Cat Stress: Know the Clear Signs

January 24, 2023by petpal0

Is your cat grumpier than ever? Or acting out of character lately? Well, your cat may be under stress! Don’t let your cat become aggressive before you take action, pawrents. There are clear signs to look out for to help your dear cat reduce their anxiety and stress. 

Knowing some common causes of cat stress can also help you identify their triggers so you can regulate them. These can be the following:

  • Visitors can bring noise, unusual activity, and unfamiliar smells. 
  • Change in household dynamics.
  • A new family member, like a baby or pet.
  • Change in routine.
  • Other outside stressors.
  • Traveling in vehicles.
  • Moving to another home.

Watch out for these six (6) early signs of anxiety and stress in cats.

1. Hiding or running away
Hiding can be a sign of cat stress
Photo by pexels

Although aloofness and being alone is second nature to cats, hiding or running away can be an indicator that they are stressed. When your cat is under stress, its first instinct is to run away or hide. This can also mean that they feel overwhelmed, threatened, or feeling sick. 

It is not recommended to disturb an anxious cat out of its hiding or safe place to pet them. You must wait for them to approach you. Wait until they are ready for cuddles! They surely can’t resist you. 

However, if this behavior still persists, you better have them taken to your veterinarian for a professional check-up. 

2. Spraying or pooing in unusual places

Cats do spraying, or urine-making, to basically tell you to back off without a direct confrontation. This happens because they want to secure their territory or they feel threatened. Think of it as an act of marking. 

On the other hand, pooing in bizarre or obvious places, like in the middle of your living room, is very unlikely for normal cats. So, this can be a sign that there is something wrong with them. This is called middening and it usually happens when your cat is highly anxious.

In relation to this, your cats can also develop short-term diarrhea, constipation, or any other digestive issue when they are stressed. 

3. Loss of appetite
Loss of appetite can be a sign of cat stress!
Photo from Pexels

Losing your appetite is another stress indicator for all of us and for your cats, too! Naturally, cats are fussy eaters, so when you notice that they go off their food or become picky all of a sudden, they may be anxious or depressed. When your cat’s loss of appetite becomes consistent and drastic, you must consult with your vet.

4. Cystitis

Here’s one health problem that may happen to your cat when they are stressed—feline cystitis. It occurs when the bladder becomes inflamed due to stress. If you observe that your cat is weeing more than usual but only in small amounts, struggling in urinating or weeing in unusual places, your cat may have feline cystitis. 

You must pay attention to this sign as it is extremely unlikely for cats to pee irresponsibly everywhere. Also, your long patience is needed at times like this since you have to clean up their pee!

5. Over-grooming

Cats are self-sufficient; they can actually groom themselves. However, if you see them licking themselves raw or in their bald parts, such as their tummy or inner thighs, they may be under stress. This is called displacement behavior, where they would lick themselves and then stop as their way to calm themselves. 

6. Aggressiveness 

Of course, this is the most critical sign that your cat is under stress. They become too aggressive towards you, other people, and other household pets. Consult your veterinarian when you notice your cat being consistently aggressive before the problem gets worse. 

Some pet owners prefer cats because they are generally low maintenance. However, same as dogs, cats can feel anxiousness and stress too in which they would need your support as their hooman. 

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