To answer a common question I got from my followers and readers, today I want to write about the signs your cat is stressed and how to help your cat to get rid of this problem. Cats are one of the best-loved animals that many people would like to consider raising them at home if they don’t have one already. Unlike other pets, Cats are obedient and do not cause you any damage at home. Stress in a cat is a common condition because cats are easy to be stressed out almost from anything or any changes in their life.
Their energy around the house is so playful and fun, and they make the best cuddling buddies. However, these cute little creatures may struggle with stress and anxiety (yes, it is not exclusively for humans only), so they may display abnormal behaviors.
Stress in a cat is a very common thing, yet most cat owners may not pay attention to its symptoms. Sometimes cat owners are surprised by the fact that their cat may feel anxious at all. And even if they are aware of such a situation, they do not know what to do about it.
This article will deal with all that you need to know about stress in a cat and help you to recognize all the possible signs your cat is stressed. Then, the article will also include some helpful ways and tips that you can do to help your cat to get out of this stressed mood.
Table of Contents
6 Signs Your Cat Is Stressed
#1 Tail Position
You can tell so much about a cat just from its tail. Hence, a cat owner must watch out its pet’s tail movement to know more about its emotional state. When the case is anxiety, the cat’s tail position can be one of the signs your cat is stressed.
As approved by many veterinarians, when cats are anxious or stressed, they will hold their tail in a low position and move it quickly back and forth. If you noticed your cat is displaying such positions, you should be careful of it as it may be aggressive for no reason. For those who are friends with cat owners and you notice this position as well, it is better not to interact with cats in this case, for that they are not friendly with strangers.
“Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause the most inconvenience.”
#2 Excessive Grooming And Licking
Interestingly enough, the stress in a cat can be displayed in over-grooming itself. Just like us humans, we bite our nails in stressing situation; cats tend to excessively groom themselves. Indeed, cats do this grooming thing as a way of calming themselves, so when they overdo, it means they have not reached a state of calmness yet.
A cat owner must observe its pet behaviors because over-grooming may lead to skin irritation and infection that may hurt your pet even more. Before you assume this extra grooming is one of the signs your cat is stressed, make sure your cat does not have any kind of allergies. You should figure out your cat’s problem as soon as possible to prevent unwanted harm to your kitty.
#3 Hiding, Solitude, Or Isolation
One of the signs your cat is stressed is hiding from you or total isolation from everyone. Stress in a cat can be tricky sometimes and difficult to differentiate it from other conditions such as depression in cats or different disease, which might cause the same signs.
However, a lot of people isolate themselves when they feel anxious or stressed; the same applies to cats. Stress in a cat is apparent when they tend to hide to avoid uncomfortable situations. Usually, the locations chosen are under furniture, or behind them, and sometimes even in the shower.
Indeed, cats will isolate themselves in a place where they feel safer and away from the thing, causing them anxiety. You need to find what is causing your cat stress, especially if your cat is usually social, and suddenly, you see her isolating itself.
#4 Aggression Toward People Or Other Animals
Like some cats choose to isolate themselves when being stresses, some others decide to be aggressive and violent as a self-defense mechanism against the uncomfortable situation. Just like hiding, aggression is done by cats to protect themselves from the reason causing them anxiety.
Cats, in this case, use their claw and teeth to threaten humans or other animals. Aggression can be caused by physical or emotional stress. If you notice any aggression in your cat’s behavior, you should contact a veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent any harm and your family.
#5 Urinary Accidents Outside The Litterbox
Stress in a cat is shown through a lot of abnormal behaviors. When your cat is anxious, most of its regular practices get messed up. The way your cat used to urinate is also part of the changes. When a cat urinates outside the litter box, stress is considered to be one of the reasons behind this action.
However, it is not the only reason. many other urinary tract conditions in cats such as bladder stones, kidney disease, or diabetes may cause this unusual behavior. Unfortunately, the most utmost cat owners’ first reaction to pee accidents from their cats is to shout and yell at their cats, which may increase the stress! It is better to consult a veterinarian to identify the reason for this action.
#6 Loss Of Appetite
A lot of people and animals may lose their appetite to eat when they are encountering a stressful situation. Some cats also turn to this behavior to articulate stress and anxiety. If your cat is continuously refusing the food you offer, it is probably anxious.
Also, If you have changed the environment or you brought up new pet friends, then you should consider stress as the main factor of its behaviors. But if you think that nothing has happened that should make your cat anxious; you should probably contact a veterinarian to know what is up.
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Causes Of Stress In A Cat
Knowing the 6 signs your cat is stressed, it is vital to know the causes so you can avoid them!
It is very crucial to list the possible reason that may cause stress in a cat. This way, your method of approaching the problem and fixing will become easier for you and your vet. If you noticed any signs your cat is stressed, you should check if one of the following reasons has occurred:
#1 Changing Your Place
As a cat owner, you should know that your cat does not get familiar with new places quite fast. If you were moving to a new home and noticed that your cat is stressed, it is normal.
You should give it some time to get used to the environment around it, and if it takes too long, you can always seek professional help. It would be best if you also considered changing the home décor fundamentally as a possible reason as well.
#2 New People, Pets Or Cats
Yes, bringing people over your house may be so appealing to your cat. The same applies to new cats or even other kinds of pets. However, cats may get used to strangers after a while, but it is quite stressful in the beginning.
#3 Loud Noises
Most cats are not big fans of loud voices. In consequence, it can make them quite anxious. So if you do have loud noises in your house or around it, you should consider removing it or reduce it.
How Can I Help My Stressed Cat?
After knowing what are the signs your cat is stressed, how can you help your stressed cat?
Stress in a cat can be a severe condition if you, as a cat owner, don’t fix it quickly! Such conditions may lead to different serious problems, such as depression or other severe complications. Also, as we mentioned before, Cats are easy to feel stressed and bored.
So, to help your cat from her stressful situation and make sure your cat is not facing and other problems that may be causing the stress itself, it is better to seek professional help. However, if you are busy or out of money, you can try the following suggestions and tips:
#1 Get Rid Of Cat Competition
Cat competition is a common issue if you have more than one pet in your household or a multi-cat household. This competition is one of the main reasons for stress in a cat.
Some multi-cat households force their cats to share the house, food, litterbox, or even water dishes, which can cause a lot of tension and stress between cats and other pets.
Therefore, make sure every cat or pet has its own things to call their own. Also, it is advised to put cats’ stuff separated all over the house, and away from each other, so one cat doesn’t try to bully others and keep them all for itself.
#2 Try To Change Your Home Environment In A Way That Makes Your Pet Eager To Explore The Space
Having a cat-friendly place where they feel secure, safe, and stimulated is a great way to prevent stress in a cat and fix any sign from the 6 signs your cat is stressed we mentioned before.
Also, try to change your home environment so that it makes your pet eager to explore the space.
It would be best if you avoided sudden, and many changes in the cat’s space because it can be challenging and stressful to the cat.
#3 Spend Quality Time With Your Cat. But, Do Not Force Your Cat To Interact With You
Cats aren’t as social compared to dogs. However, they still need to play and interact with their owners and other animals. Therefore, spending quality time with your cat is a great way to reduce the chances of seeing stress in a cat.
Your cat loves you, and there is a particular communication skill to learn to understand your cat (Read More Here).
To communicate with you and tell you what they want, your cat will use certain signs and different methods. Unlike dogs, cats’ expression is way different and not obvious.
Also, avoiding spending time with your cat could lead to more notable health issues such as depression in cats. (Read More Here).
It is suggested to spend at least 5-10 minutes two times daily. It will help overcome that extra energy as well as satisfy your cat hunting instincts. Plus, it gives your cat with proper mental stimulation.
However, don’t force your cat to interact with you and show your cat some care, but don’t be annoying. Cats need their own space and time. So as a cat owner, you must respect that and give your cat their own space.
#4 Get Your Cat Some Toys To Stimulate Their Interest And Curiosity
Providing your cat with means to stimulate their natural behaviors is a great way to keep your cat happy and healthy. Also, it is not mandatory to buy cat toys and pay a lot, if you go to websites such as Pinterest and search for DIY cat toys, you will find so many articles to create cat toys.
#5 Promote Normal Cat Behaviors
Taking away something your cat love can be as annoying as someone took away something you love. Natural behavior in cats is even more important than that.
As a cat owner, you must promote your cat’s normal behavior. For kitties, being able to do normal cat-stuff like scratching, climbing, or hunting is part of their life. They most probably begin doing bad stuff like peeing inappropriately or grooming too much, if you stop them from doing all these cat-stuff.
The only way to protect your cat from such problems is by providing lots of possibilities for normal-cat behaviors, such as:
Cats enjoy climbing on anything to be high up. It’s in their nature, so if you provide them with different tools to climb on, they will be more than happy.
Getting them unique cat shelves and hang them on walls would be a perfect idea for your cat. Also, there is a cat tree, which you can either buy or create one yourself. This one is an excellent idea if you have multi cats.
Another idea is to hang some shelves near the windows because cats love watching things outside like birds.
B. Clawing & Scratching:
If you already own a cat (or owned by a cat), then you know that having a scratching post with materials they like is essential.
Also, it is advisable to put one near your cat’s sleep area because they love to scratch after they wake up. Another idea is to put one near the doors of your house to give them the possibility to mark their scent and whereby their territory.
Cats are predators. Therefore, your cat will show hunting skills or even play in a way to improve their hunting skills. As a cat owner, you must promote this behavior instead of feeling angry about it. One of the ideas to do so is to provide them with a variety of proper toys for this matter.
Hiding is a favorite cat thing; they love doing it in weird places and areas. Hiding gives cat more secure feeling or simply to sleep there without any disturbance. Therefore, putting a few boxes around the house is an ideal idea to keep your cat happy and satisfied.
#6 Expose Your Cat To Some Calming Music
Some calming music for your cat can be a fantastic way to get rid of its stress. Stress in a cat is the same as stress in humans. Some good calm music can be ideal for your cat.
Finally, I hope you found this article useful and informative.
Let me know your answer down below. What do you think about these Tips To Relieve Stress In A Cat? Do you have more information or tips about stress in a cat or how to avoid them?
If you have any other questions or different opinions about it, leave a comment below.
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