You love your cat, but sometimes they can be a real handful. Whether it’s running around the house at all hours of the night or clawing up your furniture, there are plenty of things that can stress out your feline friend. Here are 6 things that you may not realize are stressing out your cat. Take a look and see if you can eliminate some of these stressors from your cat’s life!
1. Change in routine
2. Lack of exercise
3. Too much noise
4. New people or animals in the house
5. Being left alone for too long
6. Dirty litter box
How do I know if I stress my cat out?
Understanding how cats express stress can help ensure a cat’s emotional well-being. Pay attention to subtle changes in your cat’s behavior, such as sudden aggressiveness or hiding for large periods.
If your cat has not been spayed or neutered, there may be an increase in urine marking, which is typically a sign of distress. Another indicator could be the onset of destructive behavior, such as frequent scratching and clawing in the home or refusal to eat.
Keep track of these behaviors if you notice them — if a pattern emerges it may be a clue that your cat is under excessive amounts of stress. Of course, never hesitate to consult your vet if any worrying signs persist or worsen.
Can my stress affect my cat?
It is a common belief among pet owners that their emotions and stress levels can impact the well-being of their cats. While there is not extensive research in this field, studies suggest that cats are highly sensitive to their environment and can absorb negative energy from stressed-out humans. When exposed to prolonged stress, cats may become anxious or display behavioral changes as a reaction.
Because of this, cat owners need to remain conscious and mindful of their emotions when around their pets and try their best to provide an environment that is calm and peaceful.
Additionally, providing cats with plenty of love, affection, activity, and stimulation – such as toys or scratching posts – can help keep them happy and healthy in times of stress.
What causes cat anxiety?
Cat anxiety can be caused by several factors, both environmental and biological. Common environmental stressors include loud or unfamiliar noises, changes in their routine or diet, the presence of unfamiliar cats or other animals, and coming into contact with things they find intimidating.
From a biological standpoint, cats with underlying medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism may be more prone to anxious behavior. Cats also experience life stages that bring about stress such as transitioning from kittens to adults, going through a move or home renovation, and starting to age.
For many cats, anxiety is difficult to treat and building trust with the cat is key to keeping them calm. Understanding the various causes of cat anxiety and providing a comfortable environment for your pet can help minimize the effects of this disorder.
How do you relax a stressed cat?
Knowing when your cat is stressed and understanding how to help can be an important part of being a responsible pet owner.
To help reduce stress in cats, provide them with comfortable and secure hiding places like toy boxes or paper bags, give them plenty of attention and interact with them through playtime, divert their focus by introducing new toys and activities, and ensure they have access to calming behavior reducing pheromones.
When cats feel safe and secure they’re less likely to experience stress so it’s crucial to get the environment right and give your feline friend a routine they can depend on. Most importantly, having patience while a cat adjusts to a situation or environment will go further in relaxation than any other method.
What scents calm cats?
The comforting and calming scents that cats find relaxing can vary depending on the individual, but certain aromas have proven to be particularly useful when it comes to soothing feline friends.
Lavender is a favorite among many kitties and its calming effects come from its ability to reduce stress. Catnip also has a similar effect and its smell draws cats in for a closer sniff. Other suggested scents include rosemary, chamomile, valerian root, peppermint, sandalwood, and jasmine.
These odors often entice curious cats and bring about feelings of solace in their presence. Aromatherapy may take some trial and error before you figure out which scent works best for your cat; luckily with so many options out there, you should be able to find one that will provide an extra dose of comfort quickly!
Closing Thoughts: 6 Things That Stress Out Your Cat
All of these things can stress out your cat, so it’s important to be aware of them. If you think your cat is stressed, talk to your veterinarian. Some medical conditions can cause stress in cats, so it’s always best to rule those out first.
Once you’ve ruled out any medical causes, there are some things you can do to help reduce your cat’s stress levels. Providing a hiding spot, being consistent with rules and routines, and using Feliway diffusers are all great ways to help reduce your cat’s stress. Do you have a stressed-out cat? What have you done to help reduce their stress levels?