Did you know that stress in cats is quite frequent? Situations such as moving, lack of hygiene or attention, diseases or traumas can cause a state of stress or anxiety in cats that puts their health and mental well-being in serious danger. We tell you how to detect it and what to do if your cat lives stressed.
Symptoms of stress in cats
There are many adverse situations that can make a cat feel stress or anxiety. However, most of them manage it quite well and it hardly lasts a few days or a few hours. But what happens when cats are more sensitive and unable to remain calm in the face of changes in their environment? Then You can develop a series of symptoms that will last until the situation improves.
We can find behavioral symptoms:
- Change the character of the cat, it becomes more disgusting, elusive or even isolated
- Generalized anxiety
- Phobias and fears that I didn't have before
- Compulsive behaviors
- Ingestion of dangerous objects due to anxiety, usually cloth)
- Marking (scratches) everywhere
- Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia
- Makes your needs out of the sandbox
- Excessive meowing and crying
Y physical symptoms may also occur. The cat, the result of its state of stress, develops diseases:
- Bronchial asthma
- Infections of all kinds
- Viral and autoimmune diseases
Stress treatment in cats
To be able to treat stress in cats It is essential to know what produces it. The first thing will be to visit the veterinarian to rule out the possibility that his condition is not due to stress, but to a disease. If so, then It will proceed to determine what is the cause of your stress, as far as possible, the stimulus that causes discomfort should be eliminated or reduced to the maximum.
Take care of your cat. Try it on relaxed atmosphere and moments of love and care: games, massages, caresses… make him feel part of the home, that will comfort him.
If stress is causing hyperactivity, help him channel all that energy into positive things: Make him play and exercise. A daily game routine can help you a lot.
Take care of your pet's food. Try to be appropriate to your needs and always of high quality, mental wellbeing begins with good health.
You can turn to Artificial pheromone treatments, sell them in spray or drops and can help your cat feel much better.
If your cat does not improve or you have doubts, consult your veterinarian. It may be necessary to resort to an ethologist or other soothing treatments.
How to prevent stress in cats
In general, The better the attention and care you give your cat, the more unlikely it will be to have stress. Food and socialization are very important, take time to investigate what is best for your cat, what he likes to play, spend time together ... And teach him to interact with people and other cats.
If your cat has come home recently, it is normal for the change to produce some stress. Adapting to a home can take some time, but with love and patience you will help a lot.
Of course, you must cover all your basic needs, not just your food. Remember the importance of having a bed to sleep in a suitable place, a litter box and toys to entertain. It is highly recommended that cats have a scraper, especially if they are prone to stress. If you don't have it, it will scratch the furniture! You should not pretend that the cat does not scratch, it is part of its nature, what you should do is educate and teach him to scratch on the scraper.
In short, offer your cat an environment in which he feels loved, comfortable and safe. And be patient and understanding about stress in cats.
Is your cat stressed? What do you do to make him feel better?
What is feline stress?
Stress is a feeling of anguish and nervousness that translates into tension, both physical and emotional. Surely you've ever felt stressed, so you should know what it feels like. Well, feline stress is the same, but applied, of course, to the life and "occupations" of a cat. But, regardless of what may cause it (something we'll see next), a cat with stress is in an awkward and unpleasant situation, and needs your help. And, to help a stressed cat, you need to learn to recognize the symptoms and causes of that stress.
The stressed cat: The causes
Surely you are used to your cat staring at you and observing all your movements. Cats are quite controlling animals, they like to observe and know well the terrain in which they move and, therefore, son the changes in its environment the main triggers of stress. A move, work at home or the arrival of a new member in the family (whether a baby or a new pet) can cause us to face a stressed cat.
There are other environmental causes that can trigger stress, such as holding a house party or firecrackers, storms and other street noises, although these are usually specific causes. Surely as soon as they disappear we will stop having the stressed cat!
The stressed cat: Symptoms
In general, if you detect a change in behavior in your cat, it is very possible that the cat stress is the cause. Of course, stress in cats is not the only cause that may be behind a change in their behavior: the other most common cause would be that they were sick. It is best to consider both options and go to the veterinarian if the animal does not improve, but, for the moment, see if it shows some of the behaviors that we will indicate below. This is how to know if your cat is stressed:
- Marking on walls and furniture: If your cat begins to sharpen its nails in places where it previously did not and insistently, it can be a symptom of stress.
Urinate and defecate outside the sandbox: Yes, it is another symptom that we have a stressed cat, but it is also possible that you have a problem urinating or defecating.
Hides: Besides being a symptom of stress, it also simply means that the cat is scared. It is a classic reaction when firecrackers and fireworks are heard or when there are strangers at home. If it is a timely stressed cat reaction, it is best to let the cat stay in its hiding place until it wants to leave by itself.
Is more aggressive: If you suddenly appear more aggressive and bite you, it can be a symptom of stress.
And how can we know if these symptoms correspond to a stressed cat or a sick cat? Unfortunately, we cannot ask our pet, but we can analyze the most recent events. If these symptoms coincide with any change in the cat's environment, it is likely to be stress. Of course, if the situation is serious, worse or worse, we will have to take the veterinarian to better analyze the picture presented by the animal.
How to help a stressed cat
The first step in helping a stressed cat is to find the cause of stress. As we have already seen, changes in their environment, such as a move or the arrival of another cat or pet, are the most frequent. If this is the cause, we will have to help the cat gradually get used to the new situation.
In the case of moving, it is usually a matter of time, although, of course, we will have to go to the veterinarian if the situation does not improve. When the cat gradually gets used to his new home, the stress level will also decrease. For the cat to make that space of his again, it will help us to place his sandbox and his food in a fixed place, instead of changing it. It will also help that we keep all moving boxes and bags in a place away from the cat, to be more oblivious to all the typical hustle and bustle of a home change.
If the change that is affecting your cat is the arrival of another animal, it is important that we do not force it to relate and that you notice the least possible change in the relationship we have with it. Not only will this help the stressed cat improve his anxiety situation, but it will also make it easier for him to get along with the newcomer. In this case, it is not so different from how a child feels with the arrival of a little brother! Try to pamper your cat so he doesn't feel displaced or removed by the new pet.
Finally, broadly speaking, it is very important that we know our cat well. Each animal has its own personality and reacts differently to changes, and some cats adapt to new situations more easily than others.. For example, if our cat tends to get stressed, during our vacations it may be better for someone you trust to move to our home to take care of it instead of taking it to the house of a friend or relative, since this would imply that he had to deal with two sources of stress at the same time, a new environment and new humans. If your cat adapts better to new environments than strangers and your vacation spot allows it, perhaps the best option is to take your cat with you. You know your pet better than anyone, and it is part of your responsibilities to ensure their welfare.
Another way to help your stressed cat is to prevent stress before it happens. Provide your pet with an environment in which he feels comfortable, with high places where he can perch (They love it!) And hiding places where you can take refuge if there is a storm or you want to get away from the children for a while. There are sprays and air fresheners with pheromones whose smell helps them relax, and a good way to prevent the cat from getting stressed is to place them when you know that a situation is going to occur that will affect you. For example, you can place it in your new home when you take the cat during the first few days, or if you are going to have guests and the cat is stressed by strangers.
If we have a stressed cat, It is important that we solve the problem, since if it gets worse, stress levels can end up seriously affecting your health. A cat stressed for a long time will probably suffer a drop in defenses, and will be more vulnerable to infections and diseases. Digestive disorders are particularly frequent among stressed cats, as well as apathy and fatigue.
As you see, having to deal with a stressed cat It is nothing unusual. Cats are very independent animals, but they also need our love. Respect your cat's space, but make sure you pay enough attention. With patience, dedication and pampering, you can adapt to the changes!