Many a cat owner may not believe it, but cats can also suffer massively from stress. The causes can be quite different. Cats are sensitive creatures and creatures of habit. Changes in their environment, strangers or animals are only three examples that can trigger stress reactions.
You should not neglect this danger for your cat. Because stress can cause your cat sicken sb. permanently. And often many stress symptoms also point to already existing diseases. As a cat owner, you should therefore place great importance on recognizing the stress and relieving it as quickly as possible. If you notice one or more of the following signs in your cat, a visit to the vet is always recommended.
How can I tell if my cat is stressed?
Stress often causes a cat to develop behavioural problems. But even subtle behavioural changes can be symptoms of something wrong with your cat. In addition, each cat feels stress very individually and therefore the reactions to it are often different. Typical disturbances are:
- Disturbed eating habits: Sudden loss of appetite or sudden snacking of food
- Hiding and retreat, if your cat is otherwise much more trusting
- Attachment and strong need for contact, if your cat is otherwise rather very shy
- Strikingly increased aggressiveness towards humans or animals
- Lack of cleanliness: Coat care and hygiene are neglected.
- Peeing and defecating outside the litter box
- Excessive cleaning: Grooming and hygiene seem excessive and obsessive.
- Strongly reduced joy of playing: listlessness and lethargy
- Increased vigilance and shockiness
- Increased need for sleep
- Pica Syndrome: Eating non-edible things (What are cats not allowed to eat?)
- Freelancers hardly ever leave the apartment, regardless of the weather.
- Other conspicuous changes in behaviour
Triggers of stress in cats
How susceptible cats are to stress depends on the cat personality. So there are, like with humans, cats who are not easily shaken by almost nothing, and there are others who are very jumpy and nervous. What causes stress in a living being depends on many different factors, such as age, health, environment and socialisation.
In many cats a good socialization leads to a certain Stress Resistance. By getting used to a variety of everyday stimuli such as vacuuming, traffic, different people and encounters with other animals at an early age, you can reduce your cat's susceptibility to stress. The following situations can cause increased stress in a cat:
- Boredom: No variety through too little attention and occupation
- Noise e.g. from building sites, thunderstorms or fireworks
- Change of the environment: Relocation into a new apartment or new furnishings
- Harassment by conspecifics: turf wars with another (new) cat
- habitat restriction
- Parasite infestation
But also the mental pressure plays a role in cats. The following emotions can also lead to stress:
- Loneliness or grief: Loss of a loved one or a good animal friend
- Tension e.g. due to restless, unhappy or quarrelling caregivers
- Separation anxiety
Avoid stress for your pet
You as the owner know your cat best and with some measures you can succeed in counteracting the stress:
- Detect and analyse stress symptoms
- Reduce physical stress: Take your cat to the Veterinary surgeonto find out if she has any health problems.
- Reduce stress in the environment: Avoid noise e.g. from loud music.
- Give your cat many Retreats available in the house. Cats love to hide.
- Ensure a stable and calm atmosphere. Even during longer absences it is advisable to keep the cat in familiar environment ...to leave. At the same time... Cat-sitter help.
- Ensure sufficient Entertainment facilities and variety. Cats that have a lot of movement and activity are often more relaxed.
- Restrict competition in a household with several cats or pets.
- Cats live in a three-dimensional space and need access to heights, such as a cat tree or securely standing cupboards and shelves, as they can observe their surroundings from a safe distance.