Signs Of Stress In Cats

April 3, 2024

Taking An In-Depth Look Into Stress In Cats, Signs Of Stress In Cats, And How To Help Alleviate Stress In Cats

As cat owners, we often take pride in providing a safe and comfortable environment for our feline companions. However, just like humans, cats can experience stress too. Unfortunately, cats don’t communicate their feelings in the same way we do. 

Therefore, understanding the signs of stress in cats is important for maintaining their well-being and ensuring a harmonious relationship between feline and human. This article will take an in-depth look into recognizing the signs of stress in cats and how to better manage their stress in general. 

Recognizing The Signs

To better understand your feline friend, you need to know what signs of stress to look for. Here are a few different signs that may indicate your cat is stressed out, as provided by PetMD

Change In Behavior

Cats are creatures of habit. So, any significant deviation from their usual routine can be a sign of stress. This may include, but is not limited to, excessive hiding, decreased appetite, or sudden aggression towards other pets or humans. If you notice any drastic changes in your cat’s overall behavior and/or routine, they may be experiencing high stress levels.

Excessive Grooming

While grooming is a natural behavior for cats, excessive licking or grooming in one particular area can indicate stress. This behavior may lead to hair loss or even skin irritation. Keep a close eye out for any patches of missing fur or exposed skin. This is usually a good indicator of stress in your cat.

A cat grooming itself
A cat grooming itself
Avoidance And Hiding

Most cats like to hide in cozy, covered, dark places. It typically gives them a sense of safety and comfort. However, cats also tend to seek out solitude when stressed. If your usually sociable cat suddenly becomes reclusive or spends more time hiding in secluded areas, it could be a red flag of stress.

Urinary Issues

Stress can manifest in physical symptoms, such as urinary tract problems. If your cat starts urinating outside the litter box or shows signs of discomfort while urinating, it could be stress related. While this could be caused by underlying medical issues, it’s important to not rule out stress as a potential cause.

Change In Vocalization

Another example of stress in cats is excessive vocalization or unusual vocal patterns. This includes things such as hissing, growling, or yowling. Therefore, be sure to pay attention to changes in your cat’s meowing patterns and overall vocalization. In some cases, this could be caused by underlying medical conditions. But, it could very well be stress related.

Appetite Changes

Just like people, stress can affect a cat’s appetite. While some cats may eat more when stressed, others may lose interest in food altogether. Therefore, it’s important to monitor your cat’s eating habits and overall weight. Consult with your veterinarian if you notice any significant changes.

A cat eating
A cat eating
Destructive Behavior

One of the most common observable symptoms of stress in cats is destructive behavior.  Examples of destructive behaviors include scratching furniture, chewing on objects, or excessive digging in the litter box. These behaviors often serve as coping mechanisms for cats experiencing anxiety or stress.

Managing Stress In Cats

Once you’ve identified signs of stress in your cat, it’s essential to address the underlying causes and implement strategies to help alleviate their anxiety. Here are some general tips for managing stress in cats.

Create A Safe Environment

Ensure your home provides a safe and secure environment for your cat. Offer hiding spots, elevated perches, and quiet spaces where they can retreat when feeling overwhelmed. For more information about creating a stress-free environment for your cat, click here

A cat sleeping on a perch
A cat sleeping on a perch
Maintain a Consistent Routine

Cats thrive on routine and structure in their life. Therefore, try to maintain a consistent schedule for their feeding, playtime, and litter box cleaning. Predictability can help reduce overall stress and anxiety in cats.

Provide Enrichment

Just like people, mental stimulation is essential for a cat’s well-being. Cats tend to get bored easily if they don’t have anything to keep them entertained and mentally stimulated. Therefore, try to provide them with interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and scratching posts to keep your cat mentally and physically engaged. For additional information on keeping your cat mentally stimulated, click here.

A kitten playing
A kitten playing
Reduce Environmental Stressors

There could be some environmental factors that are contributing to your cats’ stress levels. Examples of environmental stressors include loud noises, changes in routine, or the presence of unfamiliar animals. Try to identify and minimize potential stress triggers in your cat’s environment when possible.

Consider Veterinary Intervention

If your cat’s stress persists or worsens despite your efforts, consult with your veterinarian. They can rule out any underlying medical conditions and recommend behavior modification techniques or medications if necessary. Remember, a happy cat is a healthy cat!

Looking For A Cat Sitter?

Are you or someone you know looking for a pet sitter? Here at Cool Cats Professional Cat Sitting, we treat your pets as if they were our own and provide them with the love and affection they deserve. We are bonded, insured, and offer a wide variety of pet sitting services.

We proudly serve the following North Carolina towns and zip codes: Apex, NC (27502, 27523, 27539), Cary, NC (27511, 27513, 27518, 27519) and Morrisville, NC (27560). Click here to become a client today or give us a call at 919-335-3157. Be sure to check out our Facebook & Instagram too! We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Service Areas: Cary, Apex, Morrisville and surrounding areas
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