Cats may sometimes seem like laid-back and disinterested creatures, but kitties can become stressed just like anyone else. As a responsible pet parent, it's a good idea to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress in your cat so you can deal with the problem as quickly as possible. Doing so will help you to prevent your cat from experiencing unwanted strain in its life that could have an impact on its health. Read on to learn three of the most common signs of stress in cats and how to reduce their stress.
Pulling Out Fur
It's normal for cats to remove a little bit of fur when they groom themselves. Just like brushing your hair, loose fur comes off when a cat licks itself. However, if your cat goes so far as to pull fur out, that may be a sign of stress. Even if you don't catch your cat in the act, if you see your cat with gobs of fur sticking out of its mouth, it's probably pulling its own fur out.
Some cat breeds are more talkative than others, but meowing isn't always a good thing. Excessive meowing may indicate that your kitty is stressed. However, this symptom differs from cat to cat. If you're trying to decide if your cat's meowing is a sign of distress or simply a habit they have, consider whether they have a history of frequent meowing or not. If they don't, it's likely stress.
Cats who are anxious and stressed are more likely to lash out than those who aren't. Whether your cat has previously been peaceful or has always been quick to strike other pets and you, irrational irritability may indicate that your cat is on edge. Cats typically lash out when they're stressed because they're anxious and trying to defend themselves from whatever it is they're stressed about. However, they may lash out at things that have never hurt them, including you. Unfortunately, yelling at your cat or punishing them will only make their stress worse.
If you think your cat is stressed, there are a few ways you can help to calm them down.
The first thing you need to do is to determine what has them stressed. Maybe you've moved recently, or there's a new member of the household, or some other major factor has changed in your cat's life.
Alternatively, your cat might be getting stressed because a neighborhood animal is showing up on your porch, and your kitty feels like their territory is under attack.
Keeping wild animals away with motion-sensing lights, sprinklers, or by fencing off your porch can be helpful. For general stress, calming collars that emit pheromones or compression vests that make pets feel like they're being hugged may help.
Lastly, it's possible that your cat has a health issue that's creating undue stress. If your cat continues to be stressed, continue visiting a veterinarian for a check-up.
It's important to remain compassionate, even if your cat is behaving violently. Since your cat can't talk to you directly, their negative behavior is the only way to show that they're stressed out. Work with your cat and a veterinarian, such as After Hours Veterinary Emergency Clinic Inc, to help reduce their unwanted behaviors and to make your kitty feel safer.