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Cat Stress – Triggers, Signs and Solutions


What is Stress? It is a term which even a 3rd grader would be able to define or may even experience in today’s world. Stress is a common response to any stimulus which upsets our physical or mental equilibrium, and a very common characteristic of human life, these days. The anxiety or alarm which comes packaged as stress is something which your cat also feels in somewhat the same way. But your dear little feline tends to hide the mayhem undergoing within it.

Stress in your cat can also be a reflection of health problems which the cat is suffering from. Chronic sort of stress also has the ability weaken the immunity system.

 There can be many reasons which can bother the peace of your cat’s mind, like:

  • Addition of a family member
  • Loss of a family member or fellow pet
  • Visitors or guests
  • Moving to a new house
  • Injury or disease
  • Cat shows
  • Loud noises
  • New cat in home or neighborhood

 The root cause of stress in cats is change; a change in the sort of food served to them can also trigger stress.

 Here are some signs of stress that you need to observe and be careful about, in your cat, especially if these come up suddenly:

 1.Relieves itself outside litter box

 This kind of behavior by the cat may give you stress, the stress of inhaling and cleaning smelly excreta. However, the main problem over here is not really of sanitation. Your cat might be communicating its insecurity or fear. If you are not able to make that out, please contact a veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist to find out.

 2.Digestive problems

 There can be many reasons for the unusual and rather stinky acts of the tummy, including stress. Besides medical assistance, you should also consider the behavioral angle of the problem.

 3.Extreme occupation with grooming

 The feline population is known for their active self-grooming routine. But excessive licking, which makes the cat’s skin red or leaves bald patches, is a loud cry for help. Take it to the vet as soon as possible.

 4.Too much scratching

 Excessive scratching too is indicative of health and behavioral problems and needs to be brought to the notice of your veterinarian.


 Cats seek isolation, but constant need to hide is not at all normal and healthy. Seek medical help.

 6.Excessive Vocalization

 If your cat has suddenly started to talk more than the usual, especially with a loud tone and also sounds desperate, you need to take note of it. It’s an articulation of angst which calls for professional help.

 7.Changes in Appetite

 The agony which the cat is dealing with may also find its reflection in the appetite of the cat. It may stop eating, indulge in over eating, or eat a reduced quantity than usual.


 Cats are known for being heavy sleepers. They also spend many hours of the day in just lazing around. But a cat experiencing some kind of stress would spend more time awake or being alert and seeking places to hide.


 It happens with humans as well – spilling out our suppressed emotions at the wrong places. The boxed up stress of your cat can also burst out in the form of aggression towards household pets, other animals or even a human.

 What you can do to help them? Well, try to eliminate the cause(s) of stress, if you can. Wherever you can’t get rid of it, help the cat in countering the stress effectively.

Given below are some of the ways which aim to reduce the stress of your cat:

1.Veterinary Assistance

 A vet can help you with the cat’s physical as well as psychological health. To ensure complete well-being of the feline, getting professional advice is always recommended.

 2.Removing stressors

 After identifying the triggers, think of the ways in which you can manage the situation. If you can do away with a situation, then there can be nothing better than that. Like, if the loud noises are giving your cat a bad time, try to silence the buzzers on your appliances or gadgets; the cat can be provided with a secluded space with litter box and proper supply of food, water and recreation till the time a guest stays.


 Exercise is known to burst stress in humans, and it would certainly assist you in helping your cat too. Involving its toy(s), try to engage the cat in play, at least twice a day for 10-15 minutes. A good session would employ both mental and physical energies of the cat.


 Give your cat a warm hug and a soothing rub or massage; this would work to relax most of the cats. It would also help in strengthening the bond you share with your pet.

 5.Ensure physical comfort

 Make sure that the cat is looked after for all its physical needs. For example, make sure that its claws are trimmed from time to time; infestation of ticks and fleas is duly curbed; adequate supply of food and water and so on.


 Soft music with gentle rhythm, playing at a low volume can also come to your cat’s rescue.

 Cat’s way out from stress can also be supported with aromatherapy, behavioral therapy, pheromones and drugs.

 An effective combat strategy against stress would pave the way for your feline child’s good health and happiness. Therefore, keep tabs on your cat’s activities so that you can formulate a plan, in time, to rescue it from the bad effects of stress.


Shikha Sharma believes that Mother Earth is our mutual abode, where all creatures have an equal right to live with dignity. This belief is clearly reflected in her wonderful writing pieces that revolve around animals and their well-being. She is the blog editor of Pets World.

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