Regrettably, cats tend to get stressed out easily, and even more so when you adopt another one into the family. Stress symptoms are numerous and wide-ranging; and could be anything from something obvious like not using the litterbox, to something subtle, like grooming too much. However, one thing is certain. If you want to be a good cat parent, you surely don’t want a stressed-out cat. So, here’s some ways to destress your cat.
If you’re able to figure out the cause, that’s great. For instance, what about if your next-door neighboor’s cat is getting into your cat door and eating up all your pet’s food. That would be extremely stressing to your cat. But all you need to do is get a special cat door that only opens if the cat is wearing a special microchip tag! If you concentrate on a problem, it is usually easy to solve.
So, maybe the issue is not very obvious or the cat has a weird problem. Here’s 5 simple methods of getting rid of the stress in your home that could be affecting your cat.
5. Guide Normal Behaviors
Cats get stressed out when they are unable to do cat things. For instance, if you love to read and suddenly someone took away all your books, wouldn’t you be totally stressed out?
For kitties, being able to do cat-related things like scratching things, marking something with their scent, hunting things, climbing on stuff, or even hiding, can totally make them very stressed out. If they can’t do those things, they might start doing bad things like peeing inappropriately or grooming too much.
The solution is to give them lots of chances for regular cat behavior, such as:
- Clawing: Make sure you give them some scratching posts that are covered in the material they like best to scratch. Do they like scratching carpeting? OR do they prefer furniture items? The carpet is horizontal and the furniture is vertical, so get them a scratcher that corresponds to their preferences. Provide cat scratch posts covered in something the cat likes to scratch. Then, place the scratching posts next to where they sleep because cats usually like to scratch when they wake up. You can also put them next to the doors in the house so they can rub on them and mark their scent and thereby mark their territory.
- Climbing: Kitties love to be high up! It’s just their nature! So give them chances to live the high life. You can put up special cat shelves on your wall, or some platforms that also hang on the wall. Make them a trail of them around the whole room for super cat fun. You can also get her a cat condo that is tall so she also has a place to go hide or sleep. And put it near a window because cats love to watch birds and other interesting things outdoors. They will be super happy!
- Hunting: Felines are true predators. So, give them away to feel like a mighty hunter indoors where they can look for “prey” by hiding some treats or kibble all over your house. Plus, you can give them a variety of toys they can chase and have fun with, especially if you play with them too!
- Hiding: When they aren’t hunting “prey” you cat likely loves to either hide somewhere or sleep or both at the same time! If they don’t have those places they can get very stressed out. So if you give them even just an empty box and place a few of them around the house, they will be less stressed and happier.
4. Get Rid of Cat Competition
One thing that really stresses some cats out is if they have to share their things. Whether it’s their food and water dishes, their litter box or toys or whatever, it can really cause some tension.
Be certain every cat in the house has things to call their own. You also need to put these things all over the house so one cat can’t try to keep everything for himself. Plus, cats also don’t like to drink next to their food, so it is a great idea to put their water dishes in another part of a room than where you feed your cats.
Plus, when it comes to cat litter boxes, it is a very touchy area for cat stress. You always need to make sure the litter boxes are clean, because who wants to go to the bathroom in a stinky box? Plus, make sure it is put somewhere safe and secure. Plus, you need one box for each cat you own and even an extra won’t hurt. Be sure to place them in several locations as this too helps to keep a boss cat from being a bully.
3. Spend Some Quality Time With Your Cat
Cats might be standoffish sometimes; however, they additionally want you to love them. To keep your kitty happy and healthy you must spend time with her and play with them daily. The cat will be reassured and happier and being with your pet is also good for your health too!
You should play with your cat at least five or ten minutes two times daily. It will help curb that extra energy as well as fulfill her hunting instincts. Plus it provides mental stimulation. All these things are great for relieving cat stress.
2. Having a Feline-Friendly House
We mentioned this already when we talked about cats needing to feel secure, stimulated, and safe in their own home. If you have more than one cat, they also each need to have a place they can call their own so they can be away from the other cats in the house. So, you have to have enough cat beds, scratching posts, cat condos, toys, and other things so each cat can get enough stimulation.
Critically, in a house with several cats, you must make sure the cats can avoid each other if they want to do so. That means you have to be sure the cats can walk around a room in more than one route if one cat is being mean and bossing another one.
1. Lend a Helping Paw
A few cats get so stressed out even if you do all the above things. These cats need some extra help. You might have to give them special medication or provide some pheromones or nutraceuticals.
- Special Pheromones: A manmade version of cat pheromones is available as a product called Feliway. It helps to keep cats calm and reassured. You can spray it on their bed or use the plugin version that sends out the pheromones throughout the room. It has been shown to really make a difference in stress levels!
- Nutraceuticals: A product like Zylkene is a kind of food supplement that acts like medication. Zylkene comes from a milk molecule and acts on the identical brain receptors as the drug diazepam. It aids in calming a stressed-out cat, particularly in top stressful situations like trips to the vet’s office.
- Medicine: Lastly, but certainly not least, sometimes you need to medicate a stressed-out feline. Otherwise, these cats will actually make themselves physically sick or get bladder issues and pee everywhere. The way to help these poor cats is to ask your veterinarian to prescribe some sort of antidepression for cats.
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