Dealing With Cat Anxiety

Some stressful situations that can cause cat anxiety for your cat are: being alone in the house, or when visitors to the home, another new pet or family member, moving to a new home, visits to the veterinarian, adjusting to a new environment, and multiple cat households. Unfortunately, when cats suffer from stress and anxiety, they generally communicate it in a very clear way that can really turn humans upside down. One of the real signs that usually tell us is that they are not using the cat litter box.

Cats with separation anxiety don’t howl and bay like dogs and theydon’tchew on doors and windowsills in frantic attempts to escape. Their misery is far less obvious and it sometimes takes a sleuth of an owner to appreciate what is going on. Separation anxiety in cats is a less common phenomenon and typically gives rise to behaviors that are not as destructive as those of a dog suffering from separation anxiety. It is so uncommon in cats that it was not till recently that the disorder was considered to be absent in the feline species.

Separation anxiety is a very distressing condition for pets and their owners. Although it is difficult to treat, the long term benefits of having a happier and healthier pet are well worth the time spent training your pet. Separation anxiety: canine and feline and human beings alike, are all prone to and suffer from active bouts of stress due to environmental, emotional, and physical factors. Such stressful times can not only be harmful to your pet, but also to you as a pet owner.

Cats normally are fastidious groomers and as much as 30 - 50% of their time awake is spent performing some type of grooming behavior. One uncommon sign of cat anxiety may be excessive grooming, to the point of creating a bald spot on one or two areas of the body. Cats may show their distress in other, less obvious ways such as becoming too anxious to eat when left alone; or vomiting only when the owner is not there.

Cats find consistent routines and predictable environments very comforting, so try to keep your cat’s activities on a schedule. Playtimes, mealtimes, and bedtimes should occur at approximately the same time every day. Cats with anxiety related elimination problems also may spray, but do so for other than hormonal reasons. Instead, something in their environment causes them to become anxious. Cats commonly start to manifest their stress or anxiety by what is politely called inappropriate toiletary behavior.

Cats are very sensitive to their owner’s emotions, so if you’re nervous during thunderstorms, your cat probably will be, too. Learning to calm yourself will help both of you. Cats who display this type of behavior generally follow their owners around everywhere, rather than explore the outside world. They may even continue the suckling behavior and chew and suck on their owner’s cloths and even hand.

Cats can be very social animals and they can experience anxiety when they are separated from their owners. Cats like to know when their big cat mom and/or dad are coming and going, so they can adjust their schedules accordingly. If you or your partner takes a new job that drastically changes your household routine and lifestyle, your cat may get seperation anxiety

Aggressive behavior can be sign of stress anxiety. Owners who claim that cat play fighting did not present a problem until the cat was six or seven years old are ignoring one vital fact. Up until that age (middle age in cats) he will have taken his fights elsewhere. When the behavior is exhibited in the owner’s presence, attention can be withdrawn by turning or walking away, or some form of remote indirect punishment not associated with the owner could be used.

Owners should never physically punish their cat; even a harmless tap on the nose may be viewed as a challenge and the cat may become even more aggressive. The most effective reaction to status-induced aggression is to ignore the cat completely.

Ask your veterinarian about giving a tranquilizer to the cat to reduce cat anxiety and possibly help reduce destructive behavior. A comprehensive dietary supplement designed for animals exhibiting nervousness, hyperactivity, anxiety or responding to environmentally induced stress is also available from your veterinarian.

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