The pandemic lockdown has been stressing out many people, and feline pets are not excused. This home pet is very sensitive to what goes on around them. Most especially now that things are not the same anymore, they just feel it. Here is a post that will help you spot whether your cat is in constant worry by providing subtle signs of stress. Read on!
7 Signs of Stress in Cats
Cats can easily tell their owners when their tummy is empty, but not when they feel anxious. Below is a list of common signs of stressed cats. Check them out!
1. Reduction in Play Time
Cats are cuddling pets and they love to play around with their owner. When this behavior suddenly stops for no reason, your pet might not be feeling okay.
This sign works on cats previously been playful and easily interact with people. If it turns out in a hostile way, like too much scratching on whatever around the home, then you must seek professional help.
2. Physical Signs
A happy cat is a healthy pet. Like humans, a cat’s health will get worse whenever it feels stressed or anxious.
These symptoms of stress are very obvious due to physical changes. It starts from losing appetite to a sudden weight loss caused by different illnesses such as diarrhea, vomiting, and cystitis. This will turn out to poor coat condition that can be cured through tests and proper medicines.
3. Too much Meowing
Feline pets can be too loud sometimes, especially at night. There must be cats from afar and meowing could be their way for communication. However, meowing may also indicate anxious feelings in cats.
The difference between normal to excessive meowing is the duration of time. You can tell if it is too much or just your pet’s normal routine.
4. Frequent Hiding
Stressed cats often hide under a sofa or in any place where they could be alone. They do not want to be disturbed no matter how much you try. Their unwillingness over things increases due to stress.
Cats may also become unresponsive toward everything like loud noises or unwanted movements. They withdraw out of a sudden and are no longer interested to interact with the family. You may see a stressed cat just staring at the floor with a blank expression.
5. Toileting Everywhere
Litter training for cats should be taught at an early age. This ensures tidiness around the house as cats become more responsible for leaving their waste in proper places. However, toileting could be a real problem over a stressed cat.
Anxious cats may leave their feces or urine on the bed, sofa, or the floor, without hesitation. It will result in a foul odor if not cleaned immediately. Keep watch over your feline pet to avoid such a problem.
6. Looking Tense
Since the past months are not normal, cats may feel strange as well. Feline keepers can easily identify a stressed pet by just looking at how it behaves. Facial expressions cannot hide emotions, it could indicate strange behaviors too.
Here are some actions made by cats when they feel stressed:
- Eyes open wide with dilated pupils resulting in blacker eyes.
- Ears often rotate towards the back.
- The Head is shaking frequently.
- Quick flicks of a tongue onto the nose.
7. Excessive Grooming
Overgrooming behavior is another sign of stress in cats. One reason is the permanent change of routine, which is a result of this pandemic. It triggers a cat to spend more time grooming itself. Self-grooming brings cats comfort due to the released endorphins whenever the cat licks itself.
Signs of excessive grooming are hair loss, skin sores, and damaged skin. They are so-called psychogenic alopecia, a medical condition on stressed cats based on the vet’s findings.
There are ways to ease overgrooming, such as:
- Play interactive activities with your cat to disturb its bad behavior. For example, is a laser tag for cats.
- Use products that will relieve the stress of your cat. Most cat owners spray a pheromone product on objects for a calming effect toward the cat.
- Visit your vet to go through anti-anxiety medication. The process takes time to see results, so be patient.
How to deal with stressed cats?
First, you should know where the stress is coming from. Identifying the sources of stress makes it easier to deal with the pets. For instance, there is an unfamiliar cat into the home that stresses out your home cat. Moving home and a new pet could also be the source of stress for cats.
Afterward, you will know how to deal with your stressed cats. Going to the vet is the first step to manage to reduce the stress in your cat. It is advisable especially when the physical health of the cat declines.
Seeking professional advice, specifically a cat behavior specialist, will provide more detailed guidance in taking care of a stressed cat. Your vet will be responsible for referring you toward pet specialists. Then, the specialist ensures to give a high standard of advice to cure a stressed cat.
It demands more patience to take care of cats going through hard times during this pandemic. If seeking professional help seems so expensive for you, then find another way to relieve stress in cats. Pet toys would work well to keep them entertained in these tough times. Avoid being too harsh over cats, just show them overflowing care and love to ease their anxious heart.
The never-ending pandemic has taught us so many things under the roof. Things changed over time and these affect our home pets greatly. Cats show many signs of stress, including physical signs and behavioral changes.
Homeowners must be aware of the symptoms to know the ways how to deal with their feline pets. Visiting the vet is always the priority in keeping pets healthy and safe even in the midst of a pandemic. Speaking of the budget, there are alternative ways to keep cats sane during the lockdown.
Does your cat have strange behavior lately? Share your stories in the comment box!