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How to recognise stress in cats. Why Do Cats Get Stressed? An unexpected incident or threat can cause acute stress and this type of stress is easily recognizable in cats. This can be done by more frequent litter box cleaning (adding another box if it is a multi-cat home), ensuring they have a quiet place to rest and be away from other household pets, offering treats and food they enjoy, allowing protected access to the outdoors, and resolving stress issues between other cats, pets, children, or adults in the house. Do you think your cat may be suffering from stress or anxiety? You simply plug the diffuser into your plug socket, in much the same way as you would do an air freshener, and forget about it. Owners might recognize stress in their cats if their behavior changes abruptly. A few common reasons include: Bullying from other cats . Changing physical and environmental factors in the house can cause an increase of anxiety in your cat. Stress also increases the risk of cats showing urine marking and some forms of aggression, including redirected aggression. Causes of OCD in cats aren't really known, and as such it's generally characterized as a mental disorder, although it can be initiated by stress, says PetMD. Unfortunately cats are prone to stress, not least when we introduce another fur friend into the family. Noises, mess, tradespeople coming and going stress your cat out. Eating disorders can also affect cats, albeit for very different reasons to those in humans. Cat eating disorders are mainly caused by stress, since stress directly affects eating habits.. A stressed cat can completely lose their apetite and even become malnourished. Your pet’s stress could be caused by bullying. Outside cats are a common trigger for stress in your indoor cat but even being unable to catch birds outside that your cat sees can result in your cat having pent up stress. Let’s look at what stress can do to your furry friend: Owner-Directed Aggression – This is a widespread behavioral problem. Introduce him to new people and situations slowly. The reaction to stress varies significantly from one cat to another , with some felines being far more sensitive than others. It works by emitting synthetic pheromones, which it is claimed, can help reduce anxiety and stress in cats. Using Medication to Treat Stress in Cats For more severe cases, veterinarians can prescribe a cat anxiety medication , which has been known to help with anxiety in some cats. What causes stress in cats? They may have skin, bladder and/or gastrointestinal issues. The stress response can be life-saving to cats living in the wild, but the indoor cat rarely needs the protective benefits of this physiological reaction. Community cat (aka feral) caregiver, Grace Miglionico, has seen her fair share of stress-related colitis in cats. If your cat suffers from FIC symptoms regularly, your vet may recommend a special ‘bladder health’ diet. That’s why, if you notice any changes in your pet’s behaviour, one possible reason behind it can be stress.You might be wondering what cats have to be stressed about, but humans perceive stress in a much different way. One form of stress can actually come from you the owner. One way to determine whether your cat is stressed is to look at a situation from their point of view. Stress-related Housesoiling Problems. First, what is stress? Cats are pretty consistent animals that love their routine and will do anything to stick to it. Stress reduction strategies for cats In their review, Amat et al cover a wide range of stress reduction strategies. If possible, try to remove causes of stress from your cat's life. Do they feel particularly nervous, even when not going on a vet visit? Just as with people, there are some cats who are more easily stressed than others. Stress can be short term, i.e., an annual visit to the vet or a friend visiting for a coffee or long-term, such as a new baby or house renovations. Trazodone, gabapentin, alprazolam, and midazolam are just some of the options that a veterinarian may recommend, depending on the situation. One of the most common causes of cat stress is when they perceive their environment to be unpredictable or unsafe. Like in humans, longer periods of stress are associated with depression and a weakened immune system. Stress can make many medical issues worse, and it can cause problems of its own in cats. Some of the signs can include immobility, the body crouched on all fours and shaking or holding the tail close to the body among other kinds of signs. Some cats may become reclusive; some may begin detesting physical activity. Some cats are happy to spend long hours on their own, other cats … Stress can make anyone a little crazy, even our cats. Bursts of stress, fear or anxiety are normal and harmless, but prolonged, chronic stress can be dangerous. Some cats may display signs of restlessness when stressed. The treatment of stress in cats should always begin from consulting with a vet. Stress can do strange things to a cat. You may have a cat who is rather timid and fearful normally and so even small stress triggers can leave her vulnerable. The chances of it happening are also increased in cats who suffer from separation anxiety or bipolar syndrome. Minor changes such as new furniture can be a cause of acute stress, renovations can lead to longer chronic stress. What Causes Stress in Cats? Pet parents may unwittingly reinforce OCD behaviors by trying to soothe their cats or giving them attention while they're doing the unwanted behavior. Keeping stress to a minimum. If you have to transport your cat for any reason then stress is a likely occurrence. The bladder is the cat’s stress target. Too much competition for resources (not enough litter trays, beds, toys, places to hide) Moving house; Home renovations; New pet, baby, housemate or partner in the house Transportation . In some cases, the treatment might be limited to taking antianxiety drugs, in other situations, a … To prevent symptoms returning your vet may suggest: A special bladder diet. Cats are animals that show a high susceptibility to any change that occurs in their environment and react by manifesting stress. The smell mimics a cat's own pheromones which helps a cat feel safe and secure. 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. In fact it can be very important for any animal to deal with sudden events as … Just like a human experiencing a panic attack under high amounts of stress, a cat can have mild seizures from high amounts of stress or after stressful situations. Dealing with Stress in Cats. What Causes Anxiety in Cats? Chronic stress can also dramatically change your cat’s behavior. Cats don’t like change. There are a number of reasons that a cat may become stressed. Events, situations, and ongoing conditions can all create some amount of stress. Most cats will show the above signs when they have reached their stress limit or are having a medical issue, so some earlier signs of stress might be that your cat is hiding more, is less affectionate, is changing her eating behavior, or is only urinating or defecating in her litter box (not both). It is important to detect its symptoms to prevent it from worsening and causing behavioral and even health problems in our kitten. Cats with FIC are often prone to symptom ‘flare-ups’, especially during times of stress. Different cats have different ways of showing stress. Cats exhibit stress in a variety of ways. All living things are affected by stress, cats included. The problem with stress. One simple definition is that stress is a reaction to events or changes which negatively impact your cat’s happiness. One of the most common feline responses to stress is inappropriate elimination. They may also urinate outside their litter box, vocalise excessively with growls or hissing, act aggressively toward people or other animals, or groom obsessively. Cats are known to be great stress relievers for humans, lowering blood pressure and decreasing anxiety and depression…it is only fair that we return the favour! A number of compulsive disorders such as over-grooming may also develop as a consequence of stressful environments. You can help your cat cope with stress by giving him plenty of attention and love. Stress is a natural reaction and is not always bad. Cats, like most animals, are sensitive to their surroundings and can be easily stressed. Some of the most common causes of stress in cats include the arrival of a new baby, trauma caused by construction or loud noise, and changes in food or routine. It may also interest you: Benefits of sterilization in … Stress in cats, symptoms and advice Read More » Cats can be manipulative in certain situations and actually use psychological warfare on each other long before the physical fight breaks out. What can stress do to a cat? Ideally, if a stressful stimulus can be identified, it should be removed from the cat’s environment. Stress is a part of life, and pretty much everything and anything can stress some cats. While having a houseguest might be exciting for the owner, it's a new smell, a new person and a disruption in routine for the cat. Stress can be caused by a number of factors, including: repeated/ongoing fear, frustration, social isolation, and confinement/lack of stimulation or an unpredictable environment. Signs of acute and chronic stress in cats Stress is defined as an organism's response to environmental demands, pressures, or threats. If the environment does not provide the cat what he needs, he reacts unfavorably. Even worse, stress can be an indication that your cat has a health issue. Increased time alone. Some stressed cats also have a tendency to eat compulsively and not be able to stomach the food, before vomiting. Introducing a new member to the house as well as something simple like not changing the cat litter often enough. The symptoms of stress are many and varied; and range from the obvious, such as spraying, to the subtle, such as over-grooming. Before jumping into the signs of stress lets look at what stress actually is, what it can result in and what can cause stress in cats. What causes stress and anxiety in cats? It’s important to be able to notice when your cat is showing signs of stress so you can help them as soon as possible. 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