Cats can be hard to ‘read’ – so it’s important to know how to spot the signs of cat stress before it causes any health or behavioral issues.

Cats are creatures of instinct. The more we understand how this special species is made, the better we will be at spotting signs of cat stress. And these signs are not as obvious as you may think.

Obvious signs of a cat experiencing anxiety include: Being extra jumpy, hiding, or even showing aggression. Hissing is also a reactive behavior that shows a cat is suddenly startled and stressed. These situations make identifying what might be causing our cat to feel stressed. Our Oliver Twist is usually the most laid-back kitty – and adopted us when he was about 2 years old. However, the sounds of a plastic bag puts him into flight mode. We may never know why this sound makes him so jumpy, but we are now very considerate of making sure to avoid that experience for him.

Other signs of cat stress are much less obvious. On their face, you may not think this shows anxiety. You may just think they’re in a ‘mood’.

Here’s what to watch for:

Refusal to play. Feline Behaviorist, Dr. Marci Koski, helped us through this issue with our Pooh Bear. She said “If a cat acts like they don’t want to play, they’re lying to you.” She was right. One of a cat’s most important instincts is hunting. When we bring these little predators into our home, we call this behavior ‘playing’. But make no mistake – cats want and need to hunt (or play). Regularly bringing them through a cat’s prey sequence reduces stress and brings calm and confidence.

Sleeping all the time (more than usual). Sure, most cat sleep 10 to 18 hours per day. This is of course impacted by a cat’s age and physical health. But if you think your cat only wants to sleep, it’s time to evaluate their stress level. And it’s probably also time for a wellness check.

Over-grooming. Again – most cats will spend about 40% of their waking hours grooming themselves. This is normal. What’s not normal is realizing your cat is grooming every time you see them. This can be a self-soothing behavior that indicates anxiety. There are also health issues that can cause this, so a wellness exam may also be in order.

Going outside the litter box. This behavior should always be first addressed with a health exam. If there is no bladder or urinary tract issue, this is most often a behavior that is caused by stress. Something as simple as a new piece of furniture, having company over, or even a new stray cat wondering outside you home can cause cat stress. A cat’s scent brings them comfort – and a feeling of insecurity can cause them to leave their scent everywhere but the box.

If you notice that your healthy cat is exhibiting some of these behaviors, click here for 7 Proven Steps to Reduce Feline Stress!

 

Recommended Product for Feline Stress

Cat Calm Stress Reducing Liquid Formula

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