It’s good to note that stress and your cat’s health can be a two-way “Cause and Effect” game. You may have a cat who is rather timid and fearful normally and so even small stress triggers can leave her vulnerable. Skin Issues – This stressful symptom is quite common amongst felines. 4. If you're concerned about your cat's behaviour, you should always go and see your vet. The new kitten may be causing stress to you cat. 1. Let’s take a look how…. Causes of Stress in Cats . Increase interactive play with your cat. “They are silent sufferers,” says Pippa Hutchison, a clinical animal behaviourist. Cat anxiety may be caused by pain or illness, exposure to something toxic or infectious diseases that affect the nervous system. The consequences of cat stress can be a real pain. Just as with humans, stress can cause a wide variety of health issues in cats by compromising their immune system. Stress can make anyone a little crazy, even our cats. The catch is that many of these signs can also indicate various medical conditions, so it can sometimes be tricky to sort things out. Cats are natural teachers and healers, and they really do love us that much. Things that may not seem stressful to a person can be perceived as extremely stressful by a cat, and the cat's physiological reaction to the stressors can manifest as illness. Yes, especially if being under stress is causing the cat to not eat as much or to stop eating - that can cause serious internal problems. Stress also makes cats feel anxious. Know the signs. ThatGirl. Signs Of Cat Stress. Dr. Fern Crist, of The Cat Hospital of Fairfax, Virginia: "As a veterinarian, I frequently see cats that are urinating outside the litterbox. It’s up to you to decode the clues, especially if your cat is letting you know she’s stressing out. Cats show stress in many ways, and it often comes down to observing changes in normal behavior to determine whether yours might be stressed. Cats are often sensitive to any household changes including when people and pets living in your home come and go. Tian Xu and others, "Stress Triggers.". Cats will first run away from a dog but this usually just results in them being chased. The emotional turmoil brought on by such difficulties as household financial problems, frequent job travel, marital differences, new babies and home remodeling can affect our cats in very tangible ways. loud music being played. Quite often, though, the stress is precipitated by a change in your cat’s environment. He or she can rule out any underlying medical issues as well as make suggestions to help lower your cat's stress level. An anxious cat has a propensity towards self-aggression. We can keep their environment as calm and consistent as possible. being denied access to particular … Surely most of them live a pretty cushy life with their every whim catered for. Cat stress can cause unusual feline behavior. Over time this can raise your cat stress level and lead to anxiety. “Get to know your cat’s personality so you understand what makes him happy. What is stress… They may even … Some of our cats most common causes of stress include: 1. visiting strangers or a new baby 2. competition for resources such as food, water or litter trays 3. other cats both in the house or neighborhood 4. a chang… One of the most serious aspects of feline anxiety are compulsive behaviors such as stereotypies. change in litter brand or type. Your cat could also have a medical condition causing a skin irritation so a trip to the vets may be necessary. Many cats are frightened and stressed during vet visits. Some cats will have more “accidents” – suddenly forgetting his or her housebreaking skills and using your home as a personal litter box. We know it is bad for us. If you can't find a solution for the cat, you may want to rehome it into a more peaceful environment. How to Reduce Stress in Cats. Fortunately, we can also help our cats manage their stress appropriately and limit the potential stressors in their lives. Stress in a very serious concern and one that should be addressed immediately. Perhaps these cats make their stress evident in order to get us to change our ways? Allowing your kitty to exercise his hunter instincts by playing with a wand toy or one that mimics rodent behaviorcan help him let off steam and feel calmer. Maybe you don’t have a separate room for your cat, or your personal time is challenged by work obligations outside of the home. This is especially true in cats suffering from allergies. Stress relief for pet owners won't solve every pet health problem, but can go a long way toward alleviating many of them.". Cats feel a lot better when they feel in control of their envionment.Anything that interrupts their feelin of control can make cats unhappy. If a cat develops this type of behavioural problem due to the arrival of a new dog in the home, it is their way of dealing with the fact their environment has suddenly changed. Using a crate to transport your cat is essential and putting a light blanket over the crate until you are at the vet's office may help mask the steps of the journey. Because of that, it is important to know how your cat responds to stress, when they are feeling anxious, and what is causing this anxiety. The cause of stress can be as various as the signs of stress. Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. This will stress your cat, making your relationship difficult, but more importantly it will damage their overall health and well-being. But it can just as easily be the owner's stress. In reality, you should have two boxes per cat for a total of four boxes. Isolation – Avoiding interaction with people and/or other pets. Where you place these resources is also key to ensure that your cat is happy to use them. Cats may react in a number of ways to new family members. You will notice, excessive licking, scratching and grooming. Cat stress or what causes cats to be unhappy What causes cat stress? Below are six common things that often cause cats fear. But what do cats have to be stressed about? Diarrhoea; Vomiting; Large bald patches or sores on the coat caused by over grooming; Runny nose and eyes (e.g. A psychological trigger may be to blame, like a traumatic experience, lack of proper socialization or a history of abuse or neglect. 10 Tips for Creating a Stress-Free Environment for Your Cat, Image: Liudmila P. Sundkova / via Shutterstock, Loud noises (e.g., nearby construction, thunderstorms, someone learning how to play a new instrument). These changes may not be immediately obvious to you, but some cats are extremely sensitive to them. This may include such things as more frequent litter box cleanings, medication or therapeutic diets and setting up more areas in your home for your cat to perch, play and scratch. Cats never behave randomly. Well there is actually quite a lot in modern life that can cause stress and different factors such as genetics and socialization can influence how well each individual copes with these. It may be the cat's stress, such as having a new cat to adjust to in the house. Another cat lover, Lucy Ellis, 31, of Eastbourne, East Sussex, said: "My cat Rosie usually wakes me up by jumping on my head around 5am. Or.....Have you moved recently, have a baby, recently became married or divorced, change in work schedule, etc? While banishing all stress from your cat’s universe may not be possible, “a cat owner who really understands his cat may be able to avoid certain stress-causing situations,” Reimers says. From an in-person conversation with feline veterinarian Dr. Fern Crist, September 2008. Changes in Routine. Do this as soon as possible as your cat could get into an excessive grooming habit that’s had to break. What’s worse is that we can sometimes inadvertently be the cause of their stress. Each cat may eventually react to stress differently. Our feline friends soon figure out this type of strategy does not work so they give up. I have been dealing with stress and anxiety for years and I feel that this pet is adding to my stress on a regular basis. Today, let’s chat about the visual signs of stress in cats and how to encourage a stressed-out cat feel better. Aggression – These aggressive actions may be towards people or other animals. It may be the cat's stress, such as having a new cat to adjust to in the house. New People and Pets . Potential causes that may result in a stressed cat are wide and varied. Here are just a few possible causes of stress for cats: If your cat’s behavior changes suddenly in any way, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Tian Xu, The Yale Cancer Center, and The Fudan-Yale Center for Biomedical Research, "Stress Triggers Tumor Formation,", 5. If your cat is stressed because of another cat in the home, try reducing the monopoly of one cat by changing the environment. If You're Feeling Stressed, So Is Your Cat, Copyright © 2020 Feline Nutrition Foundation, A Diet for Your Cat's Urinary and Kidney Health, Buckley's Story, Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher, Cardiovascular Reactivity and the Presence of Pets, Friends, and Spouses: The Truth About Cats and Dogs, A Pilot Study Using Synthetic Feline Facial Pheromone for the Management of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis. Once you identify what is causing feline urinary stress, and find ways to reduce your cat's stress level, it is important to help manage her stress appropriately moving forward. 1. 6. More importantly, our stress can also influence the development of actual physical illness in our cats as well as in ourselves. To feel in control, cats will carefully mark their home with "happy messages" (or pheromones). 1 0. New babies coming home, grandparents coming to live with you, divorce, roommate changes, marriage, new cats and other pets, and even just someone staying for one night can all cause stress in your cat, especially if your cat doesn't already know them. Over time this can raise your cat stress level and lead to anxiety. One creative way to reduce stress for you and your cat is to do yoga together. 2. And on the flip side, a health issue can be the primary cause of your cat’s stress. Here are just a few possible causes of stress for cats: Dirty litter box conditions Recent move to a new home New household pet New furniture or flooring in the home Friends of family visiting Loud noises (e.g., nearby construction, thunderstorms, someone learning how to play a new instrument) To help your cat deal with fears, stress, and anxiety, the first step is understanding what types of things cause those feelings in cats. I have recently begun taking Cymbalta for Fibromyalgia which I believe is related to stress/anxiety and depression. Strange as it may sound, a stressed cat is not at all uncommon. While this undesirable behavior may be caused by a variety of medical problems, it can also be caused or exacerbated by stress. One of the most important ways in which we can help our cats is by managing our own stress level. While that may not always be realistic, there are things people can do to minimize the effect of environmental stress on cats. But did you know that it doesn't just make you sick, it can also make your cat sick? Sometimes it’s a new pet that is causing your cat to experience feelings of insecurity and you will have to work at settling your existing cat. The tricky part is while the anxiety and fear associated with stress affects our cats in much the same way it does us, most cats tend to hide and mask their inner turmoil. Helping Your Cat Avoid Stress. Underneath that façade, however, your cat may be suffering. Sometimes, it may take something as drastic as a beloved cat getting sick before we make the necessary changes to take better care of ourselves. dirty litter box conditions. Each individual cat is different and what might cause one cat stress will be of no importance to another. Make sure each one of your pets has their own litter tray and their own food bowl and put them on different levels of the house if possible. Excessive Shedding. Cats experience stress for a number of reasons. The cause of your cat's behavioural problem can often be difficult to identify, particularly if there are a number of contributing factors. If you have multiple kitties, make sure one is not blocking the other’s resources, and that both cats have access to their own food and water bowls, litter box, and scratching post. What Causes Cat Stress? Sometimes older cats hide because of an imagined danger brought on by the onset of Feline Cognitive Dysfunction (FCD). As responsible owners, we sometimes need to take a good look at ourselves when we ask why our pets are having problems. New family members (human or animal). Cats do love a quiet spot out of sight at times but if your cat is suddenly hiding a lot more and doesn’t emerge when you try to coax it out, stress could be a prime factor. Everything they do communicates something. Cats like to know what's coming, and disruptions in their routine can cause them stress. 1 decade ago. The anxiety and fear associated with stress affects your cat similar to the way it affects people, though cats tend to hide it well. The other possibility is there is only two boxes, and the kitten is using both. So what can we do to help keep our cats' lives as stress-free as possible? Another cat may be causing your kitty to feel stressed. Neighbors' cats as well as strays and ferals can disrupt your indoor cat's sense of well-being; here are things you can do that won't harm any felines. I wouldn't be surprised. An anxious cat is a cat that lives in constant fear and has phobias which it perhaps did not have before. Signs of stress in cats. And don't forget to manage your stress better, too! change in food brand. Cats are sensitive by nature. This is why AnimalWised brings you 11 reasons why your cat is stressed so that you can think what might be aggravating your kitty. Sometimes even a minor change in the environment, such as moving a piece of furniture, can cause stress. Karen Allen, PhD, Jim Blascovich, PhD, Wendy B. Mendes, MS, ", 4. If you have recently introduced a new pet into the household this could be the cause. Cats feel a lot better when they feel in control of their envionment.Anything that interrupts their feelin of control can make cats unhappy. So we know that our cats help us be less stressed. Give your cat more scratching posts. The emotional turmoil brought on by such difficulties as household financial problems, frequent job travel, marital differences, new babies and home remodeling can affect our cats in very tangible ways. There are many stressors that can significantly upset your cat, from loud noises to the death of a human companion. According to Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D., a certified applied animal behaviorist, chronic stress … Cats have excellent poker faces. Any number of things can result in a hurried first encounter that could encourage unwanted stress and conflict. A stressed cat may also mild to severe bouts of: Anorexia – Suddenly losing interest in food. Even worse, stress can be an indication that your cat has a health issue. Cats pick up on our emotions, often before we ourselves have identified them. Using sprays or plug-ins containing pheromones can have a calming effect on the environment, and help with situations involving inter-cat aggression, introducing a new cat or baby to the household or any other issues that can be viewed as a disruption of normal routine by the cat. Anxiety is a great indicator of stress. Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as … But it can just as easily be the owner's stress. Excessive Grooming – Licking spots on their body raw or bald. Various dermatological conditions may start or intensify in times of stress, like the appearance of dry, itchy skin and rashes. Cats react to things differently like we do as humans. Things that you may assume are so minor that your cat shouldn’t even notice can create stress such as: having new carpet installed. If you have been to the veterinarian to rule out medical causes of your cat's behaviors and you are left suspecting that your cat is stressed, here are some things you can do: 1. Here's what you need to know about the stressors that can make your cat feel crazy, and the symptoms of cat stress. She meets me at my bed in the morning with a high pitched meow and herds me down the hallway to the kitchen as if she is screaming at me. By understanding this and planning ahead, the concerned caregiver can help the cat avoid … How to Deal with the Stress. There are some common signs of a stressed cat, both physical and behavioural. Factors that can potentially cause your cat stress may be found in its interaction with both people and the environment but a significant proportion of the stress experienced by cats relates to their own species. Illnesses – Chronic stress in cats can suppress their immune response, causing a broad range of ailments including cystitis. Here’s how to de-stress your cat. Is Your Cat Freaking Out? Often, especially when rescuing a new cat, there may not be the time or resources for a proper introduction. new furniture. Physical symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of cat anxiety include: Urination or Spraying. travel. This may be one of the most common symptoms of cat anxiety because urination is a natural way for cats, and other animals, to mark their territory. Scratching helps your cat release stress, so provide good quality scratching postsin prominent areas of … Unfortunately, some of the things which stress out our cat are not always obvious.