A series of behaviors must be taken into account to recognize stress in cats. Find out what can cause stress in cats and how to solve it.
Has your cat been behaving strangely? Do you hide when you hear the doorbell? Are you cautious or upset with family members or guests? Have you urinated or defecated outside the sandbox? All of these behaviors can be signs that you are stressed.
What causes stress and anxiety in cats?
One way to determine if a cat is stressed is to observe the situation from their point of view. While it may be exciting for you to receive guests at home, for your cat they are new smells and unknown people who break their routine. Other common causes of stress in cats are the incorporation of pets and babies, reforms, storms and, in general, any change in their daily routine.
How to recognize stress in cats
Cats manifest stress in several ways. They can manifest skin, urinary or gastrointestinal problems, urinate outside the sandbox, growl or snort excessively, act aggressively with people or other animals, or lick obsessively. There are even cases of cats that run out of hair by licking excessively because of stress.
Help prevent or relieve stress in cats
What can be done to help relieve a cat’s stress and anxiety? One of the options is to minimize your exposure to unpleasant situations. Instead of traveling on a plane with your cat, can you count on a pet sitter so that the animal stays where it feels safe?
“Environmental enrichment” is a term used by veterinarians to describe ways to make your home a happier place for the cat. Cats can get bored, which can also lead to behavioral problems. By nature, cats love to hunt, so play with them whenever you can.
Another idea to reduce feline stress is to add additional sandboxes or feeders. This reduces competition in homes where there is more than one cat. Many domestic cats enjoy vertical spaces and can thank a cat tree, from where they can observe everything that happens in the house from a safe distance. Water sources can break boredom and encourage the cat to drink more.
There are other ways to help your cat manage stress if he is not receptive to the above suggestions. Feline pheromones (chemicals released into the environment that affect the animal’s behavior) are available in diffusers and aerosols and help relieve stress. Many veterinary clinics use them to help reassure their feline patients.
Prescription medications are another possibility that the veterinarian may recommend. And for those owners who are not able to administer oral medications to their cats, veterinary prescription diets with anti-stress nutrients are as easy to administer as filling the feeder.
Visit your veterinarian
The veterinarian is the person who can best inform you about the stress that your cat suffers, and can advise you how to make visits to the clinic easier. Once the diagnosis of stress is confirmed, you can assess the possibility of giving the cat a prescription diet for this purpose.