How To Calm An Anxious Cat

It is everyone’s wish to have a happy cat. Typically, a cat-loving owner would do their best to keep a cat happy and in good health. That is why an anxious cat can make its owner worried and inspire many questions for them. But first, you need to know how to identify the signs of anxiety in your cat. 

You also need to know what to do when your purring friend is anxious. Some cats are naturally anxious, while some only become anxious suddenly due to an underlying condition. Read along to learn more about how to calm an anxious cat. 

Cats can get anxious especially when traveling in a car for vet visits, journey among other situations. You need to know how to calm them down in the car to reach your destination comfortably.

A cat’s anxiety usually goes unnoticed, and many times owners mistake the signs for normal cat behavior. Cats with anxiety can cause so much stress to their owners. 

However, if you are one of such owners, you can help them out of the situation before becoming a huge problem. Anxiety in these pets can manifest in several ways, and it may be difficult to identify the symptoms or as a straightforward illness. 

Although they cannot express themselves with words like humans, you can notice their suffering through various signs and symptoms if you are keen. For instance, they can develop destructive behaviors. 

Common signs and symptoms of anxiety in cats

A cat can be anxious because of separation anxiety and fear among others. As pet parents, you need to learn the cat behavior to identify the root cause, any change or get the right cat anxiety medication. A typical anxious cat; 

  • Hides
  • Scratches excessively and other body reactions
  • Vocalizes more 
  • Urinates inappropriately

Many different issues may cause anxiety in cats especially separation anxiety. It can develop when triggered by specific objects, events, changes in environment, or routine and other situations. Like other animals, they can be afraid of many things, including loud noises, baths, and fireworks' sound and sight. 

Regardless of what causes the problem to your cat, the earlier you identify the problem and treat it accordingly, the better. Identifying the exact problem on time will be the best place to start helping your cat. Sometimes, the best remedy your cat needs is a calming technique specifically and accurately chosen for the cat's unique situation. 

Remedies 

Veterinarian and behavior specialists can look at your cat’s physical and emotional health. The veterinarian can study his instinct traits to figure out what is stressing him out. This would help the specialists find the proper solution to the problem. If fear is the source of your cat’s anxiety, you need to create an environment that makes it easy for him to escape in an emergency. 

To feel safe, cats need to have their own space. So, pet owners not crowd them, cause fear or make a fuss. They need enough room to feel secure and get away and freely do their things without being interrupted. This will help any pet to get back on their terms. 

Provide safe hiding places

Cats like to hide in dark places, where pet parents cannot see them easily. Therefore, you should create inaccessible places where you cannot reach them. Such places help them feel safe and calm because they know they defend themselves easily. While confident cats prefer higher resting spots, anxious ones may prefer ground-level hiding. Some of their favorite hiding places include; 

  • Under stairs 
  • Basement 
  • In closet
  • Furniture
  • Inside boxes

Generally, cats spend about 62 percent of their time resting or sleeping. Therefore, if you provide various perching opportunities throughout your house, it will help an anxious pet cope and even recover from the anxiety. They will feel safe.

Treat cats according to their own terms.

Cat anxiety can occur when they are disturbed by children or even adults. Therefore, you should let your kitty interact with you on his or her terms. They usually need to feel in control of their surroundings. Understand the cues so that you know when to stroke or play with him and when to avoid it completely. 

Your instinct might mislead you into comforting your kitty by stroking her when that might not be what she wants. She might even see your action as a threat and react by lashing out with her teeth or claws. 

There are specific body language signals that should guide you into knowing what to do and what not to do. Also, you can install a pet flap to help your pet feel more in control. She should be able to come and go as she pleases, and you should therefore opt for high-tech versions that recognize your cat’s microchip or a lockable one, especially if you would prefer to keep her indoors at night. 

Combine cat food and fun

Since cats spend about 20 percent of their time hunting and eating, you can provide an alternative activity to combine cat food and fun for her. For instance, you can use food puzzle toys to increase fun activities in your cat’s life. 

Also, you can lay some portion of food around the house to make your pet hunt for them and identify where the food is placed. 

Such plays and exploration perfectly mimics hunting behaviors and will reduce stress and anxiety in your pet. Being a little creative by making toys and structures that inspire adventure at home will motivate him to explore. Some will even increase novelty and interest. 

Specific cat calming products

Various cat anti anxiety products are readily available. However, you should not rely upon these products as a sole solution to the problem. You can find the products available in spray, plug-in form like feliway, pheromone diffusers. A pheromone diffuser releases pheromones designed to mimic natural pet pheromones. 

Such natural remedies to relieve some of the cat’s anxiety, especially those related to territorial and environmental stress. Such products can help with cat calming but some of the products only work for a short time. 

That is why it is very important to try the right methods to identify the root causes of your cat’s anxiety for the best long-term solution. 

Final Verdict 

For anyone dealing with cat anxiety, you need to be patient. Your pet may not adjust immediately to any changes you make. Once you eliminate any potential health concerns in your kitty, proceed to make her environment as conducive and welcoming as possible.

 If one thing does not seem to work towards calming your cat, you can try other solutions or add it to the first method to see how the feline friend will react to the combination. 

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Mike Stiven
 

I'm a pet owner, blogger, and writer from the Massachusetts. I've worked at the Alpha Dog Training Center, a dog boarding and training facility, and also shared the knowledge garnered over the years with a good number of pet sites. As a firm believer that great care has to be given to pets, beside sharing my whole experience in this blog I also work as volunteer at pet stores during the weekend.

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