Wednesday, March 22, 2023

How To Reduce Stress For Cats

Review Your Cats Environment

7 Simple Steps to Reduce Stress in Cats

Just as humans need peace and calm, when they are stressed, so do cats. Turn the television down and make sure that any other loud noise, especially shouting or screaming from young children, is kept to a minimum. Let your cat rest in a quiet location and make it as comfortable as possible for him.

As an absolute bare minimum, you should give your cat his own condo, so that he can hide away, whenever he wants to. Also, provide him with a suitable scratching post. In the UK, it is illegal to declaw your cat. Scratching is a means of relieving stress. Ensure your cat scratching post is stable and tall enough for your cat when fully stretched out. Many people make the mistake of buying cat posts that are actually too small for fully grown cats.

Also ensure that your has easy access to food, water and a litter tray. Cats tend not to like sharing litter trays, so make sure that you have enough to accommodate all of them.

It is not normally advisable to radically change your cat’s diet. However, when a cat is stressed, his food may be a little too rich for him to digest properly. Switching to a bland diet, for a short period of time, may help and there are several specialist dry cat foods which are specifically formulated for sensitive stomachs.

Addiionally, remember that if your cat does engage in inappropriate behaviour, do not shout or hit him. He cant help it and disciplining a cat like this will only serve to increase the intensity of his anxiety.

Get Kitty Used To Being Handled

Ive done this for my show cats so they dont react to anything weird the judges might do: like using Betsys polydactyl paws to demonstrate a map of Michigan, or teasing Plush about his cankles.

But handling practice can help during a vet visit too. Regularly brushing your furbaby, handling his feet, playing with his tail. Laying him on his side or on his back in your lap. All these things can make a vet visit less frightening for your feline.

Owning An Anxious Cat

As much as you may love your cat, there is no doubting the fact that owning an anxious and stressed cat can be extremely upsetting, as well as troublesome. However, cats are no different to human beings. They are equally as capable of suffering from anxiety and stress. Bad behaviour is often their only way of telling you that something is wrong.

Of course, your cat may always have been timid, or had an anxious or stress-prone personality. Alternatively, a change may have been brought about by a specific incident, trauma or life-event. There are also many other instances which can trigger stress in a cat such as: physical ill health, change in diet or being separated from its owner for prolonged periods of time.

Fortunately, there are simple steps that you can take to reduce your cat’s anxiety.

An anxious cat can be extremely distressing for its owner.


Also Check: How Do You Reduce Anxiety And Stress

How To Reduce Stress In Cats

This article was co-authored by Brian Bourquin, DVM. Brian Bourquin, better known as Dr. B to his clients, is a Veterinarian and the Owner of Boston Veterinary Clinic, a pet health care and veterinary clinic with three locations, South End/Bay Village, the Seaport, and Brookline, Massachusetts. Boston Veterinary Clinic specializes in primary veterinary care, including wellness and preventative care, sick and emergency care, soft-tissue surgery, dentistry. The clinic also provides specialty services in behavior, nutrition, and alternative pain management therapies using acupuncture, and therapeutic laser treatments. Boston Veterinary Clinic is an AAHA accredited hospital and Bostons first Fear Free Certified Clinic. Brian has over 19 years of veterinary experience and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 290,184 times.

My Cat Doesnt Like The Car Ride Do You Have Any Suggestions For Reducing That Stress

How to Reduce Stress at the Vet

Safety is the most important consideration when transporting your cat; the carrier needs to be secure and it needs to be placed within the vehicle in a position that holds it securely in place should you have to brake suddenly. Never consider travelling with your cat loose in the car.

To reduce the stress of the car ride, spray your car interior with a couple of squirts of Feliway® 30 minutes to 1 hour before you are leaving. Bring a blanket or large towel with you, and once the carrier is secured in the car, cover it with the towel to reduce visual stimulation.

Once you start driving, try to avoid any sudden braking, acceleration, or sharp turns. Tune the radio to a soothing station and make sure the heater or air conditioner does not blow directly into the carrier.

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Calming Cat Food And Cat Treats

Other options for managing stress include anti-anxiety diets, like the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Calm formula dry cat food, and cat calming treats, like the Vetriscience Composure cat chews.

Anti-anxiety cat food;often contains components such as tryptophana compound found in turkey that is associated with sleepiness. These diets are also meant to soothe upset tummies, which could be a source of cat anxiety.

Treats work a little differently. According to Delgado, anti-anxiety cat products typically include alpha-casozepine, an ingredient said to help manage stress in both cats and dogs. Theres some evidence that they do increase relaxation in cats and dogs under specific circumstances, she says. And its been tested in vet visits for cats. The tests showed that there was at least a mild calming effect.

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

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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.

Are There Any Other Tips To Reduce My Cats Stress Levels During The Veterinary Visit

How to Reduce Stress for Your Cat’s Veterinary Visit

Unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian, do not feed your cat for several hours before her appointment to reduce the chance for vomiting or letting the bowels or bladder go during the trip.

If you have a kitten, train her to use a cat carrier as a haven early on .

Unlike dogs, who often associate car trips with fun destinations such as the park or trail, few cats go in the car for a pleasant adventure. You can teach your cat to relax in the car by taking short trips that have a positive outcome. For example, put your cat in the carrier, give her one of her favorite treats or toys, and take a short drive that ends up back home. During the entire process, speak to her in a calm and reassuring voice.

For some cats, a Thundershirt®, which swaddles the cat much like swaddling an infant, may reduce anxiety.

One of the most effective ways to decrease your cats anxiety level is to remain calm and relaxed during the visit. Speak to your cat in a calm and soothing voice and reassure her by petting her on her head or stroking her in her favorite spot.

Contributors: Tammy Hunter, DVM; Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH

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Give Your Cats Their Own Territory

A cat that feels like she doesn’t have a territory of her own might start acting defensively or causing conflict. Give your cats their own territory, so they feel more confident.

Create multiple access points for valuable resources and spread these throughout the house and on each floor to avoid competition for access. This includes providing a litter box for each cat plus one extra box and setting up multiple food stations and drinking opportunities away from the food. You also want to provide enough climbing, hiding, and sleeping areas for all your cats so no one has to compete.

You might also want to set up some cat trees,;condos, and;window perches;around the house. The more territory your cat can “claim” as her own, the more confident she’ll feel. Also, only use sleeping perches that are big enough to fit one cat at a time, so your cats don’t crowd each other on one perch.

Let Them Eat In Peace

Keep your cats food, water and litter tray somewhere quiet and out of the way. Although not a big deal for humans, fridges, dryers and washing machines make a lot of noise and can be off-putting for cats when they are trying to eat. Similarly, cats can find it difficult to relax when their litter tray is kept in a major thoroughfare such as a hallway or kitchen. Having to pass or step over your cat can startle it during its more private moments, resulting in a more stressed or anxious feline.

Read Also: How To Know If I M Stressed

How To Reduce Cat Stress At The Vets

Does the thought of travelling your beloved cat to the vets make your hair stand on end?

Do you put off important vet check ups because it’s too stressful to bring your cat to the vet?

Coming to the vets will inevitably create some stress and anxiety for your cat but unfortunately this is an all too common reason for not going to the vets. This becomes an issue especially as your cat gets a little older as attending geriatric clinics as part of your cats preventative health care can ensure your cat has a longer more comfortable life.

However, we can’t do this if you don’t come to see us! Cats are independent, territorial animals that need to be in control of their surroundings and are sensitive to unfamiliar scents. Cats dislike travelling because they are suddenly being removed from their usual territory and are exposed to new noises and odours and experience unfamiliar movements. All things can make vet visits more stressful for your cat which in turn can make you more stressed. Fortunately, theres a lot that you can do to make trips more pleasant to ensure they can have access to the best medical attention they deserve. ;

Monitoring Cat Behavior: The Signs Of Stress

3 Smart Ways Cats Can Help Us Relieve Stress

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

  • Fighting

Recommended Reading: How Do I Handle Stress

How To Minimize Your Cat’s Stress When Moving

Cats are territorial animals, and changes in their home;can cause stress. Whether you’re moving with your cat across the country or moving nearby with lots of renovations, cats really need to have some semblance of control over their surroundings. When that changes, they get stressed out.

Moving homes;can be challenging for cats. They become quite attached to their environment. Each room and each piece of furniture is marked with their scent as a way to establish their territory. Just moving furniture around, redecorating, or adding new pieces can stress some cats because you’re changing the territory she knows so well. This is even more stressful when you’re changing environments entirely and can result in scratching, urine spraying, and other stress-related behaviors.

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.

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Cat Calming Pheromone Diffusers

If you like the idea of treating your cats anxiety with pheromones, but you know that wearing anything would stress your cat out, try pheromone diffusers for cats. Cat calming diffusers like the Feliway plug-in diffuser can help with general anxiety in cats by emitting a synthetic version of the feline facial pheromones.

Cat calming diffusers like the Feliway MultiCat diffuser plug-ins are specifically made to help calm multi-cat households and promote harmony amongst cats. These diffusers use a synthetic version of the pheromone given off by mother cats while nursing kittens.

Krieger says that she strongly prefers diffusers to collars. If a cat doesnt like a collar, she cant get away from it. If she doesnt like the pheromones from a diffuser, she can walk into another room. So, if theyre helpful, you get the benefits without causing any undue stress, and if theyre not, you dont cause any harm. she explains.

Relaxation And Cats How Cats Reduce Stress In Humans

How To Reduce Stress In Cats | Though The Cat Flap | S2 | Episode 2

It is well known that having a cat as a pet can work wonders for reducing a persons stress levels. Theres nothing like the slow, gentle action of stroking a cat on your lap and listening to it gently purring in appreciative response, to calm the mind and reduce the blood pressure. Conscious of what a tremendous therapeutic effect animals can have on people, carers sometimes bring them into a hospital setting precisely for this purpose.

A cat can work wonders: it can reduce blood pressure and it can provide friendship and comfort for people who live on their own, particularly when they are elderly or infirm and are rarely able to go out.

Q. My mother has decided not to go into sheltered housing because she cant take her cat there. She says hes better at keeping her calm than valium. Is she talking nonsense?

No, shes probably quite right. And if thats the way she feels, it would not be advisable to make her move without her cat, as this might make her nervy and unhappy. Try to find another arrangement that will accommodate her cat.

Q. I havent been well recently and my husband says we should get rid of the cat because he is more work. But I feel that he helps keep me sane. Is this stupid?

No, not at all. Your husband should realise that looking after people isnt only a matter of making them well, but also of making them content and happy, and an animal can play a large part in this process as your experience shows.

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Review Your Cat’s Health

Last but not least, it is important to ensure that your vaccinations, flea and worming treatments, are all up to date. Check your cat over for any injuries and look in their ears for ear mites. Should you have any doubts whatsoever, about the health of your cat, then you should always visit your local veterinary surgeon, for a check-up. It may well be that blood tests are needed to assess if there is an underlying medical condition that is causing your cat’s anxiety.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

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