11 things that stress cats
Cats are extremely sensitive animals and susceptible to changes, so that they tend to suffer more episodes of stress than dogs. In general, and depending on the stressor, felines usually treat this disorder and adapt to the situations that arise. However, when the negative stimulus does not disappear, or persists for a long time, we must find it to remove it from its routine and return the animal’s emotional stability.
In this article we show you the causes of stress in the most common cats and everyday so you can learn to identify the reason that stresses your cat and you can eradicate it.
Stress in cats
Before going into explaining the main things that stress cats, it is essential to identify that it really is about stress and not the presence of any disease, for example. Thus, when a feline feels stressed before negative stimuli prolonged in time, usually presents the following main symptoms:
- Development of infectious and autoimmune diseases. Due to the state in which the animal enters, its immune system is severely damaged and, therefore, begins to contract infectious diseases repeatedly.
- Loss of hair much more remarkable than usual, related to the lowering of defenses and the increase of nervousness.
- Aggressiveness, to a greater or lesser degree.
- Stereotypes. The state of anxiety in which the cat finds itself causes it to carry out compulsive and repetitive behaviors, called stereotypies, such as excessive licking, ingestion of cloth or other inedible objects, biting, etc.
- Loss of appetite and / or thirst. When a cat is stressed, tends to stop eating, presenting a considerable drop in weight and consequent hair loss, dry skin, etc.
- Bookmarks. Depending on the stressor, the feline can begin to mark uncontrolled certain spaces of the home or furniture. In general, this type of stress marking is carried out by vertical scratching, although it is also common to observe the animal rubbing constantly with walls and objects.
- Changes in your toilet routines. The stress and anxiety that he feels can lead the cat to become obsessive with cleaning, licking himself excessively until he even presents areas without any hair, or, on the contrary, neglecting it completely, making his needs out of the sandbox, example.
However, what causes stress in cats and leads them to act as we just mentioned? Below we show the main reasons that can lead our cat to reach this state so unpleasant for him.
Visit the veterinarian
Does every time you get to take your cat to the vet literally goes crazy? This one of the things that most stress the cats for two reasons: the use of the carrier and the arrival to an unknown place full of hostile odors.
The fact of feeling locked in a space as small as that offered by the carrier, causes the cat to enter a state of nervousness, anxiety and stress that can even last a few days. To avoid this, it is fundamental to accustom the animal to this utensil from a puppy, relating it to positive stimuli. Also, once in the veterinary clinic, there are many cats that feel stressed despite having left the carrier, why? For the amount of odors that this space accumulates and the feeling of not controlling the environment. The state of stress of furry companion is such that it becomes very aggressive, consult the following article and put into practice the advice of our veterinarian: “Solutions to prevent your cat from becoming aggressive at the veterinarian”.
Change of address
Cats are territorial animals and controllers, they need to feel that they have total control of the situation and the environment that surrounds them to be safe and calm. In this way, it is not surprising that a change of address causes them a serious state of stress.
When your feline came to your home for the first time, he probably spent several days rubbing his face over the walls, furniture and objects, right? This ritual is carried out with a clear objective: to leave its smell. In doing so, the animal releases facial pheromones that act as a marking that allow you to mark that home as yours and establish it as a safe place. By taking him to a new home, his smell, his marks, have disappeared, so he stops feeling protected and his body assumes an attitude of alertness, stress and anxiety until he adapts again. To facilitate their adaptation, it is recommended to bring some objects and even furniture from the old home, as well as not alter their daily routines.
Change the furniture
As the cat is an animal so susceptible to changes, it does not necessarily have to produce a move to make it feel stressed, with a simple renovation of the furniture is enough. As we said, the antique furniture had been impregnated with the cat’s pheromones, marks that disappear when replaced by new ones. If the renovation is partial, the cat will mark the new arrivals and will adapt to your presence quickly. The real problem is when we are people with a tendency to make constant renovations of the decoration or furniture of the home, since the feline never gets rid of the negative stimuli that produce stress.
The arrival of a new member to the family
Another of the great changes that are part of the list of things that stress cats, and a lot, is the incorporation of another animal into the family. When the newcomer is a cat, and an adequate presentation is not carried out, the resident feline may be aggressive and reject the new one. With his arrival, his comfort and safety situation is completely reduced, a fact that causes stress and anxiety in him, triggering the aforementioned behavior problems.
When the new animal is a dog, the stress that can be felt by the cat is even greater, so that a correct socialization from puppy is essential to prevent this from happening. Likewise, as we pointed out, presentation is another key that helps us achieve a good relationship between cat and cat or cat and dog. In this sense, the ideal is to prepare a safety zone for the cat and make the presentation through the smell, that is, when the newcomer is still in the carrier. The first physical encounter must take place in the safety zone enabled for the cat, so you will feel that you have control and avoid an unpleasant situation. During contact, it is essential to reward both animals for positive stimuli. On the other hand, if the second animal is a cat, it is imperative to provide individual feeders, sandboxes and scrapers, since sharing them can aggravate the feline’s stress.
However, when we refer to the arrival of a new member to the family, we not only mention the incorporation of another animal, but we also talk about the birth of a baby, the integration of a couple, etc. All these changes also stress the cat and require a period of adaptation.
Loud or constant noises
Cats are animals with a much more developed sense of hearing than us and, therefore, constantly listening to loud and annoying noises can be a real torture for them. This fact not only produces in cats a serious state of stress and nervousness, it can also lead to hearing impairment in certain cases. A clear example of this, and very common in many homes, is the use of the collar with rattle. Can you imagine what it must be like to hear the jingle of the rattle at all times? Exactly, horrible!
The use of lasers to play
Many are the human companions of cats who think that their cat has fun playing with laser light. And it is that how not to think it, if we see how it pursues it without stopping, with the tail in rise and the eyes wide open, no? Well the truth is that all these signs tell us just the opposite, that the cat you feel frustrated and stressed for not being able to reach its prey.
Cats are born hunters and, as a consequence, they need to see this instinct covered in order to feel calm. However, opting for impossible or unattainable games like chasing a light will only make the situation worse. To cover this need the cat has to hunt and catch its prey. With this we do not mean that you should let your cat pursue small animals, since you can offer the same sensation through toys designed for this purpose, such as the so-called fishing rods for cats, with feathers at the end, balls or stuffed animals that simulate rodents .
Visits from external people
If the cat has not received a proper socialization, the visit of people outside his family can trigger stress, anxiety and even fear. All this will show hiding until the march of the “strangers” or showing aggressive if any of them try to approach.
For him, your daily routine is altered with the arrival of the visits and, for that reason, this situation is part of the things that most stress the cats. Sometimes, the best solution is simply to enable a permanent safety zone so that the cat can hide in it and never force it to leave if it does not want to. Likewise, if the cat finally decides to go out to inspect the visitors, comes to them or smells them, do not repress or separate them, without realizing you will be making them relate to something negative and their state of stress and fear will get worse.
The inappropriate screams and punishments
Remember, loud noises stress cats, and the screams represent an elevation of our usual tone of voice, becoming an annoying noise for the feline. If you’re looking to correct a certain inappropriate behavior, opting for the screaming is not the correct method, since it will only disturb your bond and cause the animal to relate to a negative stimulus for him. The ideal, always, is to reinforce the good behavior and indicate the animal that has acted wrongly with a “NO” forceful without screaming.
On the other hand, impose a punishment after a time after the inappropriate act, or exercise violence, are also things that stress the cats and make them aggressive, fearful or fleeing. Out of time, the animal does not understand why it is receiving such punishment and interprets that you want to damage it without meaning, causing unexpected scratches or bites.
Change the food
For any cat companion is a secret that is about an animal with an exquisite palate. Due to the anatomy of its tongue, the feline has the ability to taste the taste of food much better than other animals, making it incapable of consuming what it considers unpleasant. In this way, if we have recently changed his food and he does not like anything, the cat stops eating and starts to feel stress because he can not satisfy his hunger. If we observe this behavior, the first step should always be to go to the veterinarian, since the loss of appetite is not an exclusive symptom of stress, it is also associated with multiple pathologies. Once discarded, we can proceed to change your diet again until you find the right food.
Not having a scraper
Too long nails produce discomfort in the cat because they hinder their mobility, causing them to develop anxiety, stress and wounds on their legs. To avoid this, it is necessary to provide the animal with a scraper so that it can be filed and kept in its proper measure, or proceed to cut its nails if we still remain excessively long.
In case of not having a scraper, we will observe the need to file your nails on our furniture, since they will decide to scratch them for this purpose.
The lack of mental stimulation
Although many think that cats are calm and independent animals, the truth is that they also require attention as dogs and games sessions to stay mentally active. Likewise, they are able to develop strong ties with their human family, links that must be taken care of and reinforced through communication. In this way, a lack of mental stimulation can develop in the cat boredom, frustration and stress, leading him to destroy the furniture or relieve themselves outside the sandbox.
To keep it well stimulated, strengthen the link and prevent this is one of the situations that stress the cat, we recommend you check the following article with 10 games to train your cat.
This article is merely informative, in .com we do not have the faculty to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to 11 things that stress cats, we recommend that you enter in our section of mental problems.