10 Helpful Ways to Calm Your Cat
Written by Maura McAndrew In some ways, cats are a mystery—intelligent, often incomprehensible animals whose sensitivity and perceptiveness make them interesting and endearing companions to have as pets. Most cat owners, on the other hand, would tell you that cats are creatures of habit and comfort. They can get anxious or terrified by a variety of events, ranging from a trip to the veterinarian to the arrival of a new family member. Dilara Goksel Parry, a trained cat behavior consultant with the San Francisco-based firm Feline Minds, recommends paying close attention to your cat’s body language to determine whether or not he is stressed.
It is necessary for people to be able to take in all of the information the cat is providing them through their emotions and body language—the tension in the body, the size of the pupils, the movement and direction of the ears, vocalizations, and so forth.
A cat’s calmness is difficult to achieve, so we’ve supplied some pointers for restoring kitty’s cheerful, playful demeanor as quickly as possible.
Be There for Your Cat, But Don’t Smother
Parry explains that while a person would seek solace in a hug, many cats do not want to be handled when they are unhappy. “People tend to think of what people might enjoy when they are anxious instead of thinking like a cat,” Parry adds. “This is probably the most prevalent error we see,” she adds, “that guardians rush up to a very aroused or agitated cat and attempt to pat or pick it up.” A major drawback of caressing or cuddling with a cat is that it prevents the cat from decompressing, according to Ingrid Johnson, a trained cat behavioral consultant who works for the Georgia-based Fundamentally Feline organization.
While you should avoid showering your cat with attention, simply being physically there is a good idea, especially if you have a loving cat.
“Even just chatting to them, or singing to them, may be quite beneficial.” Also, keep in mind that every cat is unique.
So pay close attention to your kitty’s specific preferences in order to provide him with the finest possible assistance during his time of need.
Take Things Slowly
Parry explains that while a person would seek consolation in a hug, many cats do not want to be handled when they are unhappy. “People tend to think of what people may enjoy when they are anxious instead of thinking like a cat,” Parry adds. This, she adds, is “perhaps the most common error we see: guardians rush up to a cat who is very aroused or anxious and attempt to pat or pick him up.” As Ingrid Johnson, a trained cat behavioral consultant with the Georgia-based Fundamentally Feline, explains, the primary problem with petting or hugging is that it doesn’t enable the cat to unwind.
You should avoid showering your cat with attention; yet, even being there physically is beneficial, especially if you have a loving cat.
“Even just chatting to them, or singing to them, may be really beneficial to them.” Also, keep in mind that every cat is unique!
We may safely presume that your cat wants to be in your lap if he approaches you when you are sitting close. Consider your cat’s specific preferences in order to provide him with the greatest possible assistance in his time of need. Image:perfectlab/Shutterstock.com
Provide a Safe, Cozy Environment with Vertical Space
Cats can be scared of vast, open places, according to Johnson, so make sure your feline companion has a comfortable spot where he can go when stressed. In addition, she points out that “some cats are more bush-dwellers, so they like to be concealed and under objects.” She also points out that “cats derive a great deal of comfort and consolation from being up high.” A cat tree or raised bed, for example, can allow a cat to climb vertical and examine the surroundings, while tucked-away areas might provide a safe haven for the cat to hide.
- As Parry suggests, “always provide cats with an escape path out of a situation, whether vertical or horizontal.” You should use the “cozy” rule to keep your cat quiet even while she is in a carrier while being transported.
- The best way to ensure that your cat does not become afraid of a carrier, which is a typical source of anxiety, is to teach and acclimate her to the situation.
- A dog guardian should not omit this stage, and the cat guardian should make a point of getting a cat accustomed to the carrier as soon as possible after adoption.
- Photograph courtesy of Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com
Keep Kitty’s Essentials Accessible
According to Parry, “taking care of their fundamental requirements in a cat-centric manner” is one anxiety-relieving strategy that cat owners occasionally overlook to do. Although it appears simple, being cat-centric involves putting your cat’s needs first, rather than your own or your home’s, which may be a difficult transition. “Give cats the things they require in the environments in which they are most comfortable,” Johnson advises. If your cat very completely lives in your master bedroom, and they enjoy being in there but are afraid to come out, don’t place their cat litter box and cat food in the basement or kitchen.
We may not enjoy the fact that we have a litter box in our bedroom, but sometimes we have to make concessions for our feline housemates.
Let Him Spread His Scent
Johnson notes that cats undertake a variety of activities to soothe themselves, including stroking their faces and marking their paws with smell to help others recognize them. Cats should be allowed to leave their smell in areas they care about, and they should be allowed to access such locations during stressful times, according to her. Scratching posts are an excellent solution, and they should be put in the cat’s favorite areas. According to her, “being able to send messages around provides them with comfort.” Similarly, if you are transferring your cat in a carrier or taking them to a strange location, Parry suggests bringing along an item that contains the cat’s own fragrance from a “good place and time,” which will help them feel more at ease in a stressful circumstance.
Photograph courtesy of Massimo Cattaneo/Shutterstock.com
Use Calming Essential Oils
Apart from your cat’s natural musk, there are a variety of other natural fragrances, particularly essential oils, that may help to create an atmosphere of kitty-calm. These scents are effective on both cats and people. Several smells, like honeysuckle and lavender, are recommended by Johnson because they are known to have a relaxing impact on cats. The vet clinic will put a couple of drops of lavender oil on a paper towel and place it in the exam room when they have an aggressive cat, she explains.
Put on Soft Music or White Noise
Cats are extremely sensitive to noise, just as they are to scent. Providing an alternate sound, especially if your cat’s anxiety or worry is being exacerbated by loud noises (such as construction, a baby screaming, or traffic), is an excellent option. Despite the fact that there has not been much research on the use of music or noises to soothe a cat, according to Parry, “one may experiment with mild classical music or pleasant ‘white noise’ and see how the cat responds,” he adds. “At the very least, it has the potential to mitigate the impact of the’scary’ noises by acting as a buffer.” A pleasant chamber or “cat haven,” according to Johnson, will help to improve the feeling of tranquility even more.
Photograph courtesy of JRP Studio/Shutterstock.com
Try Anti-Anxiety Treats, Supplements, or Medications
The stomach is the gateway to the heart of your individual cat, so you may want to experiment with cat treats that are particularly meant to have calming effects. According to Johnson, these products include L-theanine, an element found in green tea that has been shown to naturally reduce anxiety. Herbal supplements are also a possibility, although Parry advises consulting with a veterinarian before making that decision. In her opinion, “if you have a nervous cat and the conventional ways are not working, it is best to seek expert advice,” she adds, noting that vets may offer vitamins or even cat anxiety medication in some cases.
Photograph courtesy of Zoran Photographer/Shutterstock.com
Play Regularly to Reduce Chronic Stress
The stomach is the gateway to the heart of your individual cat, so you may want to experiment with cat treats that are particularly meant to have calming effects on him or her. According to Johnson, these products include L-theanine, a chemical found in green tea that has been shown to naturally alleviate anxiety in certain people. Herbal supplements are also a possibility, although Parry advises consulting with a veterinarian before making the decision. In her opinion, “if you have a nervous cat and the conventional ways are not working, it is best to seek expert advice,” she adds, noting that vets may offer vitamins or even cat anxiety medication in some circumstances.
The doctor explains that “in some circumstances, anxiety drugs, whether short- or long-term, can be quite beneficial.” Photograph courtesy of Zoran Photographer/Shutterstock.com.
Determine the Root of the Problem—and Find a Solution
While many of the tactics listed above are effective for dealing with cat fear, worry, and stress, it’s important to go a little deeper, particularly if your cat is suffering from extreme stress. As Parry puts it, “it’s not enough to cure the symptom, as it were.” Understanding what causes the fear helps you to devise a strategy for assisting the cat in feeling secure. She recommends keeping an eye on interactions amongst dogs in your house in order to handle any difficulties, as well as being on the lookout for potentially stress-inducing environmental variables.
Cats can become chronically stressed if any of their critical demands and resources are out of balance, according to Parry.
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.
For kittens, Van de Kieft advises exposing them to as many different environments as possible while they are still young. “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.
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.
Allow her to get comfortable and acclimated to that particular area before gradually exposing her to the rest of the house, ideally one room at a time. In the meanwhile, try to keep her eating and playing routines as consistent as possible.
Cat Calming Products to Consider
There are a variety of products available on the market that are meant to assist in calming down frightened cats. Along with pheromone treatments that are available in the form of diffusers, wipes, or sprays, Calder may offer nutritional supplements that are specifically developed to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety in cats. Before adding anything to or modifying your cat’s diet, you should always consult with your personal veterinarian first. Calder will give drugs to certain cats in order to help them cope with their fear and anxiety.
Essential oils are a type of oil that has a strong scent.
How to calm cat anxiety and stress: symptoms and relief
Due to the fact that cats are often autonomous creatures, their daily routine should not be significantly disrupted even if your schedule changes – for example, because you cease or begin working from home. The fact is that some cats may become worried when their routines are altered, so it’s crucial to be aware of the indications of a disturbed cat and how you may assist them. Whenever your household’s circumstances change, it is crucial to maintain as much consistency as possible in your interactions with your cat.
Inga MacKellar, an animal behaviorist, offers the following advice:
- If we spend more time at home than we used to, we can find ourselves spending a lot more time snuggling with our dogs. However, although some cats will benefit from the added interaction, some may feel distressed if they are handled excessively
- If your cat is displaying indications of being overly connected to you, avoid the desire to snuggle and pat them even more when you are at home. If your cat is showing signs of being overly attached to you, see your veterinarian. It is possible that over-indulging your cat can deepen his or her attachment to you, making it more difficult for your cat to cope when you leave the house. If you see that your cat is becoming agitated, make sure that they have a quiet, safe spot to go indoors or in the yard to relieve themselves. Take the opportunity to spend some quality time with your cat, especially if you have limited access to the outdoors. A excellent approach for kids to acquire both mental and physical stimulation is via the use of food activity toys. Your cat may even like listening to some particularly produced cat music
- It is up to you. If you have an indoor cat, make sure the litter tray is clean and fresh to minimize accidents that result in home soiling.
Inga also discusses the indicators to look out for if your cat is experiencing anxiety, as well as how you may assist them. Here are some pointers on how to use your body language and the environment around you to alleviate your pet’s suffering.
Recognise the signs of stress in cats
1. A stressed cat will frequently twitch the end of its tail as a warning sign, just before the tension begins to take hold. In addition, their claws may be used in self-defense. Secondly, if your cat is feeling frightened or threatened, he or she would most likely hide and crouche down to make themselves appear as little as possible. They will feel less visible to any possible hazards as a result of this. Spraying (squirting urine horizontally) while standing with their tail quivering in the air is a method used by agitated cats to define their territory.
How to calm a cat
In order to signal that they are stressed, an unhappy cat will typically flick their tail as a warning sign shortly before the tension takes hold. When they feel threatened, their claws may also be drawn. Secondly, if your cat is feeling frightened or threatened, he or she would most likely hide and crouche down in order to seem as little as possible. Thus, any possible threats will see them as less evident. Spraying (squirting urine horizontally) while standing with their tail quivering in the air is a method used by agitated cats to identify their territories.
Set up your surroundings
When your cat is stressed, provide secure hiding places for them in their basket or a couple of boxes that they may retreat to. Your cat is likely to prefer a higher elevation – the darker and cosier the environment, the more secure they will feel in it. 2. Allow people to interact with you on their own terms and conditions. You should follow your cat’s lead and refrain from caressing or playing with them if you see any of the body language signals indicated above in your cat’s body language.
You could go for a high-tech version that recognizes your pet’s microchip (to deter the neighborhood cats from paying your pet a visit, too!) or a lockable version if you want to keep your pet indoors during the evenings.
Do you have any practical suggestions for assisting cats that are suffering from anxiety? Share your story with us on social media by using the hashtag #PethoodStories.
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.
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
Especially 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 ride beforehand. Purchase a stylish cat carrier that can be secured to the seat of your vehicle and transport your cat for a short journey.. See if you can figure out what she is afraid of. What makes her agitated, and what makes her calm down? Is it music, or is it a podcast. Simply lowering the volume is all that is needed. To limit all of the sights and noises to a minimum, your cat may prefer a lightweight blanket over her carrier.
It’s possible that your cat is suffering from motion sickness if she drools, screams excessively, pants, or spits up throughout the trip. Perhaps you should consult your veterinarian about drugs that may be of use to your pet.
Watch the TemperatureFood
Make sure your kitten isn’t too chilly or too hot in the car by checking the temperature. Furthermore, you should be aware of the sun’s rays as they pass through the windows. In order to keep your cat from overheating, you may want to consider installing a shade on the windows or a light cover on her carrier. Additionally, you may want to avoid feeding your cat immediately before you start on the road, but instead provide water during rest breaks (while keeping your car door locked to prevent your cat from escaping).
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.
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.
Andee Bingham is the first of the Bingham sisters. “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.
How To Calm Down A Crazy Cat – PPM Apartments, Chicago
Anyone who has ever acquired a kitten knows that kittens are extremely playful, if not a little bothersome at times. Most cats, on the other hand, grow out of it. However, this is not the case for all of them. In the event that yourcatis above six months old and is still behaving up, you may have to face the fact that you have a crazy cat on your hands. Even the most predictable animal may be surprising, but cats are particularly cunning: they might appear soft and lovely for part of the day, only to transform into a monster minutes later.
Some of the unhinged felines’ favorite activities include running around your apartment, clawing anything in sight, and generally making a lot of noise.
When it comes to taming your cat, there are several actions you may take, especially if their hyperactivity is caused by an underlying issue.
Cats are naturally inclined to enjoy themselves. They require outlets for their excess energy in order to be happy and healthy. It is possible that they will use all of their stored energy on your residence instead if they do not have access to toys. It is possible to keep your cat entertained for hours by providing them with balls, strings, and other cat toys. This will prevent your cat from getting into trouble due to boredom. Because there are so many different possibilities when it comes to cat toys, you may experiment with a few different types to determine which ones your cat loves.
On Chewy.com, you can see some of the various cat towers.
Don’t forget to give your cat a treat or a ball at the conclusion of the session to reward him or her for his or her efforts.
Another alternative is to purchase an automated cat toy, such as this one, which works automatically.
Try Calming Solutions
An alternative method of calming down a crazed cat is to experiment with some of the calming products that are currently available on the market. Among the options are herbal calming sprays, CBD oil that is safe for pets, and feline pheromone diffusers. The ingredients in each of these products work to calm your cat in a natural and safe manner.
It is also possible to use one of the many soothing products that are available on the market to help quiet down a frantic cat.
Herbal soothing sprays, CBD oil that is safe for pets, and feline pheromone diffusers are some of the options available to you. Every single one of these items is natural and safe, and they all work to soothe your cat’s anxiety.
Keeping Your Cat Calm at Night
Cats’ Natural Habits and Behaviour When it comes to working late in New York, the only thing on my mind when I get home is my fluffy pillow, much like the majority of the population. As a result, I am met by four pairs of moist eyes that are looking at me, eager to be fed. It’s not an issue. There are three pairs of eyeballs that scatter after a full supper and a little grooming. The owner of the second pair, on the other hand, begins to dart back and forth across the floor, instead of eating his meal.
- It’s time to have some fun.
- At the end of the day, I haven’t been home all day, so he’s had plenty of time to snooze.
- He may have had a little fun with his feline buddies, but I’m a whole lot more entertaining.
- Despite the fact that cats are naturally nocturnal, they have traditionally maintained a crepuscular hunting pattern, which means that they are most active between dawn and twilight.
- In their retinas, they contain something called the tapetum lucidum, which is a mirror-like structure that reflects light back to the rods (parts of the eye that contribute to vision).
- Although they are unable to see in complete darkness, they are capable of detecting motions and objects in semi-darkness that would otherwise be imperceptible to humans.
- While you’re at work, keep your cat occupied.
Provide your cat with toys that he can swat about on his own, such as toy mice, which are particularly entertaining for this purpose.
Cats, like people, grow bored with the same old thing day after day, so be sure to rotate these toys on a regular basis.
Cats are very fond of batting at these.
Your cat will believe they are brand new.
Before you leave the house, program your VCR to begin recording at a specific time, such as mid-afternoon.
Placing a chair in front of the television so that the picture is at the cat’s eye level will allow him to attempt to “capture” these elusive creatures.
One end of a fuzzy soft ball is suspended from a battery-operated wand, which swings the ball around at a variety of customizable speeds and at various angles.
Another version of this toy has a digital timer that can be programmed to run for anything between 15 minutes and 2 hours.
Cats are particularly fond of charging into paper bags that have been opened.
Installing a bird feeder outside of your window is another excellent suggestion for keeping your cat entertained.
There is no better delight than being able to observe live birds up up and personal.
Lil’ Pete enjoys being chased around the home by his mother.
He also enjoys it when I put his toy mouse in front of him for him to swat.
Cat dancers and kitty teasers, which resemble the movement of mice and birds, can also be used to attract attention.
We smear our faces together, and I give him a relaxing belly rub.
Then, in order to put him to sleep completely, I finish the evening with Lil’ Pete’s main course.
The Best Way to Deal With Your Cat Waking You Up in the Middle of the Night to Play Because some cats may nibble at your toes while you are moving or swat at your closed eyes when you are twitching while you sleep, it is necessary to keep them out of the bedroom.
A medical condition such as an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) that may be readily treated with medicine may be the cause of your normally well-behaved cat roaming restlessly at night, crying, or requiring more food than usual.
In addition, age-related deficiencies such as loss of hearing, vision, or sense of smell might cause excessive nighttime weeping.
If you let the cat to sleep next to you, it may be comfortable for both of you.
Set it to open once or twice a night for a few hours.
Providing your cat with multiple little meals during the day may also assist to reduce his or her excessive nighttime appetite. Keep the largest meal for the last few hours before night. Good night, and good luck!
How to Calm an Aggressive Cat
Sharing your house with energetic cats adds a new dimension to everyday life. However, if your kitten has a propensity to become violent, particularly unjustified aggressiveness, you may be at a loss as to how to handle the situation. Cats that are aggressive are relatively uncommon, although they might be difficult to interpret at times. Discovering how to calm an angry cat can assist you in developing a strong and loving relationship with your feline companion.
Identifying Aggressive Behavior
The ability to read a cat’s body language under “regular” conditions might assist you in recognizing when they are performing in an unusual manner. “It helps them to more accurately’read’ their cats and better comprehend their sentiments and motives for doing what they do in their daily lives. It also enables them to respond more effectively to behavioral concerns like as aggressiveness and oppositional behavior “explains the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
Some cats are naturally rambunctious, engaging in bizarre behaviors such as sprinting up and down the hallway (usually in the middle of the night), hurling their toy mouse in the air, and yowling in delight.
There’s no mistaking the following symptoms of aggressive behavior:
- Hissing, biting, swatting, growling, exposing claws, opening mouth, and adopting a stiff stance
To rule out the possibility of an underlying medical condition in your cat, take them to a veterinarian’s clinic as soon as possible if they suddenly display these or other indicators of violent behavior that are out of character and for which there is no evident reason. Once your cat has been given a clean bill of health, you may look for and deal with any other potential causes of his mischievous behavior.
Causes of Aggression
Always remember that cats may be feisty; as the Cornell Feline Health Center explains, “Aggression, defined as aggressive or violent behavior designed to dominate or intimidate another individual, is a very typical behavioral issue in cats.” Age (kittens and young cats up to the age of two are the exact definition of “rowdy”), lack of socialization (this is especially true for cats that are secluded during their early life stages), and maternal instincts are only a few of the factors that contribute to hostility (mama cats are very protective of their babies).
Three types of redirected aggressiveness are the most often seen causes of aggressive cat behavior: play, inter-cat hostility, and territorial aggression.
Play or Aggression?
Cats like playing, but this enjoyment may occasionally devolve into hostility. This is a normal occurrence among kittens, who are still learning about their surroundings.
If they bite or slap their littermates too hard, their siblings will snap them back into shape fast. It is common for cats who are going to engage in more vigorous play to shake their rears and flatten their ears, and their eyes may dilate.
According to the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, inter-cat aggression is the second most common type of aggression (the first being play aggression). “Cats may not cohabitate well for a variety of reasons, including incompatible temperaments, territorial competitions, or as a result of overcrowding.” For example, if two cats who were previously friendly suddenly become antagonistic, it might be because one of them has a new scent after seeing the veterinarian.
Territorial and Fear
Many cats go into attack mode when they are threatened or provoked by people or other animals. This is why your cat may be perfectly friendly with you, but then growl and swat at a guest, or whack the family dog if they attempt to snuggle on the sofa with them, for example. When a cat perceives that someone or something is attempting to intrude on their territory, they will strike out. But, fortunately, there are methods for controlling your cat’s aggressive behavior.
How to Calm an Aggressive Cat
Following the identification of the source of your cat’s hostility, you may more effectively regulate their behavior. Some reasons, such as maternal hostility, are transient and relatively simpler to deal with because you know exactly what to do in these situations: Keep your distance from Mama Cat and let her to do her job. You may need to be a little more inventive when dealing with other instigators. According to the information provided above, play aggressiveness is a highly prevalent kind of feline aggression.
- This type of play, in which your cat strikes your body with their mouth and/or claws, encourages aggressive behavior in your kitten.
- Unlike most cat toys, stuffed animals produced for dogs are excellent for aggressive cats since they are constructed of a more durable substance than most cat toys and will not dissolve after being attacked.
- Depending on whether you’re introducing young cats to each other or if one cat begins to aggressively dominate another after they’ve been living together for a long time, you may need to segregate their feeding, living, and litter box spaces and reintroduce them gradually to each other.
- Whenever two or more cats begin to fight, make a quick, loud noise or create another diversion to break them up and keep them apart.
- In order to avoid approaching or touching them until they are ready, refrain from doing so.
- According to a popular joke, cats train their pet parents rather than the other way around.
- “This may lead a cat to grow scared of people or may be viewed as play, which may unwittingly reinforce the aggressive behavior,” Cornell advises.
A cat engaging in overly aggressive play may learn via being ignored and walked away from that inappropriately aggressive behavior results in no play at all. The bottom line is to recognize and reward positive conduct rather than negative behavior.
When to Seek Veterinary Care
Finding out the source of your cat’s hostility will help you better control their behavior in the long term. Because you know what to do, certain reasons, such as maternal aggressiveness, are transitory and simpler to deal with than others. Leave mom cat alone and allow her to do what she wants when she wants. You may have to be a little more inventive when dealing with other instigators. The habit of play aggressiveness in cats is quite widespread, as previously mentioned. Not roughhousing with your cat is one method to de-escalate the situation — or perhaps avoid it in the first place.
- Instead of engaging in physical play, shift their focus to a soft item such as a stuffed animal as an alternative toy.
- Having established their territory, cats will make certain that all other animals (and humans) are aware that they are in charge.
- You should never intervene while your cat is on the defensive since you will just wind up causing more commotion.
- Whenever two or more cats begin to fight, make a quick, loud noise or create another diversion to break them apart.
- In order to avoid approaching or touching them before they are ready, refrain from doing so.
- According to an urban legend, cats train their pet parents rather than the other way around!
- “This may lead a cat to grow scared of people or may be viewed as play, which may unwittingly reinforce the aggressive behavior,” Cornell says.
- Overall, it’s important to recognize and reward positive behaviors rather than negative ones.
Christine O’Brien is a writer and actress. The author, mother, and long-time cat parent Christine O’Brien lives with her two Russian Blue cats, who are the rulers of the household.
Care.com, What to Expect, and Fit Pregnancy are just a few of the publications where she contributes articles about pets, pregnancy, and family life. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter, where she goes by the handle @brovelliobrien.
Soothe a Stray
Our feline pals experience stress in the same way that we do–after all, who among us hasn’t longed to hide beneath our desks when things become tough? Nonetheless, when attempting to find a home for a community cat, the way they react to stressful events such as being trapped or placed in a shelter might be deceiving. You should be aware that when a cat exhibits indications of worry, which might be misinterpreted as hostility, she is only attempting to protect herself. Don’t be concerned! We’ve enlisted the assistance of cat expert Joan Miller to provide advice on how to comfort the kitty’s small heart while still allowing her individuality to shine through.
Relaxation is Key
It’s possible that the kitten simply needs to take a brief break to settle down. Here’s how you may create a relaxing environment for her to unwind in: 1.
- Make sure to give the cat the most amount of time possible to calm down. Make sure she has a quiet spot to herself where she can be alone–if you’re in your own house, a bathroom would suffice. For her to settle down in a shelter, we’d recommend utilizing a “cat cave,” which provides her with a place to hide within the cage, in order for her to feel safe. Keeping cages or crates off the floor can also help her feel better since she will be able to view everything in her environment. Every day activity like as feeding and cage cleaning should be done according to a schedule. Her capacity to be predictable will aid her in adapting. Cats use their sense of scent to define their territory. Miller advocates spot-cleaning cages in order to keep the cats’ scents inside the enclosure. Additionally, spot cleaning will be beneficial since she will not be subjected to the additional stress of being taken from her cage during cleaning time, then placed back in her cage (which now smells different) or a new cage afterward (which may smell like another cat). Also, wash your hands well to remove the smell of other cats before attempting to handle her. The cat may harbor a resentment against the trapper or veterinarian who captured it. Allow someone else to take care of the cat during feeding or playtime.
Empower the Cat
A cat’s confidence might soar when she perceives herself to be in command of her surroundings. Here’s how to relinquish some control over your life:
- Allow the cat to come up to you first, if at all feasible. In the event that she is reluctant to approach but appears interested, try providing her a little scoop of canned cat food or tuna while you are conversing with her, and this may assist persuade her to come up to you. Cats enjoy having a variety of options. Provide her with climbing choices in her cage or a play area that she may utilize whenever she wants
- Do not keep the cat concealed in a quiet room after she has had a chance to settle down on her own. Instead, allow her an opportunity to become acclimated to the manner in which she will be treated. Ensure that she is handled on a table or high surface so that she does not feel frightened from above. Take care not to remove cats from their carriers with their heads first. The cat is completely unaware of what is taking place and may become defensive. If possible, use a top-loading carrier or bring the cat out from the bottom first so she may retain her gaze on what she recognizes.
- After she’s had a chance to settle down, don’t keep her hidden in a quiet room. Instead, allow her to become acclimated to the manner in which she will be treated. Use a table or elevated surface to handle her in order to prevent her from feeling frightened from above. Avoid removing cats from their carriers with their heads first. In this situation, the cat may react defensive since it is unaware of what is taking place. To focus the cat’s attention on what is known, try utilizing a top-loading carrier or bringing the cat out of the carrier from the bottom.
Challenge the Cat
Although cats require lots of rest and relaxation, they may also profit from what Miller refers to as “non-threatening adversity.” To establish whether the cat has previously been socialized, initiate some engagement with her to let her understand that you’re not so horrible after all.
- Make sure she doesn’t spend all of her time playing hide and seek on her alone. Interact with the cat at least once or twice a day
- Gently brush the cat with your hand to keep it healthy. Maybe she’s too self-conscious or afraid to clean herself. Speak in a low, relaxing tone
- Don’t confuse fear with anger when you’re speaking. “Hissing is a warning signal that cats use to communicate with one another. It does not necessarily imply that they are hostile. And I have the same feelings about growling. “The deep growl…is merely a way of expressing worry,” Miller explains.
Signs to Tell if a Cat is Frightened or Aggressive
- Make sure she doesn’t spend all of her time playing hide and seek by herself. Interact with the cat at least once or twice a day
- Gently brush the cat with your hand to keep it clean. Maybe she’s too self-conscious or afraid to clean herself
- Do not misinterpret fear for aggressiveness by speaking in a low, reassuring manner. The language of cats is hissing, which is used only for the purpose of alerting people.” It doesn’t necessarily imply that they are combative in any way. The same goes for snarling, which I find annoying as well as offensive. As Miller explains, “the deep growl…is really a kind of worry expression.”
- Eyes dilated
- Fur standing on edge
- Head tilted
- Ears back
Whining; eyes dilated; fur standing on end; head cocked; ears back; howling;
- VIDEO: “Cultivating Cool Cats”: How to Handle Felines at a Shelter in a Way that Makes Them Look and Feel Their Best