Stress and anxiety can be a big issue for our indoor cats – and often times we don’t even know it. Whether or not you know if your kitty is anxious, we should do our best to reduce feline stress at home. Stress is a leading cause of disease in cats and studies show that the overwhelming majority of indoor cats are stressed. Let’s explore the symptoms of anxiety and what we can do to help.
Signs you kitty may be stressed:
Does your kitty not like to play?
Do your cats seem to only sleep, all the time?
Does your cat over groom himself?
Is your feline friend aggressive toward you or other pets in the home?
How about, does your cat run and hide as soon as the doorbell rings?
Here’s a big one… does your kitty go outside the litter box? This can also be a stress issue.
Guys, the list goes on. Here’s how you can help reduce feline stress at home.
7 Ways To Reduce Feline Stress At Home
- Exercise. We know as humans how much exercise can help reduce our stress and the same goes for our cats. The more we can exercise our cats and get them engaged in playtime will help reduce their stress, engage their senses and help their overall health and well-being.
- Confidence. If you’ve got a kitty that acts like they don’t want to play or exercise, they’re lying to you. This is likely due to a lack of confidence. Confidence building sessions with our cats can help reduce their stress in big ways. This just means putting away distractions, going into a room by yourself and engaging in play. Even if they act like they don’t want to play at first, find their favorite toy and engage with them for 15-20 minutes. Let them exercise their feline instincts without distraction of other pets or people – and she will get to be a lot more comfortable in her own skin.
- Outside time. While this isn’t possible for everyone, if you live in an area where it’s safe for your cat to go outside – supervised – this is a great way for cats to exercise their fine feline-ness. They will get the sights, smells and feels of the earth which – by itself – really helps to reduce our cat’s stress.
- Calming formulas. There are so many natural, effective calming formulas out there that can really help take the edge off of high anxiety cats. We have one called Cat Calm, but there are also flower essences and CBD oils that can be effective. These are not sedatives, or chemically laden medications that turn our cats into a shell of their former selves. These are natural ways to help bring the edge off.
- Food. Did you know that the food we feed our cats is directly related to their overall stress, anxiety, health and well being. All dry food that we feed is high in carbohydrates. What we know about carbs is that it creates inflammation in the body. Inflammation in the body creates not just nutritional stress but also social stressors. The doctors tell us to eat a healthier diet in order to reduce our stress and this is also true for our cats. We want to feed as much moisture rich foods as possible to help their anxiety.
- Hunting. Our cats are little predators and love to hunt, instinctively. When you can let your cat engage in their prey sequence – stalking, chasing, catching, playing and eating – it really helps to reduce their stress and boredom. We use an indoor hunting feeder system, where you put food inside these small mice and hide them around the house. Our cats have over 200 million scent sensors in their nose – and can smell food from a mile away. Hide food on the top shelves of your house, in a shoe box, stuffed in couch cushions… you get what I’m saying. This is an incredible way to reduce stress for indoor, bored kitties.
- Your stress. Keeping our anxiety in check is super important for us and our cats. When they say that cats can smell fear, it’s not just something they say – it’s actually something they do. It’s been scientifically proven that when we stress we excrete a hormone called cortisol – and our cats, with those 200 million scent sensors, can smell it from a mile away and will carry the stress of their owner. So, as responsible loving cat parents, we need to do our best to keep our anxiety under control. Meditation, calming music, exercise, eating healthy… whatever it is we need to do to keep your anxiety in check will really help your cat’s anxiety as well.
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