For humans, stress is pretty much just a daily part of our lives. Some of us manage stress a bit better than others. You may be surprised to learn that cats, too, can be stressed out. This may look a little different with cats and humans, but there can be some shared similarities. If you have a beloved feline companion (or two) in your life, check out these common stress triggers in cats. By reviewing some common triggers, you can help your lovable kitty live a more stress-free life.
Punishment is a Harmful Trigger
If you’ve checked out our cat articles before, you probably already know this one. However, it’s worth repeating! Never punish your cat. Punishment can be a major trigger of stress for cats and it really isn’t effective. If your cat is doing something you don’t like, there are other ways to correct his behavior. Try out positive reinforcement over punishment. Kitty is more likely to do what you ask this way. Plus, he won’t get too stressed out.
Messy Litter Boxes are Stressful
Cats are generally pretty clean animals. Live with one for a day or two and you’ll likely see him bathing several times each day. It follows, then, that cats will experience stress if their spaces aren’t kept clean. As his human, you’ll need to keep an eye on his litterbox. When it’s getting full, it’s critical to empty it for him. Cats appreciate a good clean litter box. Messy, full or dirty litter boxes are likely to stress out your feline friend.
Long Vacations Can Stress Your Cat
We all need a little getaway now and then. If you live with cats, you need to arrange the proper care for them before jetting off on a long vacation. While cats are independent, they do need their humans around. If you’re leaving for a few days, don’t just pile up some food for kitty and think she will be fine. Depending on the cat, this can trigger lots of stress. Instead, have a trusted friend look in on your cat each day you’re gone. Fresh food and water are critical for cats, plus we now know having a dirty litter box is a source of stress.
Being Too Rough is Stressful
Generally speaking, playing or petting your cat roughly is stressful for him or her. Some cats can handle a little roughhousing, but many of them aren’t big fans. Plus, the majority of cats are pretty small in size and it can be all too easy to unintentionally hurt them by playing too roughly. Petting them gently and playing nicely with their favorite toys are much better options. You’ll have fun, kitty will have fun, and no one will be stressed out!
Cuddling Can Be a Stress Trigger
Again, cats are all different. But many cats don’t tolerate lots of hugs or cuddles very well. Some cats downright hate being hugged! Others may be okay with a gentle embrace now and again. You know your cat best, but in general too much cuddling or hugging can stress out felines. Let kitty come to you when she wants some snuggle time and she won’t be so stressed.
Did you learn anything new and interesting about our feline friends? Share this article with another cat lover that you know so they can learn something, too.