How to Calm Down Your Cat

To ensure your cat is happy and healthy, here are some tips how to calm down your cat.

Like dogs, cats can have separation anxiety or anxiety triggered by external events such as thunderstorms, new additions to the family, or moving to a new home.

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How to Calm Down Your Cat

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REASONS WHY A CAT FEELS STRESS

First, you need to know why your cat is feeling stressed.

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Cats are creatures of habit; if something is wrong, they have no words to tell you they are worried.

Anything new that is out of the norm for a cat’s lifestyle can be a stressor.

These are some reasons why a cat feels anxious:

UNFAMILIAR ENVIRONMENT

Exposing your cat to a new environment can be scary.

Environmental factors that may contribute to stress are:

  • Unknown people
  • Other animals
  • Loud noises
  • New environments
  • Visits to the vet

PSYCHOLOGICAL TRIGGERS

If you adopted an adult cat, it may have experienced some trauma. Some common examples include abuse or neglect. If this is the case, loud noises or being alone can trigger anxiety in your cat.

LACK OF SOCIALIZATION

If your cat is not used to other animals or humans, it may suffer from anxiety.

Gradually introduce your cat to other cats, dogs, or people to help with socialization.

SIGNS OF FELINE ANXIETY

Symptoms of stress are difficult to detect. The most common signs of feline anxiety include:

1- Loss of Appetite

Cats feel emotions like humans and can lose their appetite when their anxiety increases.

If your cat avoids feeding times, try these tips to encourage him to eat:

  • Change its plate
  • Hand-feed your cat
  • Add strong-smelling treats or food seasoning
  • Try a different type of food
  • Heat food to a safe temperature
  • Add chicken broth, tuna, or catnip to your cat’s food to entice her to eat during times of stress.
  • An aggressive cat might guard its food. In this case, your cat may respond better to privacy during feeding times.

2- Repetitive Behaviors

Most stressed cats resort to repetitive behaviors to feel safe. Examples of repetitive behaviors in cats include:

3- Excessive Meowing

  • Your cat may be meowing because she is trying to tell you something.
  • The cat may be afraid, in pain, sick, or want your attention.

4- Excessive Grooming

  • Over-grooming is especially harmful to cats.
  • Excess of cleaning can lead to baldness, skin irritation, and infection.

5- Scratching the Furniture

  • Many cats scratch furniture when they feel stressed.
  • Consider purchasing a cat tree or scratching post for them to use.

6- Chewing Plastic or Fabrics

  • Stressed cats may feel like chewing on cloth, paper, or plastic.
  • Solve the problem of chewing fabric by offering your cat a toy or treat.

7- Aggressive Behaviors

Stressful situations can cause a scared cat to be aggressive. Typical signs of aggressive behavior include:

  • Arched back
  • Flattened ears
  • Dilated pupils
  • Raised hairs
  • Hissing Sound
  • Scratching Furniture
  • Protecting her food
  • Biting

HOW TO CALM A STRESSED CAT

Here are four ways to help you calm a stressed cat.

1- Create a safe environment for your cat

Provide your kitten with a small, quiet, dark space when it feels overwhelmed. This safe space should include familiar smells and materials. Make sure you have a secure environment set up:

  • At home
  • Outside the house
  • When you meet new or strange people
  • At friend’s or family’s houses
  • In her kennel or daycare
  • While traveling or taking her to the veterinarian

2- Use catnip or calming supplements to calm down your cat

  • Catnip (nepeta cataria) is an herb in the mint family that cats love and respond positively to.
  • If your cat displays anxious behaviors, consider trying a calming supplement to help. Consult your veterinarian to find a complementary option for your furry friend.

3- Use calming essential oils

  • Cats identify people and objects through their sense of smell. Using essential oils is a popular way to calm your cat. Its aroma has a calming effect that can reduce your cat’s negative behavior and fear.

Here are some cat-safe options:

  • Lavender
  • Incense
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Cedarwood

4- Play with your cat

  • Just like children, pets need to play to combat boredom. Playing with young cats often helps reduce chronic stress as they grow into adult cats.
  • Entertaining and playing with your cat is a great way to help him acclimate to new places.
  • Playing with your cat also helps her socialize and become familiar with new environments.
  • Buy cat toys with food rewards to calm your cat.
  • Consider purchasing scratching toys.

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