Animals also experience difficulties – things that are about their bodies or those that are external. At times our pets can be more susceptible to stressful situations than us. And so if we're not keen observers and sensitive enough, we might end up neglecting them or even losing them. As a pet lover or owner, it should be part of your routine to check on your pet dog or pet cat. I don't only mean here of their overall appearance but also their behavior. If they behave strangely, that's a clue something's wrong – they might be freaking out. Here are the common signs your cat is stressed and what to do to help them.
One obvious indication that your cat is stressed is when they are exhibiting aggression. This is manifested in two ways – dislike of humans and aggression toward other cats and other animals. They seem to be overly sensitive and angry. If your furry friend has suddenly turned into a monster, don't assume that they have become rabid or what. This is a symptom of stress. You need to find out if it's caused by a sickness or by some external factors. Your animal behaviorist should be able to determine the problem if your vet doesn't detect anything.
When cats are stressed, they seem to be overly sensitive and angry
If you see your cat going to places she doesn't normally frequent, or she is into endless movements with no direction at all, it's a sign she is stressed. Because she lacks the capacity to deal with the problem like stress, it manifests through a restless behavior. In our case, we can walk in the park, watch TV, or gobble something. Cats are cats – they have lots of limitations. This is just one of the signs your cat is stressed. Did she catch some virus? Did you just move into a new home or neighborhood? One of these may be the cause.
Because she lacks the capacity to deal with the problem like stress, it manifests through a restless behavior
A hungry baby cries, and so a stressed cat may make lots of annoying sounds. She may meow endlessly or simply growl deep down her throat, and at times it may seem she is panicking. All this indicates some pain or stress. If she does not normally do this irritating activity, it's time to intervene especially if it persists. In your own small way, try to assure the cat with some stroking and cuddling, that is if she doesn't resort to another stress sign which is isolation.
When being stressed, your cat may meow endlessly or simply growl deep down her throat, and at times it may seem she is panicking
Signs of Withdrawal
Cats are not very social like dogs. However, your cat is feeling well if she rubs her body or fur at you when she sees you or when you arrive. She may also run towards you expecting some treat or some stroking. But if she snubs you or doesn't seem to notice you at all, you know she's stressed. One of the signs your cat is stressed is when she retreats or hides often. She's looking for some comfort but doesn't know how and where to get it. Try speaking to her in a soothing voice and avoid loud noises such as music and banging of doors. These will give her some form of relief.
But if she snubs you or doesn't seem to notice you at all, you know she's stressed
Cats like to sleep or nap. In fact, most of them can stay curled up for up to 20 hours in a day. That's normal. Be wary if they sleep more than what you think is normal. It only means your poor cat is going through something, usually stress. Don't waste any time and make sure you see an expert. Be patient with your pet and understand that this may be just one of the signs your cat is stressed. You may try to keep her awake or busy by playing with her or giving her a yarn to play with.
Stress can also lead to grooming problems in cats. Your furry friend may lick herself more than the usual to the point that she loses some hair. If the opposite occurs – meaning, she doesn't seem to be interested in grooming herself, that's a warning sign of stress in your pet. Spending them with your pet and giving them something to play with will help them forget the constant grooming.
Stress can also lead to grooming problems in cats
Too Much Scratching
There are other signs when your cat is stressed. When your cat is having itches, she will scratch. Sometimes it's just a matter of habit. However, if she does this several times within a given time, your pet is not well. Too much scratching is indicative of stress and you must consult an animal behaviorist. You may use some soothing oil that can ease the itching. Divert the attention of your cat when this happens by giving her toys and letting her have some climbing activities.
Lack of Appetite
There are other signs your cat is stressed. For example, although cats don't eat tons of food, they should show some excitement and appetite at mealtime if nothing's wrong with them. If she shows the opposite, you can be certain she is not well. This is another sign of stress in your little darling. You may try giving another food choice that you think she will not resist.
If she shows your cat lacks appetite, you can be certain she is not well
Remember the time when you ran to the comfort room due to a stressful situation? That can happen to your cat as well. If they suddenly poop here and there, or they have watery stool, stress is more likely the culprit especially if the problem persists and there are no findings from your vet. At this time, avoid giving fatty treats that may aggravate diarrhea and other stomach problems. Massage her tummy from time to time for extra relief.
When your cat is stressed, he/she normally has stomach problems
Urination Here and There
Stressed cats may go out of control in terms of urination. If you see them spraying here and there, and forgetting the training that you've invested time into, you can be sure they are really stressed. Don't be surprised if your cat urinates on the floor, in your bedroom or the sofa as if the litter box is nonexistent. Assure your cat of your unconditional love and care. Keep those strokes coming and avoid scolding them. They are most vulnerable at this time and all they need is your affection. That is enough to relieve them of their stress.
Your responsibility as a pet owner is not only to check and observe your animal's overall appearance but also their behavior. If they behave differently than the usual, run to your veterinarian first. Then if nothing is wrong, check with your animal behavior expert. She will ask you questions about your habits, activities, etc. that might have caused anxiety in your pet.