6 Cat Calming Products to Help Ease Cat Anxiety
Katie Grzyb, a freelance writer, checked the information on August 29, 2018 for correctness. DVM Cats are not the only ones that struggle with anxiety; humans are not the only ones who struggle with anxiety. As a pet owner, it is critical to keep your cat’s anxiety under control in order to build and maintain a strong human-pet connection.. It is possible for a cat to suffer anxiety for a variety of reasons; however, there are some relaxing solutions that pet owners may use to help control their cat’s worry.
What Causes Cat Anxiety?
Several factors might contribute to cat anxiety, according to Marilyn Krieger, a licensed cat behavior consultant located in Northern California and the author of The Cat Coach. “A change in habit may be really upsetting for a cat,” adds Krieger. “A change in routine can be extremely jarring for a cat.” “Stress can be induced by a variety of factors, including new situations, unexpected surroundings, and previously unknown animals. A house redesign or a higher voice might induce anxiety in certain cats, depending on their temperament.
According to her, there is a distinction between cats that become startled during fireworks on the Fourth of July and cats who spend a significant amount of their time worried up or fearful of things that appear to be little.
According to Delgado, “Cats who are comfortable in their environment will eat, drink and sleep in the open, they will engage with their owners and play with toys, and they will usually be out and about—not simply lurking and slinking about all of the time.”
Keeping Cat Anxiety at Bay
If you find that your cat is suffering from anxiety, you have a number of treatment choices to choose from. Finding the correct one for your cat, on the other hand, may need some trial and error. Both Delgado and Krieger emphasize that every cat is unique, and that a solution that works for one cat may not work for another. The physician says that while many cat calming treatments are accessible over-the-counter, owners shouldn’t expect them to work miracles on their pets. ‘Most products that are available over-the-counter do not provide dramatic outcomes, although some may have a soothing impact,’ writes the author.
Thundershirts for Cats
When worn, the Thundershirt for cats acts as a mild, steady pressure, similar to that of swaddled kittens or puppies. According to some reports, this pressure can help to calm nervous and stressed-out animals. While there hasn’t been a lot of formal study regarding the effect that Thundershirts have on stressed cats, Delgado claims that they have been shown to have a soothing effect on dogs. “Based on my personal experience, I can state that Thundershirts appear to make cats less fidgety. “I’ve heard several reports that if they’re wearing a Thundershirt, they’ll lay down and stop moving about,” she explains.
“It’s critical to understand just how much your cat can take as well as whether or not she will be comfortable wearing any form of apparel. Also, you should think about whether or not she could damage you as a result of her actions.”
Cat Calming Collars
Cat calming collars mixed with pheromones, such as the Sentry HC cat calming collar, are among of the most popular items for reducing feline stress and anxiety. Cat soothing collars contain pheromones that are similar to those produced by mothers to calm and soothe their kittens. These pheromones may also be used to calm and soothe adult cats. Cat soothing collars, according to Delgado, are effective for some cats but have no impact on others. According to her, similar to Thundershirts, there is a possibility that owners will have difficulties placing the collar on their cat.
Allow him to take a smell and then reward him with a goodie.
Cat Calming Pheromone Diffusers
If you enjoy the concept of using pheromones to cure your cat’s anxiety, but you know that wearing anything may stress your cat out, you might want to consider using pheromone diffusers for cats. A synthetic replica of the feline face pheromones is emitted by cat calming diffusers such as theFeliway plug-in diffuser, which helps alleviate general anxiety in cats and other animals. The Feliway MultiCat diffuser plug-ins, for example, are particularly designed to assist calm multi-cat families and create harmony between the cats in a family.
Krieger claims that diffusers are far superior to collars in terms of effectiveness.
The pheromones released by a diffuser may be turned off by simply walking into a different room.
Calming Cat Food and Cat Treats
Anti-anxiety diets, such as theRoyal Canin Veterinary Diet Calm formula dry cat food, and cat calming treats, such as theVetriscience Composure cat chews, are other choices for controlling stress in cats. In addition to tryptophan (a chemical found in turkey that is associated with tiredness), anti-anxiety cat chow frequently adds other ingredients. These diets are also intended to relieve upset stomachs, which may be a source of cat anxiety in some cases. Treats operate in a slightly different way.
“There is some evidence that they do, under some conditions, improve relaxation in cats and dogs,” she explains. “It has also been examined in the context of cat vet visits. “The experiments revealed that there was at least a minor relaxing effect,” the researchers said.
Training and Playtime
Aside from using cat calming items, engaging in play with your cats or teaching them to execute chores might help to reduce their stress levels. “Cats feel more safe when they have positive interactions,” explains Krieger. “Some cats enjoy rewards, while others enjoy playing, and clicker training may be quite effective in some situations.” While clicker training is more commonly associated with canines, doing it with your cat may be a wonderful way to strengthen your relationship with your cat and lessen cat anxiety.
“Various cats respond to different toys—some prefer puzzles, while others prefer feather dancers—so you’ll have to experiment with a few different options before you find one that your cat will enjoy.”
When Should You Call Your Vet?
Some cats suffer from anxiety, and over-the-counter medications are ineffective in alleviating their symptoms. The veterinarian advises that if you notice your cat excessively grooming herself, gnawing on her nails, or harming herself, it is time to take her to the clinic. Cat anxiety medication, according to Delgado, can be prescribed by veterinarians to assist lower your cat’s nervousness and minimize these behaviors. Written by Kate Hughes Featured Image: iStock.com/watchara tongnoi (Created with Sketch).
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.
Because being cautious and hiding are normal survival behaviors, your cat may naturally be a bit more worried than other cats of the same breed.
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.
Combine Food and Fun
Cats spend a significant portion of their awake hours hunting or eating. Food puzzle toys and a “treasure hunt” with little quantities of food on plates placed throughout the house can also be used to solve the issues mentioned above. Playing and exploring may be used to simulate hunting behaviors, which can help to relieve tension and anxiety. Cats are more likely to investigate homemade toys, and rotating toys improves the novelty and appeal of the toys.
Improve the Litter Box Experience
Fearful cats urinate outside the box, either by spraying urine against vertical objects or sitting on moist flat surfaces to soak them. The majority of the time, this has territorial/marking implications, with the cat using the fragrance to identify “owned” territory, warn off other animals, or provide self-comfort by smelling like themselves again. Property that is essential to the cat, such as owner-scented things such as the bed, areas near windows or other lookouts (where they view stray cats), and areas near doors are common targets for urination (where they hear or smell stray cats).
Because cats do not have to share, the one-plus-one rule (one box per cat plus one) helps to lessen anxiety in cats.
It’s also critical to maintain the litter boxes free of debris. A soiled box may impede effective elimination and might exacerbate or exacerbate any anxiety symptoms that may be present.
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.
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
Including phobias, this method is effective for all types of anxiety. 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 comfy bed and enclosed areas might help them relax and unwind more easily. In addition, this secure zone is essential for cats that are afraid of loud noises (fireworks, thunderstorms, vacuums, etc.). Think about using a ThunderShirt on your cat, a pressure garment that is supposed to have a soothing effect comparable to that of swaddling a newborn.
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.
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
It’s not difficult to notice a kitten that is feeling worried. According to PetMD, the following signs and symptoms of general cat anxiety are present:
- 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.
- 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. Your cat has a great chance of making a full recovery and returning to their healthier and happier selves if you provide them with love, patience, and a desire to do your bit to assist them.
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.
How to Help a Cat with Fear and Anxiety
Cats can experience anxiety in the same way that people do. And, much like people, it may have a negative influence on their physical and emotional health. The introduction of new goods or changes in their environment might cause an anxious cat to become fearful, even in situations that you would not expect to cause them concern. It can be upsetting to witness your furry family member suffering in this way, but there are many things you can do to assist them. Discovering the sources of your cat’s fear takes a little detective work, patience, and time, but it is possible to identify and assist them overcome it.
In addition to being signs of anxiety, they can also be indications of a medical issue.
A medical ailment may be discovered, and if so, therapy may be all that is required to restore your cat back to feeling like themselves.
Signs of Fear and Anxiety in Cats
After you’ve checked out any medical difficulties, the next step in assisting your cat with their anxiety is to accurately identify the source of the problem. In most cases, signs of anxiety in cats are less obvious than you might expect. You might imagine the “Halloween cat” as having puffed-up fur, an arched back, and a scary hiss, but that’s not what you’re likely to see in reality. Anxiety symptoms can manifest themselves in a variety of ways, but they can be divided into a few distinct groups.
- Problems with household odors and littering outside the litter box
- Modifications in one’s appetite or weight
- Getting more sleep
The following are more prominent indications of dread and anxiety:
- Trembling or trembling
- Rapid breathing
- Avoiding eye contact
- Tail flicking or tightly gripped against their body
- Dilated pupils
- And other behaviors. Withdrawal and concealment
- Getting down on your knees and/or bending away
- They are flattening their ears against their head, and their hair is sticking up. The use of exaggerated vocalization like as meowing, yowling, hissing, and growling
- The licking of their nose regularly Excessive grooming, which frequently results in hair loss or skin ulcers
- The act of pacing about the home (which is usually accompanied by meowing) Excessive reactivity to sounds and/or movement
- Displaying aggressive behavior against people and/or other pets in the home
- Following people around the house
It is possible that the majority of these symptoms are caused by a medical problem. Seeing your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health concerns if you believe your cat is suffering from anxiety is a good idea. A medical ailment may be discovered, and if so, therapy may be all that is required to restore your cat back to feeling like themselves. In the event that your cat exhibits just sporadic signs of fear or anxiety, this does not always indicate that they are clinically nervous. It’s possible that they’re simply reacting in a typical manner to anything like a sudden loud noise or a shift in their routine.
This allows you to get down to the serious task of assisting with its alleviation.
How to Help a Cat with Anxiety
It’s crucial to note that cat fear is rarely alleviated by a single move on the part of the owner.
It is necessary to address the problem from a number of different sides at the same time in order to properly treat your cat and see permanent benefits. You may use this strategy to address practically any type of behavioral concern:
- Determine what is causing the fear, worry, or inappropriate conduct
- Look for strategies to eliminate the sources or triggers of the problem. Positive alternatives to their worried behaviour should be provided to your cat. Make changes to their surroundings in order to encourage ongoing progress and long–term results
Examine how you can put these steps into action in the next section.
Identify the Cause or Triggers of Your Cat’s Anxiety
Anxiety in cats can manifest itself in a variety of ways, and the reasons for this can be quite varied as well. It is possible that one cat would flee in fright at the rumbling sounds of an uneven washing machine while another will remain perfectly unaffected. Anxiety is described as the anticipatory fear of a threat or danger, whether actual or imagined (it is real to your cat), that one cannot avoid. The following are the most common causes:
- Changes in their surroundings (territory) or habit that occur suddenly
- Noises that are too loud
- Strange odors Relationships with other people and/or pets in the family that are instable
- Competition over limited resources (e.g., food, litter boxes, love)
- A feeling of boredom or idleness
- Outside animals (particularly stray or neighborhood cats)
- Animals within the home
Remove the Triggers Causing Anxiety in Your Cat
It is possible to reduce stress by limiting or minimizing exposure to the cause of the stress that you have identified. Using humane deterrents to keep neighboring cats away from your house or blocking your cat’s view of those sections of your yard, for example, can help alleviate your cat’s stress and anxiety.
Provide Positive Alternative Behaviors Through Enrichment
Intuitively, cats have wants that, when satisfied appropriately, may have a significant influence on their overall quality of life and state of mind. It is a proven method of reducing anxiety in children to provide them with possibilities for play, hunting activities, cerebral stimulation, and, of course, a sense of safety and security. Participate in social enrichment activities such as the following:
- The benefits of interactive play include affection, cognitive stimulation through food puzzles and training sessions, and improved social skills.
Transform the Environment
To establish an atmosphere where your cat may naturally change their behaviour and alleviate feelings of worry, consider some of the following suggestions:
- For a sense of security, elevated climbing areas such as a cat tree are beneficial
- Perches for cats with a view of the outside world
- Catios or other enclosed outdoor spaces that are safe
- Scratching posts in a variety of shapes and sizes
- Exercise wheels
Additional Tips and Tricks to Help Your Anxious Cat
- Changes should be made gradually. Changes to your cat’s environment and habit should be introduced gradually. If you’re rearranging furniture, start with one room and work your way up. For the first few days or weeks after moving into a new house, limit your cat to a smaller space and gradually introduce them to other locations. Consider speaking with your veterinarian about progressive introductions if you have recently brought home a new pet. Make people feel comfortable. The same way that a worried kid need comfort, it is possible that a fearful cat requires it as well. However, use caution and pay attention to the cat’s body language. Some terrified cats may bite or scratch in response to their fear. Products that are calming. There are relaxing treatments available that can be useful, like as sprays and diffusers that produce a material that mimics natural cat pheromones, among other things. Anxiety medications, on the other hand, should not be depended on as a solitary remedy
- Anxiety medication. When necessary, your veterinarian may prescribe an antianxiety drug to assist your cat cope with stressors more efficiently, according to the circumstances. These drugs can be really beneficial, but they should be taken in conjunction with your environmental adjustments rather than as a substitute. Never resort to corporal punishment. Praising or punishing a nervous cat can simply exacerbate the issue and heighten the cat’s terror reaction. Included in this are all sorts of corporal punishment such as beating and swatting as well as screaming and squirting the child with a water bottle
ZPC-01219 Following graduation from the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Campbell went on to finish a residency in internal medicine and a Master’s degree at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Virginia Beach. Previously, she worked as a Clinical Instructor at the University of Tennessee for two years before moving on to a private referral hospital where she spent many years before joining Zoetis, where she is a Medical Lead for the company’s pain-management, anesthesia, sedation, behavioral, and anti-infectives product portfolios.
Campbell holds a Diplomate status with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM).
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
1. For your cat to feel comfortable, they must have their own place as well as a simple escape route in the event that things get too much. Never swarm them or cause a scene; instead, let them to go away and do their own thing while you wait for them to return on their own timetable when they are ready to do so. 2. Your reaction may be to soothe your cat by reaching out your arm to touch them, but your cat may interpret this as a danger and strike out with their claws or fangs instead. Keep your distance from them and keep an eye on them from a nearby location instead, and reserve the cuddling for a more relaxed period later.
When your cat appears to be less agitated and more like their normal self, attempt to engage them in play from a distance.
If you give them a fishing rod toy or roll a ball for them, they will join in if they no longer believe that there is a threat in the area.
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?
12 Signs Your Cat Has Anxiety, According To A Vet
If your cat’s peculiar behavior is caused by worry, there are a variety of techniques you may employ to reassure him. One strategy to keep your cat quiet is to have a constant home life. This means that you should avoid moving the furniture about too much and giving your cats their own place while they are awake. For cats, change is not always welcome, especially as they get older. They are creatures of habit, after all.” Because of this, any significant change in their lives — such as boarding, the adoption of a new pet, moving to a new house, or simply the presence of a pet owner who works outside the home more frequently — may create tension or anxiety.” Each cat, on the other hand, is unique, which is why it’s crucial to develop a treatment plan with your veterinarian.
- “If your veterinarian determines that your pet has a basic fear, worry, or phobia, a prescription medicine may be all that is required,” according to PetMD’s explanation.
- “Providing your cat with a quiet spot to hide and relax in which they feel comfortable is an excellent place to begin.
- “While it may be beneficial in the short term to pay more attention to your cat, doing so may wind up rewarding the worried behaviors in the long run.
- A guide on all-natural herbs that can be therapeutic to cats suffering from anxiety is also available on PetMD.
Cats make fantastic companions, and just like with people, it is crucial to look after their mental health in the same way that you would look after your own. Siena Gagliano contributed additional reporting.
What is Cat Anxiety & What Can You Do to Settle Your Cat?
This occurs when a cat displays the signs and symptoms of cat anxiety, notably when they are away from their owner or from another animal that they are familiar with, and it is a common occurrence.
Cat separation anxiety symptoms:
- Cats suffering from separation anxiety may follow their owners from room to room compulsively and will require constant attention. The indicators that you’re going to leave the house will begin to be recognized by them, and they will get concerned, either hiding, pouting, or vocalizing their discontent loudly
- It is possible that when cats are left alone in the house, they will engage in damaging behavior that they are not normally prone to, such as forgetting to use the litter box or refusing to eat.
How to deal with cat anxiety and cat separation anxiety
If your cat is exhibiting signs and symptoms of cat anxiety, it’s important to consult your veterinarian to make sure there aren’t any underlying medical concerns present. Following the exclusion of these possibilities, your veterinarian may diagnose your pet with anxiety, in which case they may give medicine or recommend specific cat soothing practices.
Identify the cause
Recognizing and addressing the source of your cat’s anxiety is the most crucial step in identifying and using the most effective cat soothing approach for them. Simple changes in your cat’s environment or habit might sometimes be all that is needed to alleviate their concerns.
Create a stimulating environment
Create a more diverting atmosphere for cats suffering from separation anxiety. This will assist to keep your kitty intellectually active (and diverted!) while you’re away from the house. Providing your cat with a variety of toys, as well as perches with visually exciting vistas, will assist to keep him entertained while you’re away. As a distraction strategy, puzzle feeders may be quite effective as well.
Try cat calming products
Specific cat calming products are also available in a variety of forms, but they should not be depended on as a sole solution to the problem. These products are available in spray, diffuser, and plug-in forms, and they produce pheromones that are supposed to be calming to animals, and which replicate natural cat pheromones to achieve this effect. These methods may be effective in relaxing cats, but owners should also attempt to determine the underlying reason of cat anxiety in order to provide the best long-term treatment.
Leave the radio on
If your cat is suffering from separation anxiety, consider leaving the radio on when you have to leave the house for a while. Select a radio station that broadcasts radio programs so that your cat may hear human voices, or search for music that your cat like.
Don’t make a fuss of comings and goings
When it comes to coping with cat separation anxiety, this is one of the most significant suggestions. While we all enjoy saying goodbye to our furry companions, doing so is only likely to make us feel better, while for your cat, it is only a signal that you are abandoning them. When you have to leave the house, simply gather your belongings and depart without any pomp and circumstance. This will demonstrate to your cat that leaving the house is entirely normal and will not give them enough time to develop emotions of dread.
If your cat is in severe discomfort, you should always seek the advice of a veterinarian.
Consider bringing your pet to the veterinarian to rule out any underlying problems; if necessary, they should be able to refer you to a qualified behaviorist. Are you interested in learning more about your cat’s behavior? Following that, find out why cats hiss.
8 Signs of Separation Anxiety in Cats And What to Do About Them
Because of the COVID-19 epidemic, we’ve all seen the memes about dogs who, thank you very much, have had enough of having their walks taken care of by you. The result is that cat memes are all about them wondering when we will return to work and give them their much-needed personal space once again. We understand what you’re saying. Dogs are generally silly and sociable, but cats are, shall we say, a little more picky about who they spend their time with. Cats, on the other hand, have a wide range of personalities, and many of them suffer from separation anxiety, which is understandable.
And, with many of you returning to work, if you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to be aware of the indications of separation anxiety in cats to avoid them being ill.
What Are the Signs My Cat May Be Experiencing Separation Anxiety?
- Because of the COVID-19 epidemic, we’ve all seen the memes about dogs who, thank you very much, are fed up with being walked by you. The result is that cat memes are all about them wondering when we will return to work and give them their much-needed personal space once more. We understand what you’re talking about! The nature of dogs is silly and welcoming, but the nature of cats is a bit more selective when it comes to who they choose to spend their time with. Cats, on the other hand, have a wide range of personalities, and many of them suffer from separation anxiety, as the statistics show. Orphaned cats, in particular, are at risk of becoming feral. Many of you will be heading back into the workforce soon, if you haven’t already done so, so it’s a good idea to be aware of the indications of separation anxiety in cats.
Many of these issues, notably the elimination outside of the litter box, are irritating to us as veterinarians and pet owners, and we understand how you feel. Numerous cat owners have been given the “present” of excrement on the bed, in a shoe, or on a piece of clothing by their feline companion. However, it’s crucial to realize that this isn’t always an indication of spiteful behavior, and that it might sometimes indicate that your cat is attempting to mingle his or her fragrance with yours.
Instincts are quite strong!
What Can I Do if My Cat Shows Signs of Separation Anxiety?
It’s a good thing that there are products and strategies that you may use to help reduce the anxiety your cat may experience when you return to work or other activities outside the home.
Some of the ways to minimize separation anxiety in cats are as follows:
- Leave the radio or television tuned to a station that is often broadcasted while you are there
- Don’t make big announcements about arrivals and departures (for example, don’t say, “Mommy is going!”). Create a nook, safe haven, or retreat for your cat that serves as a safe haven for them. Make sure your children have lots of toys and/or puzzles to keep them entertained while you are away. Food may be channeled into predatory instincts by hiding it in toys that require them to work for it. Begin with shorter absences to begin with
- Provide your cat with a perch or “catio” so that they may enjoy their favorite vistas. Consider using a room diffuser or pheromones to offer your cat with a relaxing aroma (but see your veterinarian first to ensure that they are safe to use). Removing departure cues (for example, putting one’s keys in one’s pocket a few minutes before departing)
- When you go home, give your child plenty of cuddles and fun. Consider hiring a sitter to come in for 1-2 play sessions during your absences if the situation is more acute.
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to consult with your veterinarian if you notice any change in yourcat’s behavior before dismissing it as a result of separation anxiety. Early diagnosis and treatment of diseases are critical to ensuring yourcat’s overall health. When cats have urinary tract infections, for example, they may wander outside the litter box to relieve themselves. In extreme circumstances, medication may be prescribed, but your veterinarian will normally reserve that choice as a last resort.
When treating a behavior problem in your dog or cat, it is always best to speak with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist before administering any drug or supplement.” Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any more concerns regarding this or how to cope with anxiety in your cat.
Those Anxious Felines: Reducing Stress in Your Cat
When you notice a change in yourcat’s behavior, consult with your veterinarian before dismissing it as a result of separation anxiety. Early diagnosis and treatment of diseases are critical to ensuring that yourcat’s long-term health and wellbeing. When cats have urinary tract infections, for example, they may wander outside the litter box to eliminate. Medicine may be used in severe circumstances, but your veterinarian will often reserve that choice as a last resort. According to the ASPCA, “Before prescribing medicine for cats, doctors may recommend using pheromones or soothing treats to help calm them down.
veterinary behaviorist” Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any more concerns regarding this or how to cope with anxiety in your cat.
What is cat anxiety?
Cats, like people, can experience tension and anxiety, which is typically the result of a psychological battle. Your cat’s immune system can become impaired, he or she may become sad, and he or she may develop “bad-kitty” behavioral issues if there is no treatment for anxiety. This is similar to how humans deal with worry. The most typical events that might cause your cat to get worried are when you are separated from him or when a new family member enters the home, such as a kid, a pet, or a new partner or spouse.
What are the symptoms of cat anxiety?
Similar to humans, cats can experience tension and anxiety, which is frequently caused by a psychological battle with another cat. Your cat’s immune system can be affected, he or she may become sad, and he or she may develop “bad-kitty” behavioral issues if there is no treatment for anxiety. This is similar to how humans deal with worry. The most typical events that might cause your cat to get worried are separation from you and the introduction of a new family member into the home, such as a kid, a pet, or a new partner/spouse to the household.
- Changes in their health
- Alterations in their appetite or weight
- Excessive vocalization (meowing or wailing at inconvenient hours of the night or day)
- Excessive urination. urinating in areas outside than their litter box
- New obsessive behaviors (for example, excessive grooming)
- New destructive behaviors (for example, furniture scratching)
- And new compulsions. The following symptoms: aggression, lethargy, depression, trembling, restlessness, hiding
If you find your cat showing these behaviors, take a moment to examine whether any recent changes may be adding to his tension and anxiety.
Why do cats get anxiety?
Observe if your cat exhibits any of these characteristics and determine whether any recent changes may be adding to his worry and anxiety.
- Has there been a change in the number of family members or pets in your household? Recently, have you been separated from a family member? Recently, have they gotten in only a little bit of play or exercise? Is your cat exhibiting signs of boredom? Has anything changed in their environment that might have triggered their anxiety, like as loud sounds, other dogs or humans
- What kind of food have they been consuming? Is it possible that your cat is not getting enough nutrition? In general, is your cat in good health, or is he or she in pain or discomfort?
How can I make my cat less anxious?
Concentrate your efforts on reducing the amount of stress and anxiety your cat experiences. Take into consideration their amusement as well as the addition of stimulating activities. Hundreds of free cat enrichment ideas are available to you! Lots of playing will help to keep your cat fit, and snuggling and caressing will help to provide your cat greater emotional support. Providing your cat with high-quality, nutritional cat food, fresh water, and a comfy bed during a stressful situation provides them a sense of security.
These cats may require the intervention of a veterinarian who has received specialized training in behavioral difficulties as well as anti-anxiety drugs administered by a veterinarian to alleviate their fear.
Is there cat anxiety medication?
If your cat is displaying one or more indications of stress and anxiety, take him or her to the veterinarian to be sure there are no medical issues. If your cat is physically well, he or she will be able to advise you on how to precisely address the stress. The doctor may be able to identify the specific sort of problem that your cat is suffering from and devise a behavior-modification strategy that is tailored to your cat’s needs. In some instances, the veterinarian may prescribe the following drugs for your pet:
- Clomicalm (clomipramine) and fluoxetine are medications that are used to boost the success of behavior modification treatments that your veterinarian has prescribed.
- It is recommended to give your cat a short-term sedative such as Alprazolam, which is prescribed by your veterinarian, a few hours before the next event if the cat’s anxiety is restricted to certain activities (such as automobile travel or fireworks displays).
Cat Friendly Practices๏ Can Help Reduce Stress
A trip to the veterinarian may be unpleasant for both you and your cat, even if it is simply putting them into the pet carrier for the vehicle journey to the veterinarian’s office is difficult for them. In an attempt to reduce some of the strain, Cat Friendly Practices were developed. In the veterinary industry, Cat Friendly Practices are veterinary institutions such as ZippiVet that routinely go the additional mile to meet the special needs of cats, having developed feline-friendly standards.
In addition, our veterinary team has received training in feline-friendly handling and cat behavior in order to improve the overall quality of care provided to your feline companion.
Make an appointment for your pet at one ofZippiVet’s four Austin area locations now by calling, texting, or requesting an appointment online.