A Sudden Onset Of Aggression
Again, if your cat is usually calm and sweetand suddenly those claws are coming outthis can be a sign that they are stressed. Our cats dont have the ability to sit you down and tell you exactly whats bothering them, so if they react out of anger or frustration, take notice. Never for any reason should you shame or scold your cat for being suddenly aggressive towards you or others in the home. When a cat is stressed, they are highly defensive as a means to deal with the situation. Help to make things easier on them and come to them with calmness and concern.
Not Using The Litter Box Properly
If your cat urinates outside the litter box or otherwise just doesnt seem to be using the litter box correctly or at all, then Were All About Pets state that this could be an indicator that your cat is stressed, uncomfortable with the placement of the litter box, or that they have a potential health issue. Cats that are used to using the litter box and then stop are usually suffering from some serious mental or physical ailment, and it is imperative that you figure out what the problem is as soon as possible.
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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How To Deal With Stressed Cats
First, you should know where the stress is coming from. Identifying the sources of stress makes it easier to deal with the pets. For instance, there is an unfamiliar cat into the home that stresses out your home cat. Moving home and a new pet could also be the source of stress for cats.
Afterward, you will know how to deal with your stressed cats. Going to the vet is the first step to manage to reduce the stress in your cat. It is advisable especially when the physical health of the cat declines.
Seeking professional advice, specifically a cat behavior specialist, will provide more detailed guidance in taking care of a stressed cat. Your vet will be responsible for referring you toward pet specialists. Then, the specialist ensures to give a high standard of advice to cure a stressed cat.
It demands more patience to take care of cats going through hard times during this pandemic. If seeking professional help seems so expensive for you, then find another way to relieve stress in cats. Pet toys would work well to keep them entertained in these tough times. Avoid being too harsh over cats, just show them overflowing care and love to ease their anxious heart.
Signs That Your Cat Is Sick
Jenna Stregowski, RVT has worked in veterinary medicine for more than two decades. Her veterinary experience ranges from routine wellness care and preventive medicine to emergency and specialty care, where she has performed duties ranging from specialized nursing to clinical administration. Jenna has been writing about pet care for over 10 years, including for publications like DVM 360 and DogTime.
Illustration: The Spruce / Ellen Lindner
Could your cat be sick? It may be difficult to know if subtle changes in your cat indicate a health problem. Cats are experts at hiding illness. In the wild, this instinct can protect them from predators or other cats that might be a threat. Today’s house cat has the same tendency to avoid vulnerability, even if the only potential threat is a housemate. Even cats in single-pet homes tend to have the instinct to self-protect.
There is another reason why cats and many other animals are less likely to show pain or illness: they simply do not have an emotional relationship with their discomfort. Animals tend to accept the pain or illness as the new normal and move on. It may not be until they are extremely ill that their sickness becomes obvious to humans.
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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.
How Can You Tell If Your Cat Is Stressed
If you notice your cat licking or biting at the same spot over and over again, it could be that he is experiencing pain or discomfort in that area. Boredom, anxiety, or compulsive disorder. Compulsive cat chewing, scratching, or licking behaviors often develop in cats who are bored, stressed, or anxious.
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Kitty Follows You Everywhere
Just like dogs, cats can develop separation anxiety. If your cat doesn’t want to let you out of its sight, and begins to follow you everywhere, anxiety might be behind this behavior. “Some cats become more attached to their owners when they are anxious,” Princeton Veterinary Hospital explained. “This can be endearing behavior, and often makes us feel loved by our cats, but it could be a sign that she is stressed or anxious.”
Use Your Own Body Language To Help
1. To feel safe, your cat needs to have her own space and an easy way to escape if it all gets too much. Don’t crowd her or make a fuss instead, give her room to get away and do her own thing, then wait for her to come back on her own terms.
2. Your instinct might be to comfort your cat by stretching out your arm to stroke her, but she could see this as a threat and lash out with her claws or teeth. Rather give her some space and keep a watchful eye over her from somewhere close by, then save cuddles for a more relaxed moment.
3. Once your cat seems less stressed and more like her usual self, try to engage her in play from a distance. Use a fishing-rod toy or roll a ball for her and she’ll join in if she no longer feels like there’s danger looming.
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Why Does My Cat Have A Lot Of Diarrhea
Your cat may also vomit and have diarrhea or abdominal pain alongside digestive issues. But usually, a decrease in appetite will be one of the first signs of a digestive system problem. Issues can range from acid reflux, tumors, an imbalance of intestinal bacteria, parasites, irritable bowel disease, and other problems.
How To Recognize Stress In Cats
There are a number of behaviors to be aware of when it comes to recognizing stress in cats. Find out what can cause stress in cats and how this can be combated.
Has your cat been acting strange? Has it been hiding at the sound of the doorbell, or acting cautious and upset with family members or houseguests? Maybe your cat has been urinating of defecating outside of the litter box. These behaviors can all be signs that your cat is stressed.
What causes stress and anxiety in cats?
One way to determine whether your cat is stressed is to look at a situation from their point of view. While having a houseguest might be exciting for the owner, it’s a new smell, a new person and a disruption in routine for the cat. Other common causes of stress for cats include new pets, new babies, remodeling, construction, storms, or general changes to their routine.
How to recognize stress in cats
Cats exhibit stress in a variety of ways. They may have skin, bladder and/or gastrointestinal issues. They may also urinate outside their litter box, vocalize excessively with growls or hissing, act aggressively toward people or other animals, or groom obsessively. Some cats have even been known to lick themselves bald from stress.
Helping prevent or alleviate stress in cats
Visit Your Vet
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How To Help A Stressed Out Cat
If your cats behavior changes suddenly in any way, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. He or she can rule out any underlying medical issues as well as make recommendations to help lower your cat’s stress level. Here are some tips for helping to alleviate stress in your cat:
- Play/exercise with your cat regularly Physical activities like a game of “chase the mouse” or “follow the feather” are a great stress reducer for cats.
- Create a safe zone Set apart an area or secret hiding spot in your home for your cat to escape high-stress events like thunderstorms and parties. In a multi-cat household, blocking the line of sight between cats with a solid barrier can be useful, especially when one cat tends to bully or aggravate the other.
- Choose a high quality cat food Your cat’s diet is an integral part of his health and wellbeing. Providing your cat with a diet that is not properly balanced for his or her life stage and lifestyle may cause unforeseen repercussions that may lead to anxiety and stress.
Seasonal And Temperature Changes
Although your cat may live inside, he or she is still very in tune with weather, the sun and the outdoors. Changes in the seasons, and differences in temperature, can greatly affect your cats overall stress levels. For example, when we adjust for Daylight Savings Time, a cats internal clock gets out of whack.
What you can do: If you live in a northern climate, increase the frequency of playtime during winter since birds have migrated south, there are fewer things for your cat to watch out the window! Also, make sure your cat has blankets to snuggle in for warmth. On hot days, make sure your cat has plenty of fresh water and cool hideouts to rest in. Note that while you may enjoy fans, some cats might not like the noise and the way the breeze feels on their fur.
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Reducing Stress For Your Cat
Cat Stress Symptoms And Relief
Whether you’re getting a new piece of furniture, going on a vacation, or having family over to visit, a little change of scenery can be just what you need. But from your cat’s point of view, these traditionally “fun” activities can bring new stress. And that stress can lead to destructive behaviors as cats try to adjust to the change. Here’s how you can help your cat navigate unexpected changes and deal with all that stress successfully.
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Surprising Things That Stress Cats Out
A stressed-out cat makes for a stressed-out owner, especially when you cant figure out what exactly is causing your pets anxiety.
Unfortunately, many signs of anxiety in cats only make life harder for you and your pet .
While some cat stressors make perfect sense , others are easy to miss because they simply dont seem like significant sources of stress to pet owners.
If youre wondering whats gotten under your cats skin, read on to learn some of the most unexpected cat stressors you might encounter. Plus, learn how to deal with them to give you and your cat a better life.
Stress In Pets: What Causes It
Whilemajor life changes, such as moving to a new house or introducing a new fur baby into the household, can be stressful, this isnt always the case. Often, its something a lot more minor that sets off an anxiety attack.
There is no single cause for a pets stress or anxiety. All animals, like people, are unique and can be disturbed by a variety of things. To assist your cat or dog cope with anxiety, start by asking yourself, Whats different?
An unsettling or unhealthy habit can induce stress in cats and dogs. Pets require a lot of interaction, exercise, and mental stimulation, and if they dont receive enough, anxiety can develop.
Cats and dogs are creatures of habit, much like people. If that habit is disturbed, such as by a family vacation or special occasions like Christmas, your pet may feel agitated. Remember that they may not be aware of what is going on around them.
Although we consider our four-legged companions to be family, we may be the source of worry for them while they may not comprehend our holiday customs, they learn to read our behavior in their manner.
You are the most important person to them as a human. If youre upset or anxious, your pet may have picked up on it and been uncomfortable as a result.
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Some Of The Ways To Minimize Separation Anxiety In Cats Are As Follows:
- Leave the radio or TV on a station that is often on when youre there
- Keep arrivals and departures low key
- Create a nook, safe haven, or refuge for your cat that is their safe space
- Provide plenty of toys and/or puzzles for playtime while you are gone
- Channel prey instincts by hiding food in toys that make them work for it
- Start with shorter absences first
- Provide a perch or catio so that your cat can see their favorite views
- Consider a room diffuser or pheromones to provide a calming scent for your cat
- Remove departure cues put your keys in your pocket a few minutes before leaving)
- Provide plenty of cuddles and playtime once home
- For more serious cases, consider having a sitter coming for 1-2 play sessions during absences
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of checking with your veterinarian when you see any change in your cats behavior before you chalk it up to separation anxiety, as early treatment of illnesses is crucial to cat wellness. For example, some cats go outside the litter box when they have urinary tract infections.
In extreme cases, medication may be an option, but your vet will usually leave that as a final alternative. As the ASPCA notes: “Sometimes for cats, veterinarians will advise using pheromones or calming treats before prescribing medication. Always consult with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist before giving your dog or cat any type of medication or supplement for a behavior problem.”
Today Lets Chat About The Visual Signs Of Stress In Cats And How To Encourage A Stressed
What is stress? Why does it affect your cats health?
Stress is the bodily reaction to a perceived threat. Chronic stress is an extended response to emotional pressure over time. Both can reduce immunity, contribute to obesity, and damage the heart muscle.
1. Inappropriate urination
Is your cat peeing outside the litter box? Check first that the litter box isclean, full offresh litter, located in asafe spot, and isconvenient. Plus, make sure youvechosen the right litter box for your cat. A difficult-to-access cat box can upset your animal. Also ask your vet to exclude a urinary tract infection, common among obese cats. If none of these is the source of the inappropriate urination, you may love a nervous cat. Consider what you can do tocut down the stress in your cats life.
2. Excessive eating
Most household pets love to feed. In fact, many of us would like to enjoy our meal with same unabashed relish our cats do. But if your cat eats more than your teenager, he may be stressed . Overeating is a primary symptom of feline anxiety and a considerablecontributor to cat morbidity and premature mortality. Its too serious to neglect. So try putting cat kibble in a puzzle toy. An entertaining activity like that will lessen your cats stress. Plus, eating slowly may cause the cat to consume fewer calories.
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