How to Reduce Anxiety Levels in Your Cat
The average stressed cat hides, urinates improperly, increases scratching, and/or vocalizes excessively, to name a few characteristics. Some cats are innately worried, whilst others might experience anxiety as a result of an underlying reason at any time. Anxiety in cats can be caused by a variety of different causes. Veterinarians and behavior specialists examine the cat’s physical and mental health, as well as its instinctive characteristics, in order to determine what is wrong and devise a treatment plan.
test (health, instinct, stress, and symptoms) to discuss and find out strategies to minimize your feline’s worry by applying it to your situation.
Cat owners frequently claim that their cats get into fights on occasion. It may be necessary to use a belled collar on the aggressive cat if this is the situation in your house; (s). This will serve as a warning to the victim, allowing the kitten to avoid a confrontation.
Check for Health and Behavior Causes
When a cat is not feeling well, he or she may exhibit nervous behavior. Kittens have developed into “excellent pretenders,” never revealing that they are in pain or that they are unhappy. Cats who are stoic and have concealed aches and pains show very subtle signals, if any at all. A injured paw may not result in a limp, but may instead drive the cat to hide or become clinging, as in the case of a kitten. Anxiety behaviors are frequently alleviated by addressing an underlying health condition.
Wild cats that failed to see and respect this reality were removed from the gene pool, while appropriately “cautious cats” were allowed to reproduce and pass on the “caution gene” to future generations of felines.
Stress is one of the most common causes of anxiety, and it is one that you can exert some control over to a certain extent. Stress responses in cats are highly dependent on their personalities, how well they were socialized as kittens, and even their genetic makeup. A significant number of cats (and dogs, and people, and other species) are just predisposed to being “more anxious” from the beginning of their lives. Stress and anxiety can be exacerbated by a variety of factors, but the cat’s habitat is at the top of the list.
To deal with environmental stresses, try building a cat-friendly environment, which includes plenty of feline resources that provide healthy outlets for normal and usual cat activities.
This will lessen the likelihood of tension and worry in the future.
Provide a Cat Tree
In order to avoid being noticed, cats prefer to hide in gloomy spots where they can’t be easily spotted. They also choose remote locations where they can’t be approached and can defend themselves the most effectively. Cats who are confident will frequently seek out lofty resting places, whilst cats that are fearful may seek out ground level hiding places. Under the bed or other low-to-the-ground furniture, basements, under stairs, in closets, or behind boxes or mounds of junk are some of the most popular hiding places.
Provide a variety of perching locations throughout the house to avoid squabbling over who owns what when you have many cats.
Cats have a natural need to stretch and scratch when they first wake up, so placing scratch things near resting locations might make kitty more comfy as well as more comfortable.
Combine Food and Fun
A cat’s preferred hiding spot is a dark corner where he or she cannot be easily noticed. Their favorite locations are also those that are inaccessible and those they can protect easily. High resting places are frequently sought after by confident cats, whilst ground-level hiding places are preferred by worried cats. Beneath the bed or other low-to-the-ground furniture, basements, under stairs, in closets, or behind boxes or mounds of junk are some of the most popular places to look for treasure.
Allow your cats to perch on a variety of objects throughout the house to prevent ownership disputes in multi-cat families.
Improve the Litter Box Experience
Cats prefer to hide in shadowy areas where they can’t be easily noticed by humans. They also choose remote locations where they cannot be touched and can defend themselves the most effectively. High resting places are frequently sought after by confident cats, whilst ground-level hiding places are frequently sought after by worried cats. Under the bed or other low-to-the-ground furniture, basements, under stairs, in closets, or beneath boxes or mounds of junk are all popular hiding places. Given that cats spend a significant amount of time sleeping or relaxing, providing them with the appropriate cat tree may be really beneficial.
Cats have a natural tendency to stretch and scratch when they first wake up, so placing scratch things near resting locations might make kitty more comfortable as well as more relaxed.
Offer Natural Anxiety Relief
Other options include using smell and natural therapies to alleviate some of your cat’s nervousness. Feliway is a popular choice, and it is available in diffusers and spray bottles, among other forms. Cat Face Pheromone (CFP) is a synthetic feline facial pheromone that is used to assist relieve tension caused by territorial and environmental stress. Rescue Remedy, or one of the other more specialized Bach Flower Remedies, might be particularly beneficial for cats that are nervous or frightened.
Some aromatherapy items should be used with caution, especially if they are not intended for use on pets.
These can create health problems in your cat, some of which are life-threatening, and may also exacerbate his or her anxiety.
Problems and Proofing Behaviors
Cats may not acclimate to any changes you make right away, so be patient with them. Following the elimination of any health risks, make your cat’s environment as quiet and appealing as you possibly can for him. After trying something and it not working, try another one of the ideas and observe how the cat reacts to this new mix of ingredients. At the same time, keep in mind that change can be stressful for cats. Make an effort not to make too many changes at once. Similarly, if your household has recently gone through a transition (such as relocating to a new home, welcoming a new or grieving the death of a family member, or even changing furniture), make every effort to offer your cat with familiar objects.
While you’re waiting for your cat to appear, make every effort to keep your environment as tranquil and stress-free as you possibly can.
Many frightened cats eventually become used to their new environment and find comfort.
Always consult your veterinarian for health-related inquiries, since they have evaluated your pet and are familiar with the pet’s medical history, and they can provide the most appropriate suggestions for your pet.
How to Calm a Cat: Tips and Advice
Petting a cat has been found to alleviate stress and anxiety in humans (1), but what happens when our whiskered pals are the ones who are experiencing stress and anxiety? Others are readily agitated by a wide range of events and experiences, but some cats are relaxed and content to roll with (or slumber through) practically anything. With behaviors ranging from shivering to hiding, missing the litter box to excessive meowing, vomiting and even aggressive behavior, your cat may be displaying signs of anxiety more frequently than you know.
Understanding Cat Behavior: Anxiety, Fear, and Hyperactivity
The director of behavior services for Midcoast Humane, Christine Calder, a licensed veterinary behaviorist and certified veterinary behaviorist, adds, “There are numerous things that might stress out cats.” Due to the fact that cats are both prey animals and predators by nature, Calder asserts that “fear is a hardwired emotion in cats.” As a result, many people are easily rattled as a result. Car trips, veterinarian visits, and even handling are among the most prevalent scenarios that call for the need to calm a cat, according to Calder.
Some cats require calming for reasons other than fear, and you may need to do so in those instances.
Even whether your cat is acting out of fear or just hyperactive, there are things you can take to help calm him down, no matter what the source of his anxiety is.
How to Calm Down a Cat
When it comes to giving cats lots of room, Calder recommends providing them with plenty of hiding locations and vertical terrain where they can retreat, relax and cool themselves down when they’re frightened or terrified. Jenn Van de Kieft, a certified feline training and behavior specialist who owns the consulting business Cat Advocate LLC, also points out that, when it comes to cats and stress, “it’s far more straightforward to prevent anxiety than it is to treat it.” That implies that pet parents should not only be aware of potential stressors for their cats, but they should also prepare their cats in advance for circumstances that they anticipate will happen in the future, such as a trip to the veterinarian.
How to Calm a Cat at Night
You may find that knowing how to quiet a cat down at night is the key to obtaining a good night’s sleep yourself. For the second time, this isn’t so much about cats being stressed as it is about an incongruent fit between their natural timetable and our own. Because cats see best in low light, they are programmed to be at their most active during the hours of dawn and twilight. “I get this one a lot,” Van de Kieft said of the question. When I think about how many individuals are up at night due of their cat’s behavior, it’s mind-boggling to me.
- or rushing around at midnight, wanting you to feed them.” Van de Kieft suggests increasing your cat’s daytime enrichment possibilities so that he may spend more time playing on his own during the daytime hours rather than conserving his energy for nighttime rampages across the home.
- Senior cats, like other cats, require planned playing once a day.
- “They hunt, eat what they hunted, rest, and then go to sleep.” The author recommends that you play with your cat close to your own bedtime and then provide a dry food snack—or even leave it out in a food puzzle to give your cat something to do overnight—after you’ve finished playing.
- to deliver a snack.” Calder also recommended that cats play with food-dispensing toys and puzzle toys in the evening to help them sleep better at night.
According to Calder, whatever the source, “it is crucial not to attempt to halt or rectify the behavior, as this might sometimes result in reinforcement.” “Keep the cat occupied with other things to do,” as the saying goes.
How to Calm a Scared Cat
The most important thing you can do for your fearful cat is to give her some breathing room. Calder advises against attempting to pick her up or relocate her since some cats may focus their tension onto you and become violent as a result. The alternative is to swiftly remove the cause of stress and then isolate your fearful cat in a single room, dim the lights, and even play stress-reducing cat music (2)—specially prepared recordings with purring overlaid over calming songs, as recommended by Van de Kieft.
- After that, give her some time and space to unwind.
- According to Calder, if you’ve worked on it beforehand, it may also be beneficial to attempt refocusing your cat’s attention with a behavior they’ve learned, like as “touching” or “targeting” (when a cat learns to touch their nose to a finger or target stick).
- For example, whenever you clean, consider handing out cookies to your pets.
- “Invite friends over, invite children over, expose them to a variety of experiences—this helps them develop resilience,” she explains.
How to Calm a Cat in the Car
Car excursions may be stressful for cats, whether it’s a short trip to the vet or a long-distance travel on a family vacation. Van de Kieft believes that the best way to deal with stress is via preparation. She advises starting with the cat carrier as a good place to start. Many owners store their carriers in their basements or closets, only taking them out when they need to travel by automobile, which is usually to the veterinarian’s office. Consequently, “your cat understands that when the carrier is opened, something horrible is about to happen,” she explains.
- Ensure that it is a safe and secure location where your cat may relax anytime he wants.
- “In this way, their carrier may be transformed into a safe haven,” Van de Kieft explains.
- Van de Kieft suggests taking a brief stroll with your cat in his carrier around the home, then in the hallway, and then outdoors to help reinforce those good carrier emotions.
- Following that will be a short vehicle ride in which nothing unpleasant will happen and the snacks will be plentiful.
- It might also be beneficial to bring anything that has been soaked in your cat’s fragrance, such as a towel that has been put out for her to lie on in the morning.
- Pheromone sprays are items that duplicate the natural cat pheromones that are associated with emotions of calm and tranquility.
- It is possible to spritz this cat soothing spray either onto a towel or directly into the carrier itself.
- Calder sometimes prescribes gabapentin as a cat anxiety medicine for automobile-induced stress for cats who require a little more assistance when traveling in the car.
Other supplements, such as hemp-oil products for cats, may help to reduce tension and anxiety during vehicle journeys, but always consult your veterinarian before introducing a new supplement to your cat’s diet or lifestyle.
How to Calm a Cat After Moving
It can be quite difficult for cats to adjust to a new house or apartment since they want regularity and comfort. If you’re relocating with cats, Van de Kieft advises against purchasing a new cat tree or trying out a new cat bed around the time of the move. “Bring as much material as you can that smells like the cat,” she advises, because a new environment would already smell different. “This will help to create a familiar environment,” she says. As an additional precaution, Van de Kieft recommends that you plug-in a feline-pheromone diffuser a few weeks before you plan to arrive with your cat in order to infuse those calming fragrances into the air.
It should be filled with all of her familiar possessions, and it should include distinct locations for using the litter box as well as for sleeping, eating, and drinking.
In the meanwhile, try to keep her eating and playing routines as consistent as possible.
Cat Calming Products to Consider
Cats, who thrive on regularity and familiarity, may find it difficult to adjust to a new house or apartment. It is not the time to purchase a new cat tree or try out a new cat bed if you are relocating with cats, explains Van de Kieft. “Bring as much material as you can that smells like the cat,” she advises, because a new environment will already smell different. “This will help to create a sense of comfort,” she says. As an additional precaution, Van de Kieft recommends that you plug-in a feline-pheromone diffuser a few weeks before you plan to travel with your cat in order to introduce those calming fragrances into the air.
It should be filled with all of her familiar possessions, and it should include designated spaces for using the litter box as well as for sleeping, eating, and drinking.
For now, try to keep her eating and playing routines as close to their normal as possible.
How To Calm Cats If They Are Anxious Or Angry
Cats are enigmatic and difficult to understand creatures. They’re inquisitive, affectionate, and frequently playful—but they’re famously tough to control when they’re furious or irritated. What works for one cat may not always work for another, which is part of the difficulty for new cat parents as they learn about the personalities and requirements of their feline companions. Pet owners should be aware of the following information when dealing with nervous, angry, or aggressive cats: how the cat became worried, angry, or aggressive.
What Triggers Cat Anxiety?
Every cat’s nervousness has a reason, just like human anxiety does. It is possible that anything occurred to the cat in the past is the cause of the problem. Other times, it’s just a matter of how the cat is wired in the first place. The following are some of the most prevalent causes of feline anxiety: Modifications to one’s daily routine Cats are extremely sensitive to changes in their routine. Even a minor alteration might cause them to get anxious. Something as simple as a pet parent working odd hours or rearrangement of the furnishings might be the source of the problem.
- Illness or discomfort Several cats become agitated when they are not feeling well.
- Trauma from the past Cats, like people, might get apprehensive if anything reminds them of a traumatic event from their history.
- Do they have a strong aversion to specific individuals, noises, or sounds?
- Typically, these cats will follow their pet parents throughout the house and get sad if they notice indicators that their parent is ready to depart.
When the problem is clearly defined, it is much simpler to calm a cat. Keep an eye out for trends and observe what the cat does in its natural environment. Does it make more sense for them to climb into a human’s lap or to go off and hide beneath the couch?
Cat Anger and Aggression Triggers
Another reason a cat can want a time-out is because of stress or anxiety. Some cats have anxious dispositions, and others have hair-trigger tempers and are quick to rage, just as some cats have nervous dispositions. Fear is a typical trigger for cat aggressiveness, but there are several other prevalent causes of cat rage as well. They are as follows:
- Handling-induced aggressiveness refers to when a dog becomes agitated after being overstimulated by stroking or grooming.
- Anger motivated by physical pain- When something hurts, a cat may strike if they believe that doing so would make it worse. Redirected aggression occurs when a cat becomes overexcited and is unable to respond immediately, causing them to act out against another cat or a human.
- The act of attacking another cat in order to establish dominance is referred to as status or territorial aggression.
Keeping a cat away from a potentially dangerous scenario is excellent practice if something makes him or her feel threatened. If this is not feasible (for example, if the cat is aggressive against another cat in the house), visit a veterinarian for advice on how to handle the cat’s behavior. For these sorts of questions, Fuzzy provides live vet chat help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Anxiety vs. Aggression: What’s the Difference?
Maintaining control over an angry cat differs from maintaining control over an anxious cat, even if the rage is a result of an underlying anxiety. A cat who is agitated:
- Avoids making eye contact
- Flicks their tail
- Hisses, spits, or growls
- Pulls their tail close to their body
- Moves away from what bothers them
- Avoids making eye contact with other people.
An enraged cat:
- It appears to be prepared to attack, with its fur standing on edge, head cocked, and ears back. Has dilation of the pupils
If a cat has passed the line into rage, refrain from cuddling or petting them. In this case, it may appear as if you are endorsing aggressive conduct. Instead, take a few steps back and give the cat some breathing room. You can address and alleviate the underlying sentiments of worry or anger once the cat has stopped being openly hostile.
Soothing a Cat: How to Do It?
Finding out what causes a cat’s behavior, keeping them as far away from that setting as possible, and identifying the most effective soothing approach to employ when necessary are all important aspects of cat behavior therapy.
How to Calm Cats
Aside from keeping children away from the things that cause them to act out, effective strategies include:
- If the cat prefers to be by himself, he can have some alone time. Chewable sedatives
- Traditional cat cuddles, assuming the cat is cooperative and not acting aggressively
- Sprays with pheromones
- Anxiety drugs prescribed by a doctor
When something works, it’s important to remain with it. Also, don’t forget about relaxing aids including as chews, catnip, familiar smell sprays, and plain old-fashioned affection.
Catnip 101: Calming Cats
It is possible that catnip will be an excellent aid for relaxing cats. After the initial excitement wears off, most cats will settle down after the first half-hour or so of hyperactivity has passed. A chemical response that works for 70 percent to 80 percent of cats is worth a shot, so it’s absolutely worth experimenting with.
Need Professional Help Relieving Cat Anxiety?
Because cats and dogs are so distinct, it is beneficial to consult with a skilled veterinarian one-on-one. To obtain answers, sign up as a Fuzzy member now and take use of our 24/7 Live Vet Chat service to discover how to calm a frightened, angry, or violent cat in real time..
6 Tips for Treating Cat Anxiety
Do you have a cat who is apprehensive? There’s a good chance you’ve come across at least one in your lifetime. Anxiety in cats is rather frequent, although it is often neglected owing to the vast range of symptoms that might manifest themselves. Learn more about cat anxiety, including what it is, what symptoms it might cause, and how to manage your worried feline companion.
What is cat anxiety?
Cat anxiety may present itself in a variety of ways, just as there are many forms of anxiety in people. PetMD divides its categories into three groups: The terms phobia and fear are defined as follows: phobia, which is “a persistent and excessive fear of a specific stimulus, such as thunder”; fear, which is “the instinctive feeling of apprehension that results from a situation, person, or object that appears to present an external threat (whether real or perceived)”; and anxiety, which is “the anticipation of future dangers from unknown or imagined sources that results in normal body reactions associated with fear.” The essential distinction here is that anxiety is a chronic disorder that persists over time (whereas fear and phobias are typically temporary).
According to PetMD, cat anxiety is most likely to emerge between the ages of 12 and 36 months, when the cat is reaching social maturity. courtesy of GIPHY
What causes it?
Although separation anxiety is the most frequent type of anxiety in cats, there are a variety of environmental, behavioral, and physiological reasons that can contribute to the disorder. Some of the most prevalent reasons are as follows:
- Traumatic experiences in the past, such as physical abuse, neglect, desertion, imprisonment for an extended length of time, and so on Being denied social and environmental experience for the first 14 weeks of life, or for a longer period of time
- The introduction of a new routine, which frequently results in separation anxiety
- It is a foreign setting. Introduce a new scenario, such as the addition of a new pet or child to the home. The presence of a sickness, a physically uncomfortable state, or a disease such as hyperthyroidism
- Cat dementia and other nervous system problems may develop as a result of aging.
Cat anxiety symptoms
Even though a worried cat may display clear indications of distress, many pet parents are startled to discover about the less visible indicators of anxiety. The following is a list of the most prevalent and wide-ranging cat anxiety symptoms:
- Urinating or defecating in places other than the litter box Eating or drinking habits that have changed, such as a loss of appetite or eating too quickly
- Increased hostility
- Increased obedience
- Inappropriate scratching or destructive conduct A compulsive pacing pattern
- Excessive grooming (to the point of hair loss)
- Excessive vocalization
How to calm an anxious cat
First and foremost, if you are concerned about your nervous cat, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out any illnesses or diseases that might be causing his symptoms. It will therefore be necessary to investigate what is causing your cat’s fear in order to choose a solution. From there, you may customize your treatment plan to meet the individual needs of your feline companion.
Create a safe space
This method is effective for all types of anxiety, including phobias. For cats that are distressed by children or other pets in the house, providing them with a tall cat tree, window perch, or even their own room complete with a warm bed and enclosed areas might help them relax and unwind. This secure haven is especially useful for cats that are afraid of loud noises (fireworks, thunderstorms, vacuums, etc.). Consider using a ThunderShirt on your cat, which is a pressure garment that is supposed to have a soothing effect similar to that of swaddling a newborn infant.
Provide playtime and enrichment
Get into a daily schedule of exercise and playtime with your cat and keep it going. If you give your cat 15 minutes each day with a laser pointer or wand toy, he will get the activity he needs while also decreasing his stress levels. You’ll want to make sure your cat gets enough environmental enrichment while you’re away to keep him or her distracted from any resulting concerns. This is similar to creating a safe area. Catnip toys, food puzzles, cat grass, and window-watching places are all good ways to keep him entertained.
Stick to a routine—and clean the litter box more often!
Your cat may experience separation anxiety if your routine is disrupted for any reason. Food and drink should be given to your cat at the same time every day, and the litter box should be cleaned everyday. You read it correctly. A soiled litter box is a typical source of cat anxiety. Cats are such meticulous creatures that they don’t want to walk into a soiled litter box too often, which might result in their urinating and defecating outside of the litter box or developing potentially life-threatening lower urinary disorders as a result.
If you have three cats, you will require three plus one litter box (a total of 4).
Litter-Robot, which ensures that a fresh bed of litter is constantly available—perfect for cats with territorial instincts! Naturally, we can’t always prevent scheduling conflicts, so we urge that you ease your cat into a new habit as much as you possibly can.
Try calming pheromone diffusers
Feliway is a natural relaxing pheromone that replicates the “happy” pheromones released by your cat. Install a Feliway diffuser in any room where your cat spends a significant amount of time, or spray it on any area where your cat has urinated, scratched, or otherwise engaged in destructive behavior to reduce the likelihood of a recurrence. courtesy of GIPHY
Use natural calming supplements
Natural calming medicines for cats are becoming increasingly popular, and you now have a wide range of options for treating your nervous cat:
- CBD: This natural substance derived from cannabis plants has the potential to alleviate cat anxiety. It is available in a variety of forms, including treats, oils, and capsules. Never, ever feed your dogs ordinary marijuana, which includes the psychoactive ingredient THC. Bach Flower Rescue Remedy (also known as the Rescue Remedy): It is prepared from spring water that has been blended with wild flowers to create a natural stress reliever. It is supposed to help calm an anxious pet by restoring harmony between the mind and the body
- However, this is not proven. Anti-anxiety diets and snacks include the following: Inquire with your veterinarian about the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Calm formula and other relaxing cat treats that are available. Herbs: Find out which herbs, such as catnip and valerian, are suitable for cats to consume. The euphoria produced by these herbs should leave your cat quiet and relaxed, despite the fact that they first stimulated him.
Visit the vet for cat anxiety medication
Talk to your veterinarian about prescribing cat anxiety medication if all other options fail. Depending on the severity of the problem, he or she may prescribe something more short-term like gabapentin or something more long-term like buspirone or amitriptyline. However, you should never give your cat human anti-anxiety medicine without first consulting your veterinarian. Remember that addressing cat anxiety will very certainly need patience and a lot of trial and error. Learn to identify what, if anything, is causing your cat’s anxiety and use the suggestions provided above to help him or her.
An worried cat is entitled to the same level of care and attention as a sick animal.
We’ve all heard the expression “afraid-y cat,” but unfortunately, when a cat gets scared, it’s more than just a catchphrase. Cats can be terrified of a variety of different things, and for many owners, identifying the source of the problem and determining the best course of action can be difficult. Unfortunately, if your cat is left alone for an extended period of time, their dread can manifest itself as tension, worry, and even sickness, especially given the fact that cats’ anxieties tend to worsen with time.
In the event that your cat’s behavior suddenly changes, it’s critical to get them examined by your veterinarian.
If necessary, your doctor can send your cat to a behaviorist who is certified to work with cats that have anxieties.
How do I know if my cat is nervous or afraid?
Occasionally, your cat will make it plain that he or she is angry about something; but, some cats can conceal their fear, and you may not be aware that they are uncomfortable. When anything terrifies them, you may not be able to observe their first reaction, especially if it occurs while they are outside, so you may only see the final effect, which is typically hiding or tension. Fear in cats manifests itself in the following ways:
- By stooping down to the ground and lowering their head, they can either freeze in place or make themselves appear smaller. Running away
- Concealing oneself
- They do this by arching their backs and puffing up their fur. Wide eyes with large pupils that appear to be ovals or circles in shape
- Tucking their tail under them or swishing the tip of their tail fast from side to side are examples of this. Moving their ears fast (as they try to listen) or flattening their ears close to their head are two examples of how people communicate with their ears. Hissing or spitting are both acceptable. Scratching or biting are common behaviors. When a cat pees or poos outside of its litter tray, it is considered inappropriate.
The following indicators indicate that your cat may be fearful, nervous, or stressed. It’s critical that you take the procedures outlined below to alleviate his or her distress. Your cat may develop a condition called stress cystitis if you have an anxious or nervous cat.
Stress cystitis is characterized by pain in the lower abdomen, blood in the urine, and even a plugged bladder. If you see any of these symptoms, or if you notice any additional symptoms that cause you concern, call your veterinarian as soon as possible.
How do I find out what is frightening my cat?
Finding out what is causing your cat to be afraid might be a crucial step in getting them assistance. Because of this, it is possible for your cat to feel afraid of practically anything, including things that may not appear to be particularly terrifying to humans. As a result, how can you determine what your cat is terrified of? The first step is to keep an eye out for the warning indicators described above. Identifying when your cat is fearful allows you to begin matching up what is happening at the time they are afraid with what your cat is afraid of.
Others may find it difficult to understand exactly why their cat is terrified.
Some frequent examples of cat phobias are as follows:
- Fireworks, other cats, loud noises, dogs, or other predators are all things to be cautious of.
When it comes to cats who spend a lot of time outside, it might be difficult to figure out exactly what they’re terrified of because you might only see the final consequence when they return home. Fortunately, there are still several ways in which you may assist them.
What can I do to help when my cat is scared or anxious?
You should take efforts at home to attempt to alleviate your cat’s tension and anxiety if you have a worried or anxious feline in your household.
- Take care to provide them with their own place. Many cats consider having their own area to be one of the most essential aspects of their well-being. When they are terrified, they need a safe place to hide. Instead of allowing them to hide under or behind furniture, why not create a den for them? Alternatively, consider constructing a comfortable bed for them on top of a closet, or installing shelves for them to perch on if they want to be up high. Things that make people nervous should be avoided or minimized. If it is feasible to avoid or lessen the source of their anxiety, this will frequently assist in preventing their dread from becoming worse. In the event that your cat is afraid of something that he or she encounters when outside, it may be wise to confine them inside the house for a portion of the day. They could even want to stay at home all of the time, especially if doing so allows you to keep them away from whatever it is that is frightening them. If cats appear to be more agitated when they are confined to the house, make sure they have an easy method to get in and out whenever they choose, such as a microchip cat flap. Allow them some breathing room. When cats feel terrified, some will want to come to you for comfort, while others will prefer to hide or be left alone, depending on the situation. Always remember to respect your cat’s choice and never push them to come to you if they’re terrified
- Doing so may cause them to become much more fearful. Close the blinds and attempt to listen to music or watch television. Cats have extremely keen hearing and might become stressed if they hear unexpected sounds when they are out in the yard (like storms and fireworks). If you notice your cat is becoming anxious, try closing the curtains and turning on some music or the television to provide them with a safe and cosy environment to relax in. This is especially important if your cat is afraid of things you can’t control or loud noises such as fireworks
- Always remain calm. Cats will frequently pick up on your fear or worry, so it’s critical to maintain your composure when around them. If they are displaying indications of tension, maintaining your calm can help them feel more at peace
- Try to maintain a regular schedule for them. The majority of cats enjoy routine because it allows them to anticipate what is going to happen next. Feeding and letting your cat out should be done at the same time every day. Make a specific time each day when you fuss or play with your cat if they love it, so that your cat knows when he or she can expect to receive your undivided attention. Introduce new concepts gradually. The prospect of a new environment might be frightening for your cat, especially if they are unprepared and discover something unfamiliar in their house that they believe they have no means of getting away from. In the event that you are making alterations to your home, attempt to do it in stages if at all possible. If your cat needs to get away from the new things, always make sure they have a safe haven to retreat to when necessary. Cats also like having the ability to look at things, sniff them, and investigate them, so if at all feasible, provide them with some supervised access at the beginning of the process so that they may become acclimated to any new sights, noises, or scents in a secure environment. You’ll find information on introducing cats and dogs to your family as well as how to prepare your pet for the arrival of your child on this page. Keep a couple of litter boxes on hand for emergencies. If your cat is afraid of anything outside, he or she may not want to go to the bathroom outside. Make sure you have at least two litter trays in various locations around the house for them to use if they need to
- Consider using a pheromone plug-in to encourage them to go outside. These things can assist your cat in feeling peaceful and can help to relieve any tensions that may exist in the home. Take a look at some of the diffusers that our veterinarians recommend. Check that they are microchipped and that your contact information is up to current. If your cat is scared, he or she may panic, run away, and get disoriented. If your pet is microchipped and your contact information is up to date, you have a far higher chance of being reunited if they are unable to return home. If your cat is brought to a veterinarian or a rescue center, the veterinarian or rescue center will scan the microchip and call you. Contact your veterinarian as well as an approved behaviorist. If your cat appears to be fearful or worried, we urge that you call your veterinarian as soon as possible because anxieties tend to worsen with time. Cats are particularly sensitive to this and their behavior will frequently get more and more severe as a result of this. We also urge that you speak with a behaviorist who is accredited by the ABTC.
What is de-sensitisation and does it work for cats?
If your cat has serious anxieties or phobias, he or she may require a ‘behavior modification plan,’ which will assist in changing their behavior and making them less fearful of the world around them. De-sensitization is one of the most well-known procedures in the field. Introducing your cat to something new in a gentle, positive, and regulated manner is what this procedure is all about. The majority of people associate it with dogs, but it can be beneficial to cats as well. For further information, speak with your veterinarian as well as an accredited behaviorist.
You may gradually introduce them to your cat, so that they become less fearful as time goes on.
You may gradually increase the level of the noises as your cat develops accustomed to them.
Immediately stop the procedure and resume it at the lowest possible level if they begin to exhibit indications of nervousness or tension.
Remember that there are some things that your cat should want to run away from, so be cautious of desensitizing your cats to sounds such as automobile engines, as this might lead to them being a little too confident around other people and vehicles.
Does my cat need medication to help with their problem?
Some cats will require medicine to help them cope with their anxiety in addition to behavioural therapy regimens. Cats can be treated with a variety of drugs that are either approved or recommended by veterinarians. Never give your cat anti-anxiety drugs that are meant for humans. They can have negative side effects (including making your cat’s anxiety worse in certain cases), and some of them might be harmful to your cat. If you believe your cat may require medicine to alleviate their nervousness, consult your veterinarian.
How to build a den for your cat
Dens can provide your cat with a secure haven in which to hide if they are feeling threatened or threatened. Check out our video for some helpful hints on how to create the ideal cat den:
Socialisation for kittens
Prevention of anxieties and phobias is most effectively accomplished through socialization. Because they are young, your kitten will have an easier time learning how to respond confidently to diverse circumstances, which will help them grow up to be happy and healthy adults. It’s critical to expose your cat to a wide range of events in a pleasant manner, including things like loud noises and unfamiliar individuals. As a result, kids will get a better understanding of how to respond when they come across them in the future.
Your kitten’s early socialization begins at the breeder or rescue center where it was born and continues with you when you bring them home.
More information about socializing your kitten may be found in our comprehensive guide.
Cat Scared of the Car? How to Calm Down a Nervous Cat
As much as you would want your cat to accompany you on your holiday, cats are creatures of habit and are unlikely to enjoy the change in routine and scenery that a vacation provides. Some cats grow quite scared when they are placed in unusual environments, such as autos. It’s possible that they’ll start meowing loudly or maybe get sick. If this describes your cat, you’ll need all of the tips you can get to assist calm your cat down in the car while you’re driving.
Familiar Smells Can Help Your Cat Stay Calm
Some cats like traveling, especially if they are introduced to the experience as kittens. Some cats, on the other hand, require a little additional assistance in order to remain quiet. It’s critical to keep your cat’s routine as consistent as possible when you’re away. This sense of normalcy will help your cat feel more at ease. Make sure to pack all of your cat’s essentials, including food, dishes, toys, travel-sized litter, and an abedor blanket, for the trip. When deciding which bed or blanket to bring, choose one that is familiar to your cat and that she enjoys spending time on.
Put your cat’s carrier in your house for a few days before the trip to give him a feeling of normalcy and to help him relax even more.
1 Reward her with a treat every now and then while she’s in the carrier. By the time you put the carrier in the car, the carrier should have a familiar scent to it, and the cat should find the carrier to be a source of comfort by the time you are on the road.
Play with Your Cat Before You Leave
Try spending a lot of time playing with your cat before you travel to make him feel more sleepy. A wand chase or a red laser pointer chase with plenty of hopping and running will make him feel more prepared to cuddle up for the long drive on the road ahead of them.
Take a Test Drive
If your cat has never been in a car before, or if it has been a long time since he or she has done so, you may want to take him or her for a test drive first. Purchase a stylish cat carrier that can be secured to the seat of your car and take your cat for a short journey. Find out what makes her uneasy and put her through her paces. Is it true that music makes her agitated, but that a podcast soothes her? Simply lowering the volume is all that you require. When traveling with your cat, a lightweight blanket may be preferable over a carrier in order to limit the sights and noises to a minimum.
If your cat drools, screams a lot, pants, or spits up throughout the ride, she may be suffering from motion sickness, which is treatable.
Use Calming Pheromones
It may make all the difference in the world for certain cats whether they are comfortable or apprehensive while traveling if they use a product containing soothing pheromones. It replicates your cat’s natural pheromones, letting him feel that everything is OK. Comfort Zone SprayScratch Control Spray About 15 minutes before transferring your cat, spray the inside of the carrier or the interior of your automobile. If you’re using a spray carrier, make sure to spray each corner, the ceiling, and the floor one or two times.
In this way, the relaxing pheromones will remain with him no matter where you go after you leave.
Watch the TemperatureFood
It may make all the difference in the world for certain cats whether they are comfortable or apprehensive while traveling if they use a product that contains soothing pheromones. It simulates your cat’s natural pheromones, letting him feel that everything is OK. Comfort Zone SprayScratch Control Spray 15 minutes before transporting your cat, spray the inside of the carrier or the interior of your vehicle. In order to get the best results from the carrier, spray each corner, the ceiling, and the floor one to two times.
It will be easier for him to relax since the relaxing pheromones will follow him everywhere he goes.
Stay Near Your Cat
Someone sitting next to them on the road might help some cats feel more at ease while on the move. When your cat becomes agitated, speak softly to your feline companion. You can calm your cat by placing a sympathetic hand next to the carrier and speaking soothingly to her if you have a passenger in the seat beside you. If you have a carrier for your cat, you can place it in the seat next to yours. Keep your cat’s cage closed while driving to avoid a startled cat leaping out and hiding behind the brakes at your feet if you open it.
Speak gently and steadily, and try to keep the music as peaceful as possible. Slowly navigate twists and bumps if at all possible to avoid surprising your cat with a sudden change of direction.
You Might Need to Leave Your Cat Home or with a Sitter
Cats might be difficult to transport in a vehicle at times. If this is your scenario, your best option may be to leave your cat at home or in a pet hotel while you are away. If you decide to leave your cat alone at home, make arrangements for someone to come by on a regular basis to check on your pet and leave a list of instructions. Make a note of the type of food to serve and how much to serve it, how much water to offer, any medications your cat requires, and the phone number for the veterinarian in case of an emergency in your cat’s care.
- Leaving your cat alone at home is not the only choice available, although it may be his favorite!
- If your cat sitter decides to take your cat into their house, keep in mind that for some cats, this change of environment can be quite upsetting.
- As a result, the choice of this option is highly dependent on your cat’s personality.
- The adoption of rules to ensure that these enterprises are routinely regulated and that the cats are cared for in a manner that would satisfy even the most discriminating of pet owners has taken place in some areas.
- Take the time to study and visit potential places to determine which one is the greatest match for you and your cat.
- To begin, conduct a few trial runs to determine what works best for your cat and what can make her feel even more anxious.
- “Traveling with Cats in the Car: 5 Ways to Calm Your Kitty.” “Traveling with Cats in the Car: 5 Ways to Calm Your Kitty.” Catster, on the 19th of November, 2018.
Cat Anxiety: Understanding Your Stressed Cat
You could make fun of someone for being a “scaredy-cat,” or you might even smile when something startsles your cat and causes them to jump out of their skin. A terrified or worried cat, on the other hand, is no laughing matter. It is possible that your cat is suffering from anxiety, which may be quite dangerous if left untreated. You should continue reading if you suspect that you may be dealing with a worried cat in order to better understand what is going on with your feline and how you may assist them.
Cat Anxiety Explained
Some people may make fun of someone for being a “scaredy-cat,” and when something startsles your cat and makes them jump, you may find yourself chuckling. It is not a laughing matter when a cat feels afraid or worried.
It is possible that your cat is suffering from anxiety, which may be quite dangerous if not handled. If you believe you may be dealing with a stressed cat, continue reading to learn more about what is causing your cat’s worry and how you may help him or her get well.
Watch for the Signs
You could make fun of someone for being a “scaredy-cat,” or you might even laugh when something startsles your cat and causes them to jump. A terrified and worried cat, on the other hand, is no laughing matter. Cat anxiety may be a significant condition, especially if it is not addressed immediately. If you believe you may be dealing with a worried cat, continue reading to learn more about what is causing your cat’s worry and how you may assist them.
- Withdrawing and hiding
- Being less active
- Attempting to flee Behavior that is destructive or hostile
- Failure to use the litter box
- Diarrhea Abrasions, sores, and lesions caused by excessive grooming
In addition, according to PetMD, other symptoms include a loss or reduction in appetite, weight loss, excessive vocalization, lethargy, and restlessness. The presence of OCD is characterized by excessive and repeated activities like as feeding, sucking or chewing on fabric, compulsive grooming, meowing or yowling on demand, and persistent pacing, among others. If your cat is suffering from separation anxiety, he or she will most likely be OK as long as you are around, but he or she may get nervous if they perceive that you are going to leave.
Helping Your Stressed Cat
In order to assist your worried cat, the first thing you must understand is that you should never penalize or criticize them for their worrisome behavior. This will simply exacerbate negative connections and dread, making things worse rather than better in the long run. Aiming to make children feel secure and comfortable in their surroundings should be the objective. The first step after seeing nervous behaviors in your cat is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian who will either diagnose or rule out any underlying health concerns or environmental pollutants that may be causing your feline companion to become stressed.
- Depending on whether your cat is experiencing discomfort or has a medical issue, fixing the problem may be all that is necessary to eradicate the nervous behavior and allow your cat return to his or her regular self.
- If this is the case, your veterinarian should be able to provide you with recommendations for therapy.
- It is necessary to discover fear triggers in your kitty’s life and then either desensitize her to these triggers through frequent, safe exposure or remove them from their environment in order to achieve behavioral conditioning.
- For example, if your cat becomes worried when they sense that you are about to leave, instruct them to go lie down and reward them with a treat or a favorite toy when they do so successfully.
They’ll eventually come to identify your departure with this pleasant reward and come to terms with the fact that you’re no longer there. With this training and conditioning, the overarching objective is to educate your cat that they are secure and that it is good to rest.
If Left Untreated
When anxiety is left untreated, it will not go better on its own; in fact, it will most likely become worse over time, with undesired behaviors becoming more prominent. Chronic stress may have a physiological effect on your cat’s health in the same way that it does in people. If it continues, it has the potential to weaken her immune system, making her and her children more susceptible to disease, which will only add to her stress. They might also develop significant depression on top of their anxiety, which would all contribute to the development of other behavioral issues.
If you believe your cat is suffering from anxiety, there is reason to be optimistic.
Jean Marie Bauhaus was an American architect who founded the Bauhaus movement. Jean Marie Bauhaus is a pet mom, pet blogger, and author from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she generally writes while being watched over by a slew of furry children.