Stress is one of the leading causes of disease in cats (and people, incidentally). Studies show that 70% of urinary problems in felines stem from anxiety. Many people look to pharmaceuticals for help in this area, but hopefully you’re looking to help manage your cat’s stress levels without the need for drugs.
We’ve discussed cat stress at length in previous posts, but with good reason. Being proactive and attentive regarding your cat’s stress levels is so important for their health and longevity of life.
Since cats instinctively mask emotions, it can sometimes be difficult to know if your cat is actually stressed out. In order to manage your cat’s stress levels it’s important to know the signs of feline stress.
Signs of anxiety in cats.
- Jerking or running away at every sudden noise or movement
- Urinating outside the litter box
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Excessive grooming or scratching
- Excessive isolation or hiding
- Consistent meowing or other excessive vocalization
- Decrease in appetite
- Increased sleeping
- Aggression toward people or other animals
Our high anxiety cat, Pooh Bear, was almost impossible to pet when we first rescued him. Every sudden movement made him hiss and he would swat at us if we tried to pet him. He would excessively lick and bite himself and occasionally he would (and sometimes still does) urinate outside the box if we leave the house for too long. We were told we just needed to drug him up with kitty Xanax, but we wanted to approach this issue at it’s root – not just mask the symptoms.
That said, it was a very difficult time in our home. His anxiety made him very aggressive and exacerbated his auto-immune disease. He was territorial and terrified to move around the house. Over many months of gentle interactions (on his terms) and implementing a steady routine we started seeing small improvements – like letting us pet him briefly. Major breakthrough!
However, he still was too scared to go upstairs in our home until we started giving him a natural calming formula.
After a few days of maintaining his steady routine and giving him Cat Calm Stress Reducing Formula, Pooh Bear’s anxiety symptoms started decreasing and many of them went away completely. He comes upstairs and even snuggles with the other cats now. We are so in love with his sweetness and he even reduces our stress now!