Our four-legged friends do not stress because of work or when they are late. But one thing is certain: cats can also be stressed. And it is important for their owners to recognize the signs and to ensure calmer in the cat’s life.
Cats are very sensitive animals. You will immediately notice when something changes in your environment – be it a new piece of furniture or a new (furry) roommate. And in many cases, the cats react to such changes with stress.
How do you know if your puss is stressed? Probably not at first sight. Cats are very good at hiding when they are not doing well. Because stress, illness, or other weaknesses lead to animals becoming easier prey when living in the wild. From their time as wild animals, it is also in our house tigers’ genes not to show their suffering too clearly.
How to Recognize Stress in Cats
Even so, there are signs that you can tell that cats are experiencing stress. According to the British charity “Battersea Dogs & Cars Home”, these include loss of appetite or unusual behavior. In general, the stress in cats can be expressed physically on the one hand, and behavior on the other.
Physical symptoms of stress in cats:
- Diarrhea or vomiting;
- Bald spots or wounds from excessive grooming;
- Cat runny nose;
- Loss of appetite;
- Lethargy, a cat sleeps more than usual;
- Sudden weight loss or gain;
- a bad condition of the fur;
- Excessive eating and/or drinking;
- Cat eats things that are not food.
Behavioral problems in stressed cats:
- Any change in normal behavior;
- Conspicuous holding a cat’s coat – for example, the cat is making out on the sofa;
- Scratching furniture;
- Aggressive behavior towards people or animals;
- Excessive meowing;
- Increased dependence on family members;
- No sympathy or constant vigilance;
- Constant hiding;
- no desire to play, come in or out of the house;
- Excessive grooming;
- Roaming around the house.
You can also see the stress on cats’ faces. In stressful situations, many kitties lay their ears flat. The eyes are wide open, the pupils dilated. In addition, the whiskers of stressed cats point forward, informs “Cats Protection”.
Ten Tips for Relaxed Ones
Do you see one or more of these signs in your cat and suspect that it may be suffering from stress? Then your first action should be to get advice from the vet. The experts can check your kitty and, if in doubt, rule out other causes.
In addition, there are a few things you can do to take the stress out of your cat. Veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker has the following tips on her blog “Healthy Pets”:
- Remove any stress triggers in the environment – such as certain lights, sounds, or smells
Establish safe retreats – your cat needs to be able to keep a distance if it feels threatened or scared.
- Place your cat’s things in such a way that it feels comfortable – the litter box and bowls should be in quieter places than in the middle of the hustle and bustle.
- Let your cat spread its scent – by rubbing against scratching posts, for example, and put things that usually smell like blankets in the transport box when your kitty has to travel.
- Give your cat a chance to play – playing reduces stress!
- Let them “hunt” their food – this way your cat can follow their natural behavior.
- Soothing Music – Cats can be surprisingly musical, and soft, soft tones are calming.
How you deal with the cat is also important. Try to be calm and patient at all times. Show your kitty that you are there for her without you constantly pushing me on her.
Why It is Important to Take Stress Off Cats as Quickly as Possible
Prolonged stress on cats can negatively affect their emotional and physical health. In the worst case, it creates real diseases. Or your cat shows problem behavior. With the former, a visit to the vet can help, with the latter the advice of behavioral trainers.