How To Reduce Stress In Cats?

How To Reduce Stress In Cats?

Cats are extremely loving and affectionate creatures. However, as easy-going as they are, felines are also incredibly sensitive and can be easily affected by changes in their surroundings. Cats are also inquisitive by nature, and unless they are fairly acclimated and aware of their environment, they can often feel overwhelmed and stressed.

Furry felines are not fans of sudden changes, which can easily stress or spook them out, taking a toll on their mental and physical health. Stress affects cats emotionally, often leading to changes in their behaviour. Stressed cats are more likely to be anxious, afraid, and aggressive. Stress can cause even the most loving kitties to act cold and distant. In addition, stress can adversely affect the general health and lifestyle of cats, causing significant weight gain or weight loss, and often leading to serious health disorders. Hence cat parents must know how to reduce stress in cats for effective cat stress relief. 

Here is a concise guide on how to reduce stress for cats. As long as you can read the signs of stress in cats and treat them gently with empathy, your feline friend is going to feel better in no time and return to its usual loving, playful nature.

Identifying signs of stress in cats

In addition to knowing how to relieve cat stress, knowing these signs of stress in feline furries will allow you to also reduce stress in cats.

Physical Symptoms

  1. Diarrhoea

    Stress does not simply affect cats emotionally, but it can also be physically taxing for the furry munchkins. While stressed, cats are known to produce different types of hormones to help counter the effects. Such hormonal imbalances can wreak havoc on your fur baby's digestion system resulting in severe diarrhoea.

  2. Vomiting

    Hormonal imbalances can cause indigestion in cats. And any undigested food is usually regurgitated by our feline friends, causing them to vomit frequently. Excessive vomiting is one of the primary causes of dehydration in cats, so make sure your fur kiddo stays hydrated when it is stressed and vomiting frequently.

  3. Runny nose/eyes

    Being stressed and anxious for a long time can affect a feline’s immune system, causing it to weaken significantly. This might cause your kitty to be more susceptible to common feline diseases as well as viral and bacterial infections, leading to symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose.

  4. Lack of appetite

    A loss of appetite is among the primary sign of stress in cats. Stress and anxiety can prove to be overbearing on our furry friends, causing them to give up eating while it is dealing with the stress. Consider visiting a veterinarian if your cat has given up eating completely.

  5. Sudden weight loss/gain

    Stress has a significant impact on the lifestyle of cats, causing them to grow lethargic and give up on their active lifestyle, causing weight gain. Stress is also the leading reason for cats losing their appetite, as well as diarrhoea and vomiting, which can be reflected by drastic weight loss.

Behavioural Symptoms

  • Change in behaviour

    Furry felines are known for being extremely friendly, affectionate, playful, and easy-going. But stress and anxiety can greatly impact their nature, leaving them distant and aggressive. If your fur baby is suddenly behaving differently such as seeming to be withdrawn or hostile, it can be a possible sign of stress.

  • Toileting outside the litter tray

    Cats prefer being spick and span, which is also reflected in their tidy toilet habits. So, if your cat is peeing and pooping outside the litter tray, it might be stressed and feeling insecure about its environment. Excreting outside the litter tray is also considered a desperate call for attention.

  • Excessive scratching

    In the wild, cats are often preyed upon by larger animals, such as dogs. This often causes sharpen their claws to fend off any possible threats. Excessive scratching to sharpen their claws is a sign that your feline friend is stressed and preparing itself in anticipation of any possible danger.

  • Aggression

    While stressed, cats are on their guard continuously, causing them to show aggression every time they feel threatened by any small change in their environment. Stress can also cause cats to feel frustrated, which fuels their aggression. Knowing how to reduce stress for cats can help cats with severe aggression.

  • Excessive meowing

    Though cats are usually quite interactive and vocal with their favourite humans by meowing at them, excessive meowing can be a possible sign of stress. It shows that our kitty wants to draw your attention to itself. Cries and yowls are also considered to be symptoms of stress and discomfort.

Ways to relieve stress in cats

Cat parents are often faced with the question of how to reduce stress in cats for immediate cat stress relief. Here are some effective suggestions on how to relieve cat stress.

  1. Provide a suitable litter box

    Cats being extremely clean and tidy, require a designated spot to relieve themselves. Generally, cats prefer pooping in litter trays, as it is safe to use, and reduces the chances of a mess or contamination. So, if you are wondering how to relieve cat stress, you can get started by providing a suitable litter box that can greatly comfort a stressed-out cat. Litter boxes help allow them to put their guard down and make themselves vulnerable. In addition, you must also remember to clean out the litter tray frequently for better cat stress relief.

  2. Buy good quality cat food

    Furry felines are the biggest foodies. These fabulous little munchkins do not just enjoy eating food, but simply love being spoilt with a variety of food options and flavours. Good cat food and treats can play a vital role in helping cats calm down when they are stressed. So, if your kitty seems anxious or is being aggressive, offering it some cat treats by Temptations™ can go a long way in alleviating its stress. Temptations™ cat treats are the best choice since furry felines love the delicious flavours.  It will help your kitty feel better in no time.

  3. Keep drinking water available

    Some cat breeds do not always share the best relationship with water. This can also be reflected in cats drinking less water than they are supposed to, often leading to feline dehydration. And while they are under stress or discomfort, cats often give up eating and drinking completely, significantly raising the risks of dehydration. To avoid this, keeping clean drinking water available so that it can be easily accessible to your furry munchkin can be extremely beneficial. It is also important to replenish their water bowls from time to time with fresh water to avoid contamination, and is an awesome tip if you’re still thinking about how to reduce stress in cats.

  4. Put up perches

    Cats are extremely inquisitive and intelligent, which often causes them to explore and navigate new terrains before they let their guard down in a new atmosphere. Most cats prefer climbing on higher grounds to perch as they are excellent vantage points where they can relax, enjoy their alone time, and de-stress. If your kitty is feeling stressed in a new environment, putting up perches can be a wise step to helping them navigate better and calm down once they have a good idea about the place. Perches also help cats to isolate themselves and feel safe.

  5. Play with your cat regularly

    Furry felines are incredibly loving and affectionate by nature and would love nothing more than to spend time with their favourite humans, playing and snuggling. Although cats need their alone time to recharge their social batteries, they are superbly intelligent and playful, making sure your play sessions are always entertaining. And if your kitty is stressed, why not play with it as a possible distraction? In addition to helping your furry munchkin stay physically active, playing with it regularly will also help you foster a precious relationship with it that you will cherish forever.

  6. Avoid sudden environmental changes

    Like water, cats are not very fond of changes, such as shifting houses and moving to a new neighbourhood. Due to their unfamiliarity with new environments, sudden changes can leave your feline buddy stressed and anxious. So, avoiding sudden environmental changes can significantly reduce the chances of stress in cats. Although it is difficult for cat parents to avoid changes completely, being empathetic to what their furry munchkin is feeling can allow cat parents to better respond to them.

  7. Establish a scratching area

    A scratching area can be a good addition to your household if your fur baby is feeling stressed. Cats often scratch to sharpen their claws, which are their primary weapons for fending off threats. Indoor cats too, often use scratching posts to sharpen their claws. Knowing that they have their defences ready can help cats feel relaxed in new environments. Scratching posts are easily available for purchase in pet shops, or you can make one yourself out of recyclable materials as a fun DIY project.

  8. Consult a professional

    Fur kiddos can be stressed when they are sick or suffering from ailments. Unlike humans, these adorable munchkins are not always deft at communicating what is bothering them, often leading to additional anxiety and stress in cats. Symptoms such as frequent urination, diarrhoea, and vomiting are common among stressed cats. But these can also arise from underlying health disorders. So, without leaving things to chance, it is always better to consult a veterinarian doctor to reduce stress in cats. Additionally, in severe cases of stress and anxiety, veterinarians can also recommend drugs like alprazolam and clorazepate that are helpful for cat stress relief.

Stress for your cat FAQs

  1. What happens if a cat gets too stressed?

    Stress in cats, if left unchecked, can adversely affect their lifestyle. Stress in cats often causes them to drastically change behaviour, rarely eat or drink, and can even manifest into physical disorders. Stress can also affect cats emotionally, leaving them depressed.

  2. What does cat anxiety look like?

    Anxiety in cats can lead to significant health disorders. Over time, cats with anxiety can start to display distinct symptoms such as diarrhoea, frequent urination, vomiting, nausea, sudden weight gain or loss, and aggression. Anxiety can also affect cats emotionally.   

  3. Does catnip help cats with anxiety?

    If you are looking for solutions on how to reduce stress in cats, catnip can prove to be a good option. Catnip contains nepetalactone, which attracts cats, triggering the pleasure receptors in their brain. Catnip is safe for cats too.

  4. Is my cat stressed or sick?

    Sick and stressed cats often show similar symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, diarrhoea, weight loss, lack of appetite, and more. So, to avoid risks, it is best to consult a veterinarian.

  5. What happens if a cat gets too stressed? 

    Stressed cats show symptoms like loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, frequent urination, loss of appetite, runny eyes and nose, and nausea. In addition to triggering disorders like feline urinary tract disease and feline hyperaesthesia syndrome, stress can also cause aggression and depression. 


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