Tuesday, June 6, 2023

How To Reduce Cats Stress

How To Calm A Scared Cat

7 Simple Steps to Reduce Stress in Cats

When your cat is scared, one of the best things you can do is give her space. Dont try to pick her up or move her, Calder says, since some cats may redirect their stress onto you and become aggressive.

Instead, Van de Kieft recommends quickly removing the source of stress and then closing your scared cat off in one room, dimming the lights, and even putting on some stress-reducing cat music specially designed tracks with purring layered over soothing tunes. Make sure the room has all your cats essentials inside: litter box, food, and water. Then give her time and space to decompress.

Sometimes when cats are upset, it can take a couple hours to calm down, says Van de Kieft.

If youve worked on it in advance, Calder says it may also be helpful to try redirecting your cats focus with a behavior theyve learned, such as touch or targeting .

Van de Kieft notes that play can help too, especially for young cats, since exercise makes you forget about whats going on.

For cat-scaring moments that cant be avoided in the futuresuch as running the vacuum or going to the veterinarianshe suggests working on positive associations. For instance, try doling out treats anytime you vacuum.

And if your cat is still young, Van de Kieft says the best thing you can do is expose her to as many varied situations as possible. Have friends over, have kids over, get them used to different experiencesit builds resilience, she says.

Moving With Outdoor Cats

If your cats are mostly outdoor kitties, you need to keep a few additional tips in mind for the big move. Make sure you have up-to-date vaccination tags and have registered their microchips online. Help your outdoor cats get used to a car-safe carrier by leaving it outside for a few days with your cat’s favorite treats, blankets, or toys inside.

When you get to your new destination, keep your cat indoors for a few days or up to several weeks. She’ll be very nervous by all the new sights and sounds, and you don’t want her getting scared and running away.

Keep a comfy bed like the Thermo Outdoor Kitty House in your garage or other indoor room with your cat. You’ll ultimately move your kitty and the house outside at the same time. Stay outside with your cat at first and bring her back in every night.2 Helping your outdoor kitty adjust to a move can be a long process, but it’s worth the time to help her stay safe.

Emotional Stressors In Cats

Most of the environmental changes resulted in emotional stress in cats. One way of understanding this is that environmental changes are the cause and emotional stress the effect. There are other emotional stressors, including:

  • Fear. Fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornados are classic examples of fear-resulting stressors. Although many of these environmental stressors cannot be predicted, it is still essential to have a plan for dealing with an emergency before it happens by preparing your cats for disaster. Predictable fear-associated stressors, such as noisy festivities like Halloween, 4th of July, New Year Eve, can be planned for ahead of time. Keep cats confined to an interior room on such occasions, with low lights and soft music playing. Fear also is sometimes exhibited when one cat is being “picked on” by another. A classic example of the factor is the cat that is “trapped” in a closely confined litter box by another cat. The end result, of course, is litter box avoidance. You can help ameliorate this situation by giving the “victim cat” its own uncovered litter box with plenty of opportunities for escape.

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How To Recognize Stress In Your Cat

Hiding is one of the most obvious signs that your cat is stressed but it’s not the only one. Hissing, running away, growling, scratching items, and eliminating outside the litter box can be other signs of stress in your cat and should not be ignored, especially if they are occurring regularly. Monitor your cat for these symptoms and think back to what may have changed before you noticed these behaviors.

Cat Stress: 7 Easy Tips To Reduce It At Home

How to Reduce Your Cat

Felines are often mistaken for being aloof and boring, but did you know that these attributes can actually be a sign of cat stress? A bored cat is a stressed cat because its not in their nature to be inactive at all times. Other signs of feline stress are aggression, over-grooming, jerky motions to sudden noise, and refusal to play with toys.

Because our kitties are such stoic beings, they often hide their anxiety and, over time, this can surface as disease. This is why its important for cat parents to take control of our cats anxiety. Below are 7 tips on how you can help reduce cat stress at home.

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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.

Image:Nataliia Dvukhimenna/Shutterstock

How To Calm A Cat After Moving

Relocating to a new home or apartment can be very difficult for cats, who love routine and familiarity. If youre moving with cats, Van de Kieft says this isnt the time to buy a new cat tree or debut a different cat bed. Since a new place will smell different already, bring as much stuff as possible that smells like the cat, so there are familiar things there, she says.

Van de Kieft also suggests plugging in a feline pheromone diffuser a few weeks in advance of arriving with your cat, if you can, to get those soothing scents into the air.

Calder and Van de Kieft both recommend designating a single safe haven room for your cat when moving into a new place. Fill it with all her familiar belongings, and make sure there are separate areas for using the litter box, resting, eating and drinking. Let her get comfortable and used to that room before slowly introducing her to the rest of the new home, ideally one space at a time.

Meanwhile, stick to her usual schedule for feeding and playtime as much as possible.

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First Recognise The Signs

1. An unhappy cat will often twitch the end of her tail as a warning sign, just before stress sets in. Her claws may also come out in self-defence.

2. If your cat feels unsafe or threatened, she’s likely to hide and crouch down to make herself seem as small as possible. That way she’ll feel less visible to any potential dangers.

3. A stressed cat may mark her territory by spraying while standing with her tail quivering in the air.

Cat Feeding Techniques To Reduce Stress

How to Reduce Stress for Your Cat’s Veterinary Visit

We often talk about the importance of what we feed our cats, but whats also important is how we feed our kitties. Certain feeding techniques can help reduce feline stress, stop the scarf and barf and help overweight kitties to lose a few pounds.

Is your cat overweight or does he eat everyone elses food in the house? We have one of those. We call him our Hoover Boo. How about a kitty that gobbles up her food quickly and then vomits it back up? Does your cat sometimes refuse to eat because he seems stressed about his surroundings? This article is for you.

Cat Feeding Techniques To Help Your Kitty

  • Feed your cats in separate rooms. Cats are solitary eaters and prefer to eat away from other animals. In the wild, the act of eating puts kitties in a vulnerable state, so a cats instinctive nature is to eat alone. If you have other cats or dogs in the home, be sure to feed your cat in a comfortable spot, away from the other animals. Studies show that this feeding technique reduces cortisol levels in cats.
  • Feed smaller meals several times per day. This is one of the best ways to stop the scarf and barf. Cats in the wild eat several small meals throughout the day not 2 large meals. Try giving your kitty small bites of food throughout the day if your schedule allows. This is also helpful for cats that need to lose weight because they wont be crying for food all day, since their tummies will be satisfied.
  • How do you feed your kitties? Comment below and let us know!

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    How To Add A Cat To Your Household

    Another way to eliminate stress-related behavior problems is to introduce cats to one another properly. If you are going to get two kittens, try to get them both at the same time. They’ll play together when you’re not around and continue to enjoy each other’s company when they’re adults.Introducing two adult cats to one another is more challenging but certainly possible as long as you exercise care. Don’t toss two adult cats into a room and expect them to sort things out â this will most likely make them hate each other forever. As with humans, the first impression is lasting. Patience is important if you want a peaceful household. A recent study has shown that the first 12 months is the most critical period for adapting. After that point, aggressive behavior usually tapers off as social relationships are formed between the cats.

    First, allow your resident cat and your new cat time to get used to each other’s scent and presence before physically introducing them. Put the new cat in a spare room that can be completely closed off from the rest of the house.

    The process will take time, but be patient. Until the cats have developed a workable relationship, continue to feed them in separate locations and keep separate litter boxes for each. Shower both cats with affection and attention, and be sure the resident cat gets more attention than the newcomer. This will show the resident cat that the new cat has not replaced her in your affections.


    Moving & Relocation With Your Cat: Tips & Suggestions


    Cats develop strong bonds with their environment so house moves are potentially stressful. Planning ahead will ensure that the transition from one home to another goes smoothly. After all, this is a traumatic time for you and one less worry would be a good thing!

    Moving out and moving in:


    • If your cat is an anxious traveler, you may wish to speak to your veterinarian before the journey a mild sedative may be prescribed
    • Feed your cat as normal but ensure the mealtime is at least three hours before traveling
    • Transport your cat in a safe container, i.e., a cat basket or carrier
    • Spray the inside of the cat carrier with synthetic feline facial pheromones an hour before you place your cat inside
    • Place the carrier in a seat and secure with the seat belt, in the well behind the seat or wedged safely on the back seat so that it cannot move around
    • Do not transport your cat in cargo space of a car or moving truck
    • If it is a long journey, you may want to stop and offer water or a chance to eliminate, although most cats will not be interested
    • If it is a hot day, make sure the car is well ventilated never leave the cat inside a hot car if you stop for a break

    Helping your cat settle in:

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    Ways To Reduce Stress And Anxiety In Your Cat

    Sometimes change is unavoidable for our cats, like moving into a new home, bringing home a new baby, having house guests, or adopting a new dog or cat. All of these can truly rock a cats world and trigger behavior changes. Sometimes even the slightest change can cause some cats to become uncomfortable, fearful, stressed, and anxious. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to reduce anxiety in your cat, and provide a more stress-free environment at home.

    Cats are very vulnerable to changes at home, new people, houseguests, home remodeling, and they will often show they are feeling anxious and uncomfortable by hiding more often, vocalizing more, obsessively licking, uncontrollably drooling or chewing, sleeping all day or more than normal, urine marking or even potting outside the litter box. Sometimes external changes in the cats home environment can even negatively impact your cats overall health and quality of life.

    Identify Possible Cause of Anxiety

    First, identify the situations or changes in the environment responsible for your cats new behavior. Always talk with your veterinarian first about behavior changes and schedule an examination to make sure the behavior changes are not health-related. If you get a clean bill of health and there are no physical problems associated with their new behavior, here are some ways to help your cat become calmer, more comfortable, and happier.

    Making Your Home More Comfortable

    Lots of Play Toys

    Stress In The Older Cat

    How to Reduce Anxiety in Cats

    Stress is a big factor in managing the health of a senior cat, or any cat with a serious physical condition. Cats with weakened immune systems, such as FIV or FeLV patients, do not thrive under stress.

    Older cats and cats with a chronic and/or terminal disease do much better in a quiet setting, with a minimum of environmental changes. It would be very unwise to bring home a new kitten or a noisy dog under these circumstances. A hospital or hospice situation with tip-toeing and hushed voices is not necessary, but loud noises and sudden movement should be avoided, if possible. If there are children in the house, a discussion might be in order, not only to enlist their help in reducing stress to the older feline patient but also to help prepare them for what will inevitably come.

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    Establish A Scratching Area

    Scratching surfaces are important for your cats health and well-being. Deny your cat a scratching post or scratching area and you deny your cat the ability to mark his territory as he prefers. This, in turn, may result in stress and even anxiety. Your cat may even choose his own scratching area like your furniture or carpeting which will annoy you and create a more stressful environment for your cat.

    Provide your cat with both vertical and horizontal scratching surfaces. Make sure there is at least one scratching post/surface for each cat in your home. Additional scratching surfaces cannot do any harm and may be appreciated.


    Ways To Reduce Stress In Cats

    Stress can do strange things to a cat.

    Unfortunately cats are prone to stress, not least when we introduce another fur friend into the family. The symptoms of stress are many and varied and range from the obvious, such as spraying, to the subtle, such as over-grooming. But one things for sure, as a responsible cat guardian the last thing you want is a distressed fur-baby, so lets look at how to reduce your cats stress.

    If you can identify the cause this is helpful. For example, imagine a neighbours cat regularly enters the house and eats your cats food. This is hugely stressful to the resident cat, but is simply solvable by fitting a microchip activated cat flap. A little lateral thinking is often all it takes to get a happier household.

    OK, perhaps the problem isnt so obvious or your cat has issues. Here are five practical ways to create a stress-free living space for your cat.

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    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
    • overeating
    • a scruffy or matted coat
    • house soiling
    • over-grooming

    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.

    Monitoring Cat Behavior: The Signs Of Stress

    Ways to Reduce Stress for Cats Going to the Vet

    We often speak to cat owners who are worried about their cats change in behavior. Oftentimes, the animal is acting differently due to stress in the home.

    Watch for the following changes to cat behavior, which are likely indicators of stress in your cat:

    • Withdrawn

    • Hiding from you and other animals

    • Lack of willingness to interact with you and other animals

    • Inappropriate urination or excessive marking

    • Excessive/obsessive grooming

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    Other Health Benefits Of Owning Cats

    As well as stress reduction, cats have been shown to provide other great health benefits too. These include:

    • They can help their owners through grief
    • Reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues
    • They prevent loneliness
    • Better sleep
    • Reduced risk of allergies

    These are just some of the top health benefits cats can bring into our lives. So, owning a cat can prove extremely beneficial. Plus, youll be able to keep the world entertained by posting videos of your beloved pet online .

    It isnt just cats that can benefit your mental health and reduce stress. Dogs can be equally as effective at eliminating stress. So, whether youre a dog or a cat person, you can take comfort in the fact your pets are helping to keep those stress levels down.

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