April is Stress Awareness Month! While this was of course originally aimed at people, it applies to cats too. Our feline friends are quite emotional, and can get lonely, anxious, or depressed. A New Orleans, LA vet discusses kitty stress below.
Our feline pals can become stressed for many different reasons. Major changes, such as moving, changing owners, or gaining or losing a household member (human or animal) are often very difficult on cats. If you have other pets, Fluffy may also be getting picked on, or perhaps having to fight for resources. Pain and nausea can also be stressful for kitties. Some other potential causes include boredom, loneliness, and grief. Kitties also sometimes get upset by loud noises, commotion, or full houses. Even fleas can upset your furry buddy!
Signs of stress can vary from kitty to kitty. Fluffy may overgroom herself, which could lead to fur loss. Or, she may stop grooming herself. Reduced or increased appetite is also a red flag. Some cats will get very withdrawn, while others go the other way and act extra clingy. Kitties that are feeling stressed may also refuse to use the litterbox, and they may be hesitant to get on your lap. Your furry bff may also meow more, less, or differently than usual. These things can be signs of many medical issues, so contact your vet if you see any of them.
The exact steps you would need to help your feline pal feel better would depend on why she is stressed in the first place. If you haven’t been able to put your finger on it, consult your vet. That said, there are some things you can do that will help almost any stressed-out kitty. Making sure that Fluffy has plenty of toys, and is getting enough playtime, is very important. Once your furball burns off that excess energy, she’ll naturally be calmer and more relaxed. If you think another pet is the issue, then make sure your cat always has access to things like food, toys, and litterboxes, as well as a place to go to get away, such as a cat tower. Keeping up with your furry pal’s veterinary care is also important, as you’ll want to rule out any medical issues. Last but not least, just make sure your pet feels loved and safe.
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