Why Do Cats Get Stressed And How Can We Help

Why Do Cats Get Stressed And How Can We Help?

If a cat is showing signs of stress, then things can get really bad really quickly. Cats show signs of stress when they’re fearful, anxious, or in pain. Stress can also be caused by a change in the environment or if something isn’t going their way. If your cat shows any of these symptoms, then it may be experiencing stress and you should take action to help them feel better.

Why Do Cats Get Stressed

The most important thing is to understand what might cause your cat to feel stressed, and find an effective way to help them. Stress can be a really big problem for cats. It’s the leading cause of euthanasia in pet cats, and it’s also been linked to cancer. Stress can affect cats physically and behaviorally, leading to weight loss, hair loss, and behavioural changes. The good news is that there are things you can do to help your kitty.

Did you know that cats can get stressed? We may think of them as being so laid-back and calm, but the fact is that they are mammals just like us. Just like humans, they have their own emotions and feelings, which makes them susceptible to stress. Stress can cause physical symptoms such as indigestion (or diarrhea), behaviour changes such as aggression or destructive behaviours, and even psychological symptoms like depression or anxiety.

Cats are not known for their ability to express their emotions. It is likely because they have no facial muscles. Their lack of facial expressions makes it difficult to know what they are thinking and feeling at any given time. This lack of emotion gives cats the reputation for being aloof and coldhearted, but in reality, the opposite is true. Cats have complex emotional lives that include good times and bad times. Cats react to stress in a variety of ways which can range from hiding to purring, to meowing loudly.

Do you ever wonder why your cat is stressed? We’ve all seen our cats act out for no apparent reason. They may lash out, scratch us when we try to rub their belly, or even refuse to eat. Sometimes they don’t want anything to do with us at all and hide in the furthest corners of the home. It can be hard to know why our kitties are acting this way, but there are often many reasons behind them.

Stress and anxiety can have debilitating effects on a human's health. Stress in cats acts much the same way. Not only can it exacerbate existing physical conditions, but it can lead to a number of problems often considered behavioural, such as litter box avoidance, aggressive behaviour, or depression and withdrawal. When behavioural problems suddenly appear, savvy cat owners soon learn to look first for signs of health problems, such as urinary tract infections with litter box avoidance, and next for stress factors, such as changes in the environment.

Stress has been identified as a significant component of (or trigger for) most common cat behaviour problems and some common diseases. Cats do not show their emotions as overtly as some other species and tend to withdraw and become quiet rather than act out their anxieties. It, therefore, becomes necessary for owners to appreciate the subtle signs of stress in their own cats in order to provide the best possible care.

Several physiological systems within the cat’s body regulate stress, predominantly the HPA axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) and the sympathetic nervous system, both of which have evolved to deal with the ‘normal’ short-term stress associated with the natural lifestyle of the species.

These systems control the release of hormones that prepare the individual to face a challenge, often referred to as the fight/flight response or acute stress response. However, these systems are less well adapted to dealing with chronic or long-term stress and this is the type of stress that plays a significant role in the development of behavioural problems and stress-related disease in cats.

Signs Of Stress

Signs Of Stress

Cats can show a variety of signs that they're feeling stressed. They might shake or tremble, pant heavily, and seem unusually clingy. They may also stop eating and become withdrawn and lethargic. There are many things that can cause stress in cats, such as a change in the environment or the addition of a new pet or person to their household. If you notice these symptoms, make sure to take note of what's changing for your cat and try to address the issue as soon as possible.

  1. Change in environment
  2. Change in routine
  3. A new pet
  4. Unhappy with a particular activity/item
  5. Overweight/underweight
  6. Something not working right in their home

If you notice your cat shows any of these symptoms, you should take action to help them feel better. You may need to provide them with a new environment or change their routine, or maybe they just need some time to relax and unwind before they start feeling better again.

Feline Stressors

Cats can experience stress because their environment has changed, they aren't getting the care that they need, or something else isn't going well for them. There are many different causes of feline stress. Keep an eye out for these common signs of stress in your cat:

  • Overcrowding
  • Lack of food or water
  • Lack of exercise
  • A change in the environment (new furniture, new pets)
  • Changes in routine

Cats are incredibly social creatures and need the love of their owners around them constantly. If your cat is stressed out, you may be too busy to spend as much time with them as they need. This could be causing a problem for your cat because they may be lonely or lack human contact.

Another cause of stress for cats is changing their environment, such as moving home, getting a new sibling, or being given an entirely new routine to follow. Any change in their life can result in stress for your cat, but there are some things that you can do to minimize this type of stress. For example, introduce your new pet slowly into their life so your kitty doesn't feel threatened or confused by the new pet.

What Are The Signs That A Cat Is Stressed

What Are The Signs That A Cat Is Stressed?

Cats show signs of stress when they’re fearful, anxious, or in pain. Stress can also be caused by a change in the environment or if something isn’t going their way. If your cat shows any of these symptoms, then it may be experiencing stress and you should take action to help them feel better. The most important thing is to understand what might cause your cat to feel stressed, and find an effective way to help them.

Cats show signs of stress by showing a variety of different symptoms, including:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Watery eyes
  • Persistent meowing or hissing sounds
  • Excessive grooming and licking
  • Urinating or defecating outside the litter box
  • Vomiting or regurgitating (usually to get rid of hairballs)
  • Excessive scratching on household furniture like couches, beds, and carpets

Veterinary Visits

Unfortunately, cats aren't perfect. They can have a lot of problems that can cause stress. One common problem is going to the vet. Cats don't enjoy going to the vet and they may show signs of stress in a variety of ways when they're in a veterinary office.

Some common signs are ears back, twitching tail, reluctance to step off the carrier, or running from room to room when in a waiting room with animals. If you notice your cat is showing these signs, then it's time to take action! The vet may be able to help your pet feel better and know what's wrong.

A New Family Member (Human Or Animal)
Meet our 15-year-old cat Tiggy. She was very stressed out when we introduced our new cat, Ginger.

New Family Member (Human Or Animal)

Cats can be sensitive to change and things that are unfamiliar to them. If you introduce a new family member, whether that's a new baby or a dog, then it can cause their stress levels to skyrocket. That's because they're unable to process the changes in their environment when they're feeling stressed.

They might lash out at the new family member or show signs of anxiety when in the same room. To help your cat acclimate to their new living situation in peace, make sure you give them time for adjustment. This will allow them time to process what is happening in their environment and avoid feeling stressed.

Moving To A New Residence

Moving to a new residence can be difficult for cats. You might need to make some changes, like adding a doormat or using a home-deterrent spray, in order to make them feel comfortable. If you’ve been living in your apartment for a while, then the cat may have become accustomed to the environment.

If you move them, they’ll have to get used to a new place and might be stressed out by the unfamiliar surroundings. In order to ease the transition, consider getting an additional litter box and scratching post for their new residence before they arrive. This way your cat will already know where everything is and it will be easy for them to settle in with less stress.

A Change In Daily Routine

If your cat lives a routine life and suddenly something disrupts their schedule, it can cause them to feel stressed. For example, if you’ve always fed your cat twice a day at 7 AM and 7 PM but then you start feeding them at 9 AM because of work schedules, it may cause stress.

Some changes are easy to manage, like feeding times or switching kitty litter brands. However, other changes are more difficult to manage like moving the litter box or switching treats. If your cat is feeling stressed by one of these changes, they may show signs of stress which could mean they don't want to go near the area which is causing the stressor. Once you’ve identified what's causing your cat's stress, make an effort to alleviate it so that they can feel better again.

One of the most common causes for a cat to feel stressed is a change in its daily routine. This may be something as simple as moving or switching food, or it might be something more drastic, like moving to a new home. It’s important when making changes that you take your cat’s needs into account and make sure they are not doing anything they don’t enjoy anymore.

As we discussed, stress can also be caused by physical pain or discomfort. Cats might feel stressed if they can no longer get comfortable because their favorite spot has been taken away from them. In this case, it would be helpful to try to find a new resting spot for your cat to give them some relief from feeling on edge.

The most important thing is to make sure that your cat knows what is going on and that the change doesn't bother them too much so that they don't start acting out in ways such as meowing constantly or acting overly aggressive around other cats.

Loud Parties And Noises
Our cat Ginger hates loud noises. As soon as the noise starts he retreats to the outside and relaxes lying in the grass under a tree.

Loud Parties And Noises

We love our furry little friends, but sometimes they can get really stressed out. Sometimes stress can be caused by loud noises, like parties or fireworks. Some people might think that this is just a human thing and cats don't feel the same way about these common things as us.

But we know better: Your cat's stress level doesn't depend on what it's experiencing, only how it reacts to those things. If your cat seems very stressed after a loud noise, you should try playing some classical music for your furry friend. It will help them relax and not feel so overwhelmed by the noise.

If you're hosting a party with lots of loud noises, consider hiring a professional pet sitter who can take care of your cat while you have fun.

The View Through The Window

The first cause of stress in cats is usually a change in their environment. This can include changes like moving furniture, not being able to hide from a dog, or being moved to another home. If your cat doesn't like the view outside their window, then they may be stressed by the lack of hiding spots. Other environmental factors that cause stress for cats include changes in the temperature or humidity. Too much noise and new people in the house are also common causes of stress for cats.

Fear
Meet our cat, Ginger. He is very fearful of other people or dogs. He has accepted our dog, Cloe, and they are best friends.

Fear

If your cat starts to show signs of fear and anxiety, then there may be something going on in the environment. Some common triggers are changes in the routine, a new person or animal around the house, loud noises, and even certain scents. Once you've identified a trigger for your cat's stress, you should take action to help them feel better.

Try decreasing the amount of time that your cat spends with that trigger, using a carrier to remove them from their space (if possible), or offering them new toys or places to play. If there is nothing specific in your home that may be causing stress for your cat, then it might be time to consider changing their diet.

Your cat could potentially be feeling anxious due to dietary changes and not being able to digest food, as well as it, used to. Giving them some additional supplements along with their current food may help improve their health and provide more energy.

What Should You Do If Your Cat Is Stressed

What Should You Do If Your Cat Is Stressed?

A cat's meow is its way of communicating with you. You might think that your cat is just being demanding or needy, but if they're meowing excessively then they might be experiencing some stress. If there is a change in the environment (like if someone moves in or out of the house if furniture has been rearranged, or more people are living there) your cat might feel stressed.

Even if you can't tell what has caused it, make sure to pay attention to any changes in behaviour and see how they react to them. If your cat seems to like it's stressed after it's done something like an accident on the bed or scratching on the couch then it may be because your cat isn't getting enough attention.

So, give them plenty of affection and playtime to help them feel better. It's also important to watch how your cat reacts when you come home from work or leave for the day. If they seem especially excited when you come home but sad when you leave, this could mean that they are not getting enough attention while you are gone. And if you notice that your cat curls up with their back against a wall or into a tight ball when they're sleeping this means that they are feeling vulnerable.

If your cat is stressed, then you should take them to the vet to get a check-up. You might also consider doing some home remedies like giving your cat a bath. Here are some other things you can do when your pet is feeling anxious or in pain:

  • Talk to them and let them know that they're safe
  • Provide them with appropriate toys and playtime
  • Keep their diet balanced
  • Limit their time outdoors if they're showing signs of anxiety
  • Find out more about what your cat may be stressing about

How To Help Your Cat Cope With Stress

How To Help Your Cat Cope With Stress

First, identify the cause of stress. This will help you come up with a solution for them. If they’ve been declawed, their litter box may not be clean enough or there might be too many cats in the house. If they seem to be hiding, try playing with them more often and make sure they get enough attention from you.

Pets who feel neglected will often become stressed and lonely if not given enough affection and attention. If your cat seems anxious or fearful, there may be some environmental changes that need to happen. They may need a new home entirely, or just a different room in the house.

Cats thrive on routine and knowing what to expect each day. When their environment changes too much or too quickly, this can lead to stress and anxiety because they don’t know what to expect next. If your cat is experiencing pain such as arthritis or chronic disease such as aggressive cancer, then it can cause additional stress for them on top of their existing medical conditions which only makes the situation worse for them. A veterinarian might suggest medication options that could help decrease their discomfort while also making them feel more relaxed.

The best way to help your cat feel better is to find out if any of the following is causing their stress.

  • Changes in routine: Some cats can get stressed when they have no idea what’s coming. If you’re going to be gone for a few days or hours, give them advance warning and make sure they know where their food and litter box are stored.
  • Changes in the environment: If your cat gets scared by loud noises, having a pet door open when no one is home, or feeling trapped by something blocking them in, then it may be stressful. Moving the furniture away from doors or windows can also help calm cats down.
  • Painful situations: Your cat may experience pain if something is stuck in its ears, sneezing leads to nasal congestion, or if something is lodged in its throat. In these cases, you should take your cat to the vet and get them checked out immediately.

Conclusion

Cats are small, furry creatures that love to sleep, play, and eat. They also happen to be wonderful companions who can do all sorts of things for you. The best part about owning a cat is that they're always there for you when you need an emotional pick-me-up. But did you know that your cat can also experience times of stress?

Like humans, cats show their stress in different ways. Stress is caused by many factors like major changes in the environment, loud noises, or not having enough food or water. If your cat is showing signs of stress it’s important to take action before things start getting worse.

Stress can cause many physical problems like hairballs, digestive issues, weight loss or gain, lack of appetite, and more serious issues like heart disease and diabetes. That's why it's vital to recognize the signs of stress in your cat and figure out what the root cause might be before things get worse. Your goal should always be to help them feel better so they can enjoy life to its fullest.

I trust you enjoyed this article about Why Do Cats Get Stressed And How Can We Help? Please stay tuned for more blog posts to come shortly.

JeannetteZ

 

 

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