Your pets deal with stress, too. As shocking or surprising as it may sound, the anxiety associated with stress affects your pets similar to the way it affects you, although cats tend to hide it well. However, stress in cats can lead to a broad range of illnesses, since it tends to suppress their immune system.
Here are the five common signs of stress in cats-
1. Urinating outside the litter box
Our first reaction to an incident like this might be to get angry and punish your cat. However, don’t do that. A cat relieving itself outside its litter box may be a sign that it wants to communicate something to you. It could be the fact that you rearranged things around the house, loud noises, or several other reasons. It could also be a health issue that is causing the urination at inappropriate places. It’s best to consult your vet to make sure.
2. Not eating as usual
Unlike humans, cats don’t like going on crash diets. So, if you spot a sudden change in appetite or your cat stops eating completely, it could be stress. The stress itself may arise from underlying health complications so consult your vet and trace the root of the problem.
3. Excessive isolation
We often tend to associate cats with loneliness and isolation, but that’s not true. While they do like remaining aloof at times, they still need human or pet interaction to stay happy. Constant isolation could be another sign of stress or pain in cats.
4. Excessive grooming
Is your cat licking itself way too much? There is a difference between grooming itself and licking a spot till all the hair is gone. The latter is a clear indication of stress.
5. Showing aggression towards humans or animals
An unwarranted aggressive action toward animals or other people can be a sign of a stressed or a sick cat. Consult your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these patterns.
How can I help out a stressed cat?
The first logical solution is always to consult a vet or a pet behaviourist. They will be best able to rule out any medical complications, and help lower your cat’s stress levels. On your part, maintain their regular playing schedule. Indulge in physical activities like a game of chase, which is a great stress reducer for cats. You can also create a safe zone for your cat so that they can escape high-stress situations like parties or even thunderstorms for that matter. Always remember to choose high-quality cat food. A well-balanced diet is key to their happiness, and any changes to it may cause serious health repercussions.
Do you have any tips to share with us to help a stressed-out cat? Do let us know!