Hey there. I’m Nora Glover, and I’m the author of the article below. I have recently become a certified veterinarian. I’m also a proud cat parent, and I want to help the fellow cat owners understand their feline friends better and learn to take care of them relying on my professional experience. I’ve worked with cats all my life, so I know a thing or two about cat behavior and training. I hope you find this article useful. Enjoy reading.
So, are you worried that your feline buddy might be stressed? The poor thing is arching its back, flattening its ears, hissing or growling…These are the obvious signs of your cat’s reaction to a stressful situation. But when it comes to the (rather subtle and harmful) symptoms of chronic stress in your cat, they might be challenging to identify. Cats don’t always show their anxiety openly, so becoming a bit of a detective is a must here. Below, you will find some of the most common behavior patterns of a stressful cat.
1. Sudden Changes in Bathroom Habits
Has your kitty made a mess? Again? Peeing outside their litter box can be a loud and clear sign that your cat is under constant stress. You will easily pinpoint this stress symptom, so make sure you don’t treat it lightly. Avoid punishing your cat for that either – it will only make things worse. If bathroom accidents become regular, take your feline companion to a medical examination without hesitation.
2. Excessive Behaviors
There are a lot of stressed cat behavior types you can learn about on Nora’s blog, but this one you can just skip, so be careful. Your cat loves grooming, that’s a given. However, if you’re noticing that your feline buddy seems to be doing that all the time, it’s a sign that something is wrong. Cats often use excessive grooming to calm themselves down when they’re under stress. So, make sure you see a vet for a consultation when you notice excessive grooming in your kitty. The same goes for excessive scratching, by the way.
3. Out-of-the-Blue Aggression & Restlessness
If your cat is suddenly aggressive towards other pets (or even people at home), it might be a symptom of stress. Make sure this sign is examined closely once detected. In addition to this, when cats are under stress, they typically reduce the amount of sleep they get. Stressed (and sick) cats isolate themselves from people and generally look pretty restless.
Alleviating Your Cat’s Stress
Here’s how you can help a stressful cat:
- Notice and minimize stress triggers
- Establish a schedule and follow it
- Pamper your feline buddy with lots of playing: physical activity is known to alleviate stress in cats
- Take your cat to a veterinarian for advice
Cats are very sensitive creatures. They easily get spooked when fireworks are set off, as well as when you move to a new place. Your kitty may be living in a state of regular stress for many reasons. If there’s a new cat in the home (or a new baby, perhaps), or a family member has passed, this can induce stressful behavior in your cat. Don’t be hard on them, show them you love them, make sure you engage them in physical activity, and try to be as supportive as you can. Your feline family member just needs time (and your help) to adjust.