Cats are more independent than dogs, so subtle behavioral changes may only be apparent if you know what you’re looking for.
Too often, inexperienced pet parents chalk their feline’s odd or poor behavior to cats being jerks. But these changes in behavior and routine might be a symptom of a much bigger issue—cat anxiety.
Can Cats Experience Stress And Anxiety?
We usually do not consider mental health problems concerning our pets. However, cats and dogs alike can have trouble handling anxiety like ours.
The independent ways of cats can sometimes make it harder to see if they’re having issues. Still, changes to your feline’s typical behaviors usually indicate unhappiness with something happening in their environment or routine.
As we repeatedly say here at KittyNook, cats are creatures of habit and do not like changes, so once they are accustomed to certain routines, changes can make your cat feel unstable.
Separation Anxiety in Cats
Common among pets is called separation anxiety. This type of anxiety is triggered when pets are left alone. Cats with separation anxiety hate being left at home alone, so many of their destructive actions occur when you aren’t there to oversee them.
This kind of anxiety can be one of the most dangerous for your cat because they might wound themselves, get stuck, or leave your house and get lost.
Individual personalities should also be considered. While there are evident symptoms of a stressed-out cat, some signs may be unique to your cat’s typical behavior and regimen. You’ll need to look for behaviors not typical for your cat.
Determining signs of cat anxiety is the first step towards finding safe and proper solutions and, of course, helping relax your cat. Let’s have a look at a few of the most common practices for pet cat stress and anxiety:
Possible Causes of Cat Stress And Anxiety
So why is your feline so stressed out? Your pet might appear calm and disinterested sometimes, but they are sensitive to small changes. If you suspect your cat has anxiety, you must try to determine what is causing it.
Here are some things that could be adding to your cat’s behavioral concerns:
Modifications to your schedules, like work or school, can significantly affect your cat’s routine. They become accustomed to the times you are home, so when that changes, your feline may begin acting out.
Relocating houses is one of the most challenging situations for a pet cat. Indoor felines do nothing outside their residence, so a significant change can make your cat feel confused and vulnerable.
Adding A New Family Member
A new addition to your home, like a child or another pet, can be incredibly distressing for your feline. They might feel ignored or territorial by the new household member, leading to aggression or defensive behaviors.
Losing a Family Member
Despite who your cat chooses as their person, they will undoubtedly develop a bond with every person in your household to some degree. When a person they are accustomed to instantly leaves, this can be complex for your cat. A death in the household or even a family member vacating can cause your cat to lash out.
Illness or Injury
Felines are proficient at concealing discomfort and also pain. It’s a natural defense mechanism for a wild cat to cover weak points from possible killers, which your domesticated cat still does. Instead of whimpering, your cat may instead reveal some non-verbal stress cues.
Cats might not appear like one of the most devoted pets compared to dogs, yet they can tell when stress is heightened around them. This implies that your anxiety hand signal could be the source of your kitty’s tension.
Other Tips for Calming Down a Cat
In some cases, stress and anxiety only show their ugly head in certain situations. Though general stress and anxiety treatments can still be effective, you may wish to consider routines and techniques for handling anxiety under specific conditions.
This can help decrease the cat separation stress and anxiety symptoms and stop your cat’s anxiety from worsening. It can also make it easier to recognize triggers and create routines to help your feline develop confidence and break the poor habits that come with feline anxiety signs and symptoms.
If your feline is stressed out, ensure they have a peaceful, safe place to go, indoors or in the yard. Spend time playing with your cat, mainly if outside gain access is restricted. Food puzzle toys great ways for them to get psychological and physical excitement.
Is your cat struggling with stress and anxiety? In the comments below, let us know how you manage signs and symptoms and reduce triggers!