Cats are popular house pets. However, they are sensitive creatures that can get stressed or anxious when there are changes in their lives and environment. For example, they may become stressed when a new member joins the family, whether it’s another animal or a human. They may also feel stressed when moving to a new home or by noises like loud music and fireworks.
When they get stressed, cats can experience health effects such as vomiting or diarrhea. They can also show behavioral problems like litter box avoidance, hissing or growling, becoming aggressive, or withdrawal from people.
If you notice a sudden change in your cat’s behavior, observe if there have been any changes in their routine or environment. If the issue is stress-related, you can help your precious feline feel calmer using these suggestions.
Regularly Play with Your Pet
Regularly providing mental stimulation through exercise and interactive games can help your cat feel more at ease. Extending or having more frequent play sessions can be especially beneficial when you’re introducing them to a new routine or environment. You can use toys that they enjoy playing with. Consider giving customizable catnip toys as these toys are laced with catnip herb or oil, which contains a mood-modifying compound that can help your cat feel more relaxed. Although the effect of catnip can vary among cats, the herb is known to induce a state of calm or euphoria among many felines.
Alternatively, get your pet catnip wand toys that feature a feather or small toy at one end. The dangly end mimics a bird or small animal that triggers your cat’s hunting instincts. Using this kind of toy encourages your cat to give chase and the exercise helps them to destress.
Keep Their Litter Box Clean
Cats instinctively bury their urine and feces to cover the scent. As a cat owner, having a litter box inside your home is more convenient than letting your pets go to the yard every single time they need to relieve themselves. However, you need to keep the litter box clean to keep it sanitary and appealing to your cat. When the box isn’t clean, your pet might find a different spot in which to relieve themselves or opt to hold it in. If they do the latter, your cat can become very stressed. This may lead to a bladder infection or kidney problems, which are conditions that can further induce stress in your cat.
Make sure to get a litter box that is large enough so your cat can comfortably fit in it. Fill the box with ample amounts of litter that your cat can dig through without reaching the bottom of the litter box. Since cats have a sensitive sense of smell, it’s a good idea to opt for odor-free litter sands. In addition, place the litter box in a quiet area of your home and away from where your cat eats. This way, your cat won’t be disturbed when they have to use the box and the litter won't contaminate their food and water.
Give Cats A Place of Sanctuary
Your cat may want a respite from crowds, including yourself, your guests, and other pets. As such, it’s essential to give your pet a space they can escape to when they’re feeling overwhelmed and need to rest. A cat bed or carrier in a quiet and secluded area can be comforting to your cat.
If your precious feline enjoys seeking solitude in various places around your home, you can get cat collars and attach bells to them. The sound of the bells can be useful for locating them, especially if your cat loves to hide.
Install Cat Perches
One cause of stress among cats is when they feel threatened in their territory. This can happen when a visitor arrives or a baby or new pet joins the household. To help your pet feel less stressed about such changes, install cat perches such as indoor cat trees or shelves that they can climb. Being in an elevated spot allows your pet to feel safe while surveying the newcomers and assessing them as possible threats.
Consider making your cat’s perches more comfortable by adding something soft like a towel or blanket. You can also position the perch near a window so your cat has a view of the outdoors, which can help entertain them. If you have multiple cats at home, ensure there are ample spaces on the indoor cat tree for all your pets so they don’t crowd each other. This also reduces the chance of pets fighting over a spot they all want to occupy.
As creatures of routine, cats are prone to getting stressed about changes in your home. This stress can take a toll on their health and lead to the development of various diseases, so it’s important to learn how to manage your cat’s stress levels. While following these tips can help your cat feel less stressed, it’s still a good idea to bring them to the vet as soon as you notice sudden changes in your pet’s behavior. This way, the vet can rule out medical causes or treat your cat immediately if needed.