Wed 14th Dec 2022

How cat stress presents itself

Cats are a very intelligent species but just like us can suffer with stress. Like humans some are more prone to stress then others and their ways of adapting and learning to manage their stress is very different. Estcourt Vets’ cat-loving team at our Estcourt Street practice have put together a guide on cat stress for you.

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According to International Cat Care there is some research that suggests stress development starts before a kitten is even born depending on how stressed the mother is whilst pregnant or if they receive poor nutrition their litter is more prone to developing stress and non-adaptive coping strategies.

Signs your cat may be feeling stressed

  • Hiding more
  • Changes in behaviour
  • Over-grooming
  • Urine spraying
  • Toileting in unusual places
  • Lack of interest in play
  • Inhibition of eating

Causes for stress in cats

There are many causes for stress in cats and for each cat it will be different, some examples of these include:

  • Changes in their home environment
  • Changes in routine
  • New pets in the home or the local area
  • New family members
  • Changes in food or where their water bowls are placed
  • Changes in litter tray substrates

Things you can do

If you are concerned your cat may be feeling stressed there are a few things, you can do to help them feel better.

Vet Scott Carpenter encourages cat owners to look at first, can you identify the cause of stress, and can it be removed? For example, a piece of new furniture of if their litter tray has been moved can it be moved back? If it can’t be removed then what can you do to help, if it’s a new family member or pet can you introduce them very slowly, make sure they have access to plenty of food and water bowls throughout the house, so they do not feel restricted in getting access without passing that new pet. The use of Pheromone plug ins can also be very beneficial for helping to give your cat a sense of relief

If you feel your cat is struggling with stress, then speak to Estcourt Vets’ nursing team about what may be causing the stress and different ways in which you can help manage it.

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