Dealing With Stress and Anxiety in Cats

Photo of Karen Dell

Karen Dell

Senior Editor • Backyard Cat Enclosures

24 October 2017

If your moggy, tabby cat or tom starts acting out it may be a sign of stress or anxiety. Don’t panic! Most cats will experience some level of stress or anxiety in their lifetime and treatment doesn't always have to mean an expensive and ironically stressful trip to the vet. Pop some lavender in that oil burner, sit back with a relaxing cuppa and find out how you can help your cat keep calm and carry on.  

cat vocalising

Signs your cat is stressed or anxious

The wonderful thing about having a feline fur baby is the close relationship and bond you form with your cat. You know their quirks, their motivators and their favourite things and love their regularity and routine. So if your cat’s behaviour becomes strange it may be a sign that you need to help them. Here are some out of the ordinary behaviours to look out for:  

cat travelling

Cat stress triggers

What has caused your cat to act like they’re suddenly a different animal? These tigger triggers could be the cause of your feline friend acting the fool:

  • Pet conflict
  • Loud noises
  • Vet visits
  • Cattery stays
  • New people
  • New pets
  • Moving house
  • Travel

cat on cat tree

Prevention and treatment

Like all fur baby pets, cats are happiest and healthiest when they have certainty in their environment and lifestyle. Here’s a few things you can do to keep any stressors to a minimum:

  • Establish a routine for your cat and stick to it.
  • Introduce new pets and people slowly and with positive reinforcement like their favourite meal, treat or toy.
  • Try aromatherapy or synthetic pheromone sprays to encourage positive connections between new things and a calm state.
  • Massage your cat during stressful situations.
  • Provide mental and physical stimulation with an outdoor cat run.
  • Avoid feline family fights by giving your shy kitties time alone in a cat enclosure.
  • A cat tree for safe perching and climbing encourages natural behaviours of observation.
  • Food puzzle toys keep your cat interested in their food and distract from any stressors.
  • Provide multiple options for their kitty litter material and litter box location to establish what they prefer.

If you find your cat’s stress or anxiety levels do not improve once you have identified triggers and tried environment and behaviour solutions then it is imperative that you visit your vet. A good vet can provide advice and medication if your cat’s symptoms are extreme or causing other hooman or fur members of your household discomfort.

We also suggest giving your cat solitary time in their own space to ease tension. Keep your fur baby safe and happy with our range of outdoor cat enclosures and pussy-cat playthings here.


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