Cats are beautiful and often misunderstood creatures. Unlike dogs, which are typically good at communicating their feelings, cats are very good at hiding them or not providing the signs to show they are feeling anxious. This makes managing cats with anxiety such a difficult task.
So, our following blog aims to point out the signs of cat anxiety to help you understand how to best manage it.
Cats with anxiety: The signs
While some cats will exhibit anxiety clearly, such as through hiding away, not all cats will be this easy to understand. So, as a pet owner, it’s important that you learn the signs of anxiety in cats. Some of them include excessive grooming, urinating outside of the litter box, aggression and excessive vocalisation.
It’s important to remember that these traits aren’t always bad in small doses. For example, some cats will groom much more than others as they prefer to be clean as can be. When in doubt, we always recommend consulting an expert.
Managing cats with anxiety: Identifying the source
Cats will experience anxiety in a similar way to humans. This means that they won’t necessarily always feel anxious. There may be specific triggers in your household that are causing anxiety. This could be something like a change in the environment or an upheaval to their regular routine. Locating the source of the anxiety is the first step to helping them manage it well, so make sure you keep a close eye on them while you’re trying to learn what may be causing them to panic.
Managing cats with anxiety: Creating safe spaces
Cats like to hide when they aren’t feeling their best. Giving them this permission to hide is just one of the critical parts of being a good cat mum or cat dad. Some hiding spaces include a separate room for them to hide in, a special pet bed, or a crate. We recommend keeping all of the basic necessities, such as litter, food, and water available in this space, in case they feel like hiding for a while.
Managing cats with anxiety: Help them feel mentally stimulated
Cats are intelligent creatures. When their brains aren’t in use, therefore, they may become anxious or fearful. To help them stay happy and healthy, we recommend supplying them with plenty of toys and opportunities to play interactively. These strategies are also great for cats that are already exhibiting signs of anxiety as play can reduce their stress levels and keep them occupied.
Managing cats with anxiety: Maintain a routine
Cats are incredibly structured animals. If you’re looking to subdue anxiety and help your cat live healthier, you need to focus on their routine. This can help them feel less stressed about controllable circumstances, such as what time dinner will be.
We recommend feeding them, playing with them, and brushing them at the same time each day to help them feel more comfortable. If you can’t be home for whatever reason, finding ways to stick to their routine, such as an automatic feeder, can also help them feel their best.
Managing Cats with Thunder Anxiety
A common question we get here at PetNest isn’t just about cat anxiety, but about certain catalysts to anxiety, such as thunder. As we’ve mentioned, all cats will cope and overcome anxiety differently, but when it comes to thunder, one of the best things you can do for them is show them that they are safe. You can do this by simulating the sound of thunder either through a speaker or by making loud sounds in other rooms. When your cat responds well to it, you can feed them treats.
For instances where your cat’s anxiety persists, you can also try a range of calming treats.