If there is one thing we see a lot of in the veterinary clinic, it is a stressed cat. The wide dilated eyes, yowling and shedding enough to make a new cat are what gives it away. Although we do our best to help a stressed kitty find some relief, there are ways cats destress themselves at home. Keep reading to find out how cats do it and how we can help.
Here are three known ways that cats destress themselves…
Stressed kitties love to groom themselves to find some stress relief. Grooming creates that sigh effect we have when we visit the salon and have our hair done. Cats groom for many reasons, which you can read about here.
Sometimes, however, the grooming can be so excessive that the cat does more damage than good to themselves, causing bald spots or alopecia. This is why over-grooming is actually a big sign that you may have a stressed cat on your hands. A little grooming to ease the mind is a great thing, too much is not. If you find that your cat is overgrooming, it is time to get to the bottom of it and see your veterinarian.
Cats destress by purring
A cat purr is one of the most awesome and soothing sounds found on the planet. Did you know that cats purr for more than just being content and happy? They will also purr to distress themselves from a situation. It’s true, we see a lot of kittens and juvenile cats purring in the veterinary clinic to try and help destress themselves to their visit (which we do all we can to make their visit cause the least amount of stress as possible).
If you notice your cat purring, take a look at their environment. Is it calm or stressful? If the environment is noisy and chaotic, your cat is probably purring to help calm their minds.
Cats will hide to destress themselves
A stressed cat will hide. And they will do all they can to find a place that is nearly impossible for you to reach. They will find a secluded and quiet space away from the world. If the house is loud and a lot is going on, it is important to keep a quiet space available for your cat to use if they want to get away and destress. And don’t forget to let your company’s kids know that the kitty is sleeping and not to bother him.
So how do we help relieve the stress in our cats? Well, if the stress and anxiety are to the point of overgrooming and hiding non-stop, give your veterinarian a call about a behavior consult. You can also give cat pheromones a shot as well, which you can learn more about here. A product called Feliway is great to help with acute stress in a cat’s life, such as a car ride or a home move. However, if the stress is more ongoing, your cat may need an actual anxiolytic to help keep their mind at ease.
What is your cat’s favorite thing to do when they are stressed? Besides shedding all over of course!