Recognising Stress in Cats – Stress Awareness Month

Stress and nervousness can have debilitating results on our well being and sadly, it’s no completely different for our furry relations both.

This Stress Consciousness Month, PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing explains how stress impacts cats and what you are able to do to assist your feline buddy.

“Behavioural adjustments in cats can usually be right down to stress, so it’s necessary to have the ability to spot the indicators as quickly as attainable,” she mentioned.

“Stress can have an effect on your cat’s high quality of life. Your cat could also be feeling harassed on account of a well being situation, change of their circumstances or atmosphere. Stress itself could cause medical issues, like stress cystitis, which is a painful and doubtlessly harmful downside for cats.

“This implies it’s necessary to have the ability to discover when your cat is displaying indicators of stress so you’ll be able to assist them earlier than it will get worse!”

Recognizing the indicators

Nina explains: “Some indicators your cat is likely to be feeling harassed embody hiding or staying out of the best way on a regular basis, consuming lower than regular, avoiding sure locations or individuals, over-grooming or pores and skin situations, being extra vocal, diarrhoea or vomiting and weight reduction.

“Nevertheless, many of those indicators might be attributable to medical issues in addition to stress,” Nina provides. “So if you happen to’re anxious about your cat or they present a sudden change in behaviour, we at all times suggest contacting your vet for recommendation.

Figuring out the trigger 

“Cats might be harassed by numerous various things, and never all cats will discover the identical issues disturbing,” Nina provides. Among the frequent stresses embody new animals or individuals coming into their dwelling or backyard and adjustments across the dwelling together with the place their meals, water and bathroom are stored.

Surroundings adjustments

“One of many largest causes of stress for cats is adjustments to their atmosphere or dwelling. This is likely to be as huge as shifting home or as small as new furnishings or carpets.

“Altering rooms round or redecorating can actually upset them, as can shifting their meals or water bowls and litter trays. This will likely even make them toileting in the home in unusual locations so introduce any adjustments fastidiously and keep away from making too many adjustments in a single go.

“Alterations to their territory can be upsetting to them. Though you’ll be able to’t management past your individual backyard, you may make certain that is stored a constant, protected haven by creating areas for shelter and hiding locations. Cats might be anxious by neighboring cats so monitor your cat’s behaviour after they enterprise exterior and after they return.

“Boredom may result in stress for cats so attempt to preserve them entertained and lively. Be certain to offer them a while and a spotlight on daily basis. You don’t have to purchase new toys, you’ll be able to rotate the toys they’ve by holding some away and swapping them out on occasion.

Social adjustments

“Many cats like their very own firm and may discover different pets disturbing, even when they’re associated. They are often territorial they usually are likely to get pleasure from their very own house.

“Cats can be affected by adjustments to these dwelling within the family, comparable to when a brand new baby or child comes into the family or even when somebody they have been near strikes out or passes away.

“Modifications in routine can be very disturbing in your cat. This contains adjustments to feeding occasions or work patterns. Even when their very own household are in the home extra usually than common, for instance in case you are working from dwelling extra.”

Recommendation and assist

When you assume your cat is harassed, Nina says it’s finest to contact your vet for recommendation as they will test for any underlying medical causes, focus on attainable causes for the indicators of stress and suggest methods to assist them.

“There are some issues you are able to do to forestall stress. Most significantly, be sure your cat has the whole lot they should be glad. This contains fixed entry to their water, offering high quality full meals, sufficient beds and hiding locations, train, toys, scratching posts and litter trays, and naturally, your time!” Nina explains.

“Many cats love excessive up hiding locations because it helps them to really feel protected. Place igloo beds (or use cardboard containers) on excessive, however simple to achieve cabinets. Cat shelving can also be nice for them to get to excessive locations the place they will survey their environment.

“And for cats that get pleasure from time outdoor, contemplate a cat flap to allow them to come and go as they please. We suggest one which solely opens to your cat’s microchip to cease different cats coming into your cat’s dwelling and consuming their meals.”

For extra data go to pdsa.org.uk

PDSA is the UK’s largest vet charity offering an important service for pets throughout the UK whose homeowners wrestle to afford remedy prices for his or her sick and injured pets. For a lot of weak pets, PDSA is there to assist when there’s nowhere else for his or her homeowners to show. Assist from gamers of Folks’s Postcode Lottery helps us attain much more pet homeowners with very important recommendation and knowledge. www.pdsa.org.uk

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