Our guide to cat stress
December 21, 2022
Cats are a very intelligent species but just like us can suffer with stress. Like humans some are more prone to stress then others and their ways of adapting and learning to manage their stress is very different. Apex Vets’ cat-loving team at our Winchester Avenue practice have put together a guide on cat stress for you.
According to International Cat Care there is some research that suggests stress development starts before a kitten is even born depending on how stressed the mother is whilst pregnant or if they receive poor nutrition their litter is more prone to developing stress and non-adaptive coping strategies.
Signs your cat may be feeling stressed
- Hiding more
- Changes in behaviour
- Urine spraying
- Toileting in unusual places
- Lack of interest in play
- Inhibition of eating
Causes for stress in cats
There are many causes for stress in cats and for each cat it will be different, some examples of these include:
- Changes in their home environment
- Changes in routine
- New pets in the home or the local area
- New family members
- Changes in food or where their water bowls are placed
- Changes in litter tray substrates
Things you can do
If you are concerned your cat may be feeling stressed there are a few things, you can do to help them feel better.
Our nurse Fiona, encourages cat owners to look at first, can you identify the cause of stress, and can it be removed? For example, a piece of new furniture or if their litter tray has been moved can it be moved back? If it can’t be removed then what can you do to help, if it’s a new family member or pet can you introduce them very slowly, make sure they have access to plenty of food and water bowls throughout the house, so they do not feel restricted in getting access without passing that new pet. The use of Pheromone plug ins can also be very beneficial for helping to give your cat a sense of relief
If you feel your cat is struggling with stress, then speak to Apex Vets’ nursing team about what may be causing the stress and different ways in which you can help manage it.