If you have a cat, you probably already know that certain circumstances can cause it to hiss, flee, hide, urinate, or defecate outside of its litter box. It is essential that you are aware of these habits in order to support your cat. Environmental stress may trigger any of these responses. Even while it can be challenging to completely avoid stress, being aware of some common triggers can help you prevent your cat from going through unwanted stress.
Stressors that Cats Face
Just like people, every cat will react differently to a given situation, item, or person, but there are several typical situations that are more likely to worry your cat than others.
Pets and unfamiliar people
Especially when residents and their pets come and leave, cats are typically alert to any changes in the house. New infants coming home, grandparents moving in with you, grandparents moving out, divorce, switching roommates, marriage, new cats and other animals, or even simply a stranger staying for one night if your cat doesn’t already know them, can all cause worry in your cat. Many cats may experience difficulties when their homes are visited by guests during the holidays because this not only involves meeting new people but also a great deal of additional stressors.
Unusual odors, construction noises, materials lying around, strange people, and other aspects of having work done on or near your home may cause your cat concern. It doesn’t necessarily take a major building project to bring problems; just painting a room or doing little remodeling can sometimes lead to conflict.
If your cat hears, smells, or—most importantly—sees another animal outside, it can become anxious. Outdoors cats are a frequent source of pain for indoor cats, even while being unable to capture birds outside that your cat sees can make your indoor cat tense.
If you have to transport your cat for any reason, stress is likely to develop. Unfamiliarity with a carrier, the sights and sounds of a car or airplane flight, or the anticipation of the destination can all cause stress (such as the vet).
Additional Environmental Changes
Everything, including moving boxes, robotic vacuums, and seasonal décor, can make your cat anxious. Moving your cat’s favorite scratching posts, switching the type of litter you usually use, changing where it eats, and other similar changes to its environment can stress it out. Any change, though, has the potential to be unpleasant in your house.
Knowing What Stress Does to Your Cat
Although hiding is not the sole sign of stress in cats, it is one of the most evident.
Hissing, running away, snarling, scratching things, and urinating outside the litter box are further signs of stress in cats. These actions shouldn’t be ignored if they happen frequently. Even though your cat is upset about it, you don’t have to get rid of them, get rid of a new pet, or stop construction because of it.
How to Calm Your Panicked Cat
Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to assist your anxious cat. If you can pinpoint the source of the stress, eliminating it is the best line of action, however this isn’t always possible. Keep a watch out for these symptoms in your cat, and think about any recent changes that might have occurred.
Sprays, wipes, and diffusers that contain pheromones are excellent places to start when attempting to calm your feline friend. The usage of products like those made by FeliwayTM is optional; it can be occasional, permanent, or both. They provide cats with a sense of security and tranquillity, but extra remedies may be necessary if they are insufficient on their own.
The next steps in calming down your stressed-out cat are vitamins and special diets. A frightened cat may benefit from a number of chemicals, according to research, including L-theanine, milk whey proteins, magnolia, and phelodendron extracts. Products like ZylkeneTM and even specialty cat foods like Royal Canin’s CalmTM diet may contain these ingredients.
Numerous pheromones, vitamins, diets, and even medications may be needed for worried cats. If alternative therapies are unsuccessful, your veterinarian may suggest fluoxetine, gabapentin, amitryptilline, and other prescription medications for anxious animals. Depending on the situation, either of these may need to be used permanently, but you should do whatever it takes to help your cat feel less stressed.
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