroducing them in a neutral space, which can sometimes help ease cats into a better relationship, says Kornreich.
Beyond this, make sure to provide plenty of environmental stimulationsuch as interactive toys and puzzle feedersto prevent boredom and offer your cat a place to climb and hide away, like a comfortable basket on a shelf, says Collier.
If youre concerned about a stressed-out cat in your household, remember that chronic stress can lead to health issues over time. In order to figure out the best cat stress relief solution for your situation, call your veterinarian and consider asking for a referral to a cat behavior consultant.
Sometimes, pheromone sprays and diffusers as well as prescription medications can help treat more serious cases of cat stress.
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How Can I Help My Cat
Just like humans, cats can get stressed out. While stress in cats doesnt always materialise in the ways you might expect, if you know what to look for, its not too difficult to spot an anxious mog. It is important to keep an eye out for signs of stress in your cat a stressed cat is an unhappy cat, and recent studies have shown that chronic, ongoing stress can cause stress-related diseases in cats, including skin problems and UTIs.
Supply Water And Spare The Stress
Water is one of the most important nutrients for your cat. However, many cats dont drink enough water and live on the verge of dehydration, which may contribute both to disease and undue stress. Encourage your cat to take in moisture by feeding a canned diet . Some cats also enjoy drinking from a flowing water supply, so water fountains and/or dripping faucets may be helpful for encouraging your cat to drink more water. Separate water stations may be necessary for multi-cat households.
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Provide Playtime And Enrichment
Start a daily routine of exercise and play with your cat. Even 15 minutes a day with a laser pointer or wand toy will help your cat get the exercise he needs while reducing his stress. Similar to creating a safe space, youll want to make sure your cat has enough environmental enrichment while youre away to stay distracted from ensuing anxieties. Keep him stimulated with catnip toys, food puzzles, cat grass, and window-watching spots.
How To Make A Cat Stop Meowing All The Time
Cats meow for a number of reasons. When they’re kittens, they mew to their mothers when they’re cold, hungry, or scared. As they get older, they learn other ways to vocalize and interact with other cats, usually by yowling or hissing. Meowing is an adult cat’s main way of communicating with you and other people. But if your cat is constantly meowing, it can become a major annoyance.
If you’re constantly asking yourself, “Why is my cat crying?” and “Why does my cat meow so much?” then you’re in the right place.
The first step to get your cat to quiet down is to figure out why your cat’s meowing. A cat crying for attention will require something different than a cat crying in pain. Here are a few of the most common reasons cats meow continually and how you can get a cat to stop meowing so much.
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Is Your Cat Stressed
Is your cat stressed or depressed? Modern day life can be very stressful for our cats but they are very good at hiding this. Often we will only realize our cat is stressed when they develop extreme behaviors or illness.
In reality, if we know what to look for, we can recognize stress so much earlier. Are they becoming withdrawn, grooming more or urine spraying? Well these are just some of the signs of stress in pet cats.
Before jumping into the signs of stress lets look at what stress actually is, what it can result in and what can cause stress in cats.
Some Cats Seem Especially Prone To Getting Stressed And It Can Be Challenging To Find The Cause
Cats get stressed much as we do. Indoor-only kitties, and those living in multi-cat households, are especially prone to stress, which can lead to problematic behaviors and even health issues. This article takes a look at what can cause your cat to get stressed out, how it can affect her behavior and health, and six ways to help ease her emotions.
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