Stress can affect cats just as significantly as it affects humans. If your cat is feeling stressed out, they might pull their fur out, over-groom themselves, act out by urinating outside of the litter box, or even experience significant weight gain. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can reduce your cat's stress levels -- including the following.
Provide isolation from other animals.
Cats who feel threatened by other animals need a place where they can get away from these other pets. And keep in mind that it's not just dogs that can stress a cat out. Other cats can be a source of stress for your cat, too. Try not to close your stressed-out kitty in a room with other animals. Also, make sure there are plenty of accessible high places where your cat can go to get away from other animals. Place a stool near the mantel for your cat to climb, or place a nightstand next to the dresser for easier jumping.
Use lavender oil.
Lavender essential oil is very relaxing, both for humans and for cats. If you sprinkle a little lavender oil on some pine cones and place them in a bowl, the scent will permeate the room and help relax your cat. Another option is to use a vaporizer. Fill it with water, add a few drops of lavender oil, and turn it on. If you do this once a day, you should notice your cat's stress behaviors start to diminish.
Leave food out all of the time.
Sometimes, cats become stressed out when they are not sure when their next meal is going to come. If your cat seems to inhale his or her food, this might be the issue. You can reduce your cat's stress by making sure food is available all of the time. Your cat may over-indulge a little at first, but once he realizes food is always available, he will begin moderating his own consumption and will also become less stressed out about food.
Talk to your vet about medications.
Another option is to talk to your vet about medications to reduce your cat's stress and anxiety. These can be especially helpful when your cat has to go to the vet, or when introducing new animals to the home. Your cat may not need to take the medication all of the time, but taking it once in a while can help your pet deal with the most stressful moments more easily.
For more information, contact a center like Parkview Animal Hospital.