Herbs That Can Surprisingly Reduce Stress Levels In Cats
Stress and anxiousness are common in cats. While it may be natural for some cats, others get stressed if exposed to specific conditions such as visits to the vet, car drives, and even the presence of new members in the family.
Surprisingly, a few herbs and flowers may be just what you need to calm your pets nerves. The good news is that these herbs are not only effective, they are also healthy and you do not have to dig deep into your pockets to purchase them either.
For best results, administer the herb fifteen minutes before the expected stressful event. Soon after the initial shock, the cat will calm down. Dont get surprised if she falls asleep soon afterward. The herb is also administered to humans who have difficulties sleeping and has the same effect on cats as well. The herb induces euphoria that makes you cat more docile than you could imagine.
The key to using this herb to calm kitty is to administer it about 15 minutes before the stressful occurrence, just like valerian. Soon after, shes done with running around the room at high speed, she will be worn out and settle down in a calm demeanor.
Bach rescue remedy
The calming effect of hops is probably the main reason behind its use in a lager. This is not to say that you should give your cat a sip of the beer you have been keeping in your fridge. Dried hops flowers will calm her just fine. They are also good for the liver.
How to administer herbs to cats
Use Cat Calming Products
We have had great success with our cat Barney by using a Feliway plug-in diffuser which is supposed to have a calming effect on cats. It works by emitting synthetic pheromones, which it is claimed, can help reduce anxiety and stress in cats. The smell mimics a cat’s own pheromones which helps a cat feel safe and secure. You simply plug the diffuser into your plug socket, in much the same way as you would do an air freshener, and forget about it.
I have to confess that this can be a fairly expensive method to employ. Firstly, you need a minimum of one diffuser on each floor, depending upon the size of your home. In addition to purchasing refills on a monthly basis, you will also need to replace the diffusers themselves, typically after six months.
Due to the potential fire hazard, I personally have a problem leaving the diffusers plugged into the mains overnight, or when I am not at home. They do become warm to the touch and I prefer to give them time to cool down. I am sure that the fire risk is extremely low, but this is my preference. I have not experienced any adverse effects from my cats, as a result of doing this and it also makes the refills last a little bit longer.
Of course, there are several other different types of calming products available which may help with your cats anxiety. These include cat calming collars and natural supplements such as Bach Pet Rescue Remedy, vitamin B calming chews and liquids.
Don’t Forget The Cuddle Time
Attention from their owners is something that most cats enjoy. Spending some time with your cat on a daily basis, whether it is cuddling or some other activity, can also be a great stress reducer for most cats. This time will also allow you the time to observe your cats behavior for any changes.
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If Your Cat Is Stressed Out By The Introduction Of A New Pet:
- Provide high perches from which your cat can watch the new pet at a safe distance. Being high in the air will give your cat a sense of dominance over the situation, which is soothing for an anxious cat.
- Help the pets get to know one another gradually by keeping them separated for a while. The pets can get introduced through interacting from opposite sides of a closed door. Eventually, they may begin to interact face-to-face, but a gentle introduction can help both parties stay calm.
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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Living With Other Kitties
Intercat relationships can be complicated! Like people, some cats get along better than others. Here are few tips to help reduce cat stress when they gain a new roommate.
- Feed separately. If your kitties dont love each other, try feeding them separately. Make sure that they cant see each other while eating.
- Litter box count. Many cat parents make the mistake of not having enough litter boxes. The number of litter boxes recommended are the number of cats plus one. If you have two cats, its wise to have three litter boxes. If possible, have a litter box on each floor.
- Pheromones. These can help reduce stress caused by multiple cats. Feliaway comes in a diffuser and spray. Avoid using Feliaway near the litter box.
If you are planning to adopt a new furry friend, we have a helpful guide on tips for a successful new cat adoption to ensure a long future of snuggles and purrs.
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.
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Let Your Cat Be A Cat
Toys, games and climbing equipment let your cat do what it has evolved to do. Climbing and exploring are big parts of your cats nature. Let them embrace this side of themselves by creating vertical spaces for them to climb, and by encouraging their scouting behaviour for example, hide some food around the house for them to sniff out.
As perceptive as they may seem, dont assume your cat understands what you are saying, or shout at them when they dont understand you. Punishing your cat will only teach them to fear you and will not correct the unwanted behaviour. Instead, demonstrate and reward positive behaviours around your cat.
Equally, be careful when petting not to bear down on your cat or grab their head. Cats like to know they can escape a situation. Restricting their movements by holding them too tightly or by trapping them in a corner only stresses them out.
How To Relieve Cat Stress
This post is written by our holistic veterinarian at “I and love and you”, Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT.
Modern life may be stressing your cat out, too! They might not be striving for inbox zero while juggling social media, but being indoors with other people and creatures can affect their mental health. Unfortunately kitties are masters at hiding their stress.
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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.
Spend Quality Time With Your Cat
Spending some ‘one-on-one’ time, sitting quietly with your cat, can help reassure him. Gently stroking your cat, from head to tail, will also help to relax him. Making a fuss of your cat or rewarding him with a treat, when faced with a stressful situation, can also help change his perception from a negative to a positive outlook.
Also, make sure that your cat is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation. As Barney is reluctant to go outside now, I tend to let him out while I potter around in the garden. My presence helps him to build up his confidence and he is beginning to become more independent.
Encourage your cat to play with a variety of cat toys. Neko Flies cat toys are very popular but there are plenty of others to choose from. You should also try and rotate the toys every few days so that your cat does not become bored. You can also purchase cat toys that contain catnip. Just be careful to monitor your cat’s reaction to catnip as it may stimulate aggression in male cats.
Cats love your undivided attention.
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My Cat Doesnt Like The Car Ride Do You Have Any Suggestions For Reducing That Stress
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.
Get Your Cat Used To Their Carrier
A cat’s aversion to the carrier is often reinforced by the fact that often the only time they go inside it is for a vet visit. Use the carrier at home by leaving it open to encourage your cat to sleep or be fed in the carrier. You can also make the carrier more familiar by putting bedding in that smells of home or rubbing a cloth with your cats scent around the inside of the carrier. Finally, you could try a pheromone spray inside the cat carrier 30 minutes before using it.
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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.
Give Your Cat Some Space
Cats are solitary creatures, so they dont like to be crowded by others that counts for other cats, other pets and even children or other family members. Ensuring your cat always has space to escape from the chaos is a good way to reduce their stress. A quiet spot, preferably somewhere high up, is ideal. Try a cardboard box on a sturdy shelf, for example.
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Keeping Cat Anxiety At Bay
If you determine that your cat is suffering from anxiety, there are several options available. However, finding the right one for your cat might take some trial and error. Both Delgado and Krieger stress that every cat is different, and a solution that works for one kitty might not work for another.
Delgado adds that because many cat calming products are available without prescription from a veterinarian, owners cant expect them to work miracles. Most products that are available over the counter dont offer extreme results, but some may have a calming effect, she says.
Preventing Stress In Cats
Sometimes its impossible to completely prevent stress in cats. However, exposing your cat to a varied, stimulating life early on can help them be better prepared to deal with change. With an expanded worldview and a stimulating adventurous lifestyle, cats who go for adventures are better prepared to deal with new things: trips in the car, meeting new people, and changes in the environment. Just as a rich life full of varied experiences helps to make people calmer and more ready to deal with new experiences and new faces, a stimulating lifestyle can help cats handle these potentially stressful situations as well. Reduced stress levels is one of the reasons why we recommend walking your cat outdoors.
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How To Treat A Stressed Cat
Most humans picture of cats as a relaxed pet, always lying on a cushion, bed or sofa, vague and quiet. However, cats are one of the animals that get most easily stressed out. Cats are particularly sensitive to changes in routine and when they feel overwhelmed, the animal may suffer greatly. At OneHowTo.com we teach you how to treat a stressed cat.
The first thing you should know is how to identify a stressed cat and though you may not believe it, there are some very common manifestations that will guide us about the health of our cat and give us some signs. If you think your cat may suffer from stress, do not hesitate to ask for help from your veterinarian.
Common symptoms of cats under stress include:
- Territorial marking, both urine and scratches, sometimes despite being castrated.
- Changes in appetite, from anorexia to binge eating.
- Changes in the fur such as excessive hair loss, balding or even pulling out their fur themselves.
- Elusive character, hiding away and shying away from contact.
- Constant meowing.
- Doing their business outside the litter tray.
Other physical manifestations of stressed cats are various health problems:
- Frequent diarrhea.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Treat a Stressed Cat, we recommend you visit our Pets category.
Moving With Your Cat Long Distance Or Across The Country
Of course, some special circumstances require extra planning. If you’re moving a long distance or even across the country , you need to take extra precautions.
If you have to travel on a plane with your cat, you need to decide on flying together in the cabin versus checking your cat into the plane’s cargo area. If at all possible, travel together in the cabin, but be sure to check with your airline for their specific requirements. Make sure your cat’s weight and carrier size meet the airline’s specifications. The K& H Lookout Pet Carrier is potentially a good option because the small size meets some requirements. You will need other travel supplies, vaccination records, and a harness in case you have to take your cat out of the carrier for the X-ray screening.
If you’re traveling with your cat in a car, it’s a little easier but still requires some planning ahead. Find a good carrier, like the Travel Safety Carrier that secures to the seat and keeps your cat from moving while you drive. Take short trips at first to help your kitty get used to the drive. Pack travel supplies like a small litter box and portable water and food dishes, along with a harness.
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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.