Cat Stress Symptoms Examined

Cat stress can cause unusual feline behavior. There are many stressors that can significantly upset your cat, from loud noises to the death of a human companion. Here's what you need to know about the stressors that can make your cat feel crazy, and the symptoms of cat stress.

Causes of Stress in Cats

Cats experience stress for a number of reasons. They can include:

  • The introduction of new members of the household, be they human or animal.
  • Moving to a new residence can significantly stress your cat, even if the move is local.
  • A new job or any change in your daily routine can disturb your cat.
  • Loud parties and noises, as well as new houseguests, can frighten your cat.
  • The sight of something disturbing outside the home, such as a strange cat viewed through the window, can cause feline stress.
  • The death of a family member, human or animal, can leave your cat struggling with grief.
  • Fear, such as that caused by storms, or the aggression of another member of the household, can cause feline stress.
  • Rivalry and jealousy can cause stress between two feline members of the household.

Symptoms of Stress in Cats

Cat stress symptoms can vary. Here are some of the typical symptoms displayed by cats suffering from stress:

  • A cat under stress may stop using his litter box. He may instead use the floor, a bed, or another surface.
  • Marking and spraying behaviors may increase when a cat feels stressed. Cat scratching behaviors may also increase.
  • Cats may groom themselves excessively when under stress, even to the point of self-mutilation. Some cats have been known to render themselves entirely bald.
  • Some cats may become excessively vocal when under stress.
  • Cats may feel the need to hide when in danger, and when excessively stressed may refuse to come out of their hiding places except at night.
  • Your cat may redirect his aggression toward you when he's feeling stressed; this can include behaviors such as biting and scratching other members of the household.
  • Some cats may eat less when feeling stressed.
  • Some cats may display signs of restlessness when stressed.

Dealing with Stress in Cats

You can help your cat cope with stress by giving him plenty of attention and love. Introduce him to new people and situations slowly. If possible, try to remove causes of stress from your cat's life. If you can't remove the cause of stress, try to give your cat a safe, quiet place where he can go to escape the cause of stress.

Natural remedies, such as Feliway feline stress relief spray, can help calm your cat and relieve his stress symptoms. Natural essences from Pet Essences can also help soothe your cat's stress and anxiety.

If the cause of your cat's stress isn't obvious, check with your vet to make sure your cat isn't suffering from an underlying illness. If your cat's not feeling well, that in itself could be a source of stress.

If natural remedies don't work, your cat could benefit from anti-anxiety drugs such as Prozac or Paxil.