If you know cats, then you know they don’t always express stress the same way as dogs or people. This does not mean that we should not care when Miss Kitty Fantastico is stressed. In fact, we should go out of our way to make sure we are not stressing our cat out. Everyone deserves a stress-free safe place to live.
Cats are hyper-sensitive creatures. We can even go as far as saying that they are often a but high-strung and many cats can be easily agitated. For example, all those times our kitty snuggled up to us for exactly three strokes and then bit our fingertips when we went to pet her a fourth time. She’s particular, right? A lot of things can be defined as a cat stressor, and we should avoid being included in this list.
Stress can be one of the best ways to negatively affect our cat’s immune system. To help keep our kitty’s immune system in tip top shape, keep her on the best immune support supplement for cats. Made with the best, all-natural ingredients, EcoImmune is the answer for cats who need an immunity boost, who are fighting infection, dealing with allergies, or suffering from a chronic health problem. Simply add this powerful booster to Kitty’s food each day.
How are we stressing our cat out?
Unlike in dogs, the signs of stress in cats are not always obvious. So we should know exactly what behaviors to watch out for to be able to appropriately address their state of stress. First things first, a few basic signs of stress in cats:
- Losing interest in her food.
- More than the usual need to be alone and away from humans and other pets.
- Excessive licking, to the point that she makes her skin raw and gives herself bald spots.
- More than the usual aggression towards humans and other pets.
- Having “accidents” outside the litter box.
- Unexplained vomiting and diarrhea.
One of the best ways to determine whether our kitty is agitated is to watch for that swishing tail. A twitchy or swishy tail can be an indicator that kitty is beginning to feel stressed.
Ways we are stressing out cat out
Next, let’s figure out what we are doing that could be causing our cat to become stressed.
- Letting chaos reign in the house. Cats prefer a nice, quiet environment. If we constantly expose our cat to uncontrolled chaos at home, then she will also be constantly stressed and will want to get away from it all. This includes a constant flow of people or animals she isn’t familiar with, loud music (particularly loud base) and TV noise, barking dogs, children who don’t understand animal etiquette and care, another animal who may be bullying our kitty, and more.
- When unpredictable is the daily norm. Cats derive security from a predictable routine, so if we don’t stick to one, especially when it involves how we care for them, then we would be causing them a lot of stress. When Kitty does not know when her next feeding time is, for example, she will most likely feel stressed for the best part of the day, every day. Even if the timing of her food is predictable, feeding her an irregular diet can also cause digestive upset, which can be stressful. Schedules also include alone-time, exercise, and playtime. Lack of exercise or irregular playtime can significantly add to stress.
- Ignoring our cat or giving her more attention than she wants. Some cats are not the cuddly type, while others love receiving tons of attention from their humans. So when we do not give her the space or attention that she needs, we become the cause of her stress. There is a right and a wrong way to cuddle with cats. Check out this article all about Telling Our Cats We Love Them to learn more about how cats appreciate being told we care about them that may not always seem intuitive.
- Dressing her up. Perhaps cats have too much pride to play dress up just to please our need for IG-worthy cat photos. Most likely, they simply do not enjoy all the fussing around. Pay attention to whether each individual cat actually enjoys or is stressed out by activities, including dress-up.
How can we properly address Kitty’s stress?
Understanding our cat’s temperament - what she likes and does not like - and being sensitive to her needs is the best way to keep her stress to a minimum. This also means knowing what to do when she’s feeling stressed. Here are some suggestions:
- Give her space, or give her attention - whichever her temperament demands.
- Distract her with her favorite toys, games, and activities.
- Give her the peaceful and quiet environment she needs.
- Sticking to a fixed routine, especially with regards to her care.
- Not forcing her to do stuff she does not like.
- Keep training limited to short intervals and always use a reward system, instead of a punishment/reward system.
As with humans, stress in cats, especially when it becomes chronic, can lead to behavioral problems and serious health conditions. If our cat is particularly high-strung, reducing her stressors by not becoming a stressor will greatly improve her quality of life, making her happier and more content.