My hubby gathered her in his arms, sat in his recliner with a blanket and encouraged her to snuggle into the blanket with his arms more or less holding her. This is because they feel the need to exercise full control over their environment. How to Recognize Stress in Your Cat . She still hadn’t eaten anything that night and seemed to sulk and not want to move off the chair. Stress affects our cats in much the same way it affects us. Just as with humans, stress can cause a wide variety of health issues in cats by compromising their immune system. Some stressed cats also have a tendency to eat compulsively and not be able to stomach the food, before vomiting. Feliway has been reported to increase appetite and food consumption in hospitalized cats as well as minimize cat stress in general and promote a feeling of well-being. Life is a madhouse though. Watch for the signs of chronic stress, like changes in your cat’s appetite or sleeping patterns, a drop in energy, or withdrawal. Stress can lead to unhappy behaviour such as less interaction with you, hiding away, general mischief or even scratching or spraying. Cats pick up on our emotions, often before we ourselves have identified them. Even a small change in routine can cause painful health issues like cystitis (inflammation within the bladder) in some cats. If you see that your cat is getting stressed then make sure that it has … My heart raced, my head pounded and felt like it would pop (but no actual headache), my hands trembled and felt tingly numb, and I couldn’t take in deep breaths. If your stress is a result of the normal anxieties and worries about your career, being pregnant and what the future holds, there are things you can do to help yourself cope. Caregivers are more likely to have symptoms of depression & anxiety; have higher levels of stress hormones; are more likely to have long-term medical problems such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or arthritis; have weaker immune responses to the flu vaccine; have slower wound healing, etc. I swear it was as if someone drugged her! Even worse, stress and anxiety can affect your cat’s health negatively, manifesting itself in a variety of ways including illnesses like cystitis and inappropriate elimination. Here's what you need to know about the stressors that can make your cat feel crazy, and the symptoms of cat stress. Strays, Shelters, Adoption…What Can One Person Do? Some call them panic attacks. “Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. Some are wonderful, some terrible, some neutral but suck our time. For example, some cats and dogs may have the genetic coding for anxiety already present. Stress has been identified as a significant component of (or trigger for) most common cat behaviour problems and some common diseases. Karen Allen, PhD, Jim Blascovich, PhD, Wendy B. Mendes, MS, ", 4. Well, nothing that is truly that important or critical at all…such as: making a grocery list, several loads of wash to do, preparing banking paperwork, and many other household chores. Stress, like any other illness, needs to … 2 doctor answers. This additional noise and activity may affect your cat. I felt on edge during the entire outing as my day was filled to the brim with other “things” I normally would have been doing if we weren’t truck shopping. Perhaps these cats make their stress evident in order to get us to change our ways? Depending on her stressors, your vet may prescribe medication and/or adjust her diet with therapeutic cat food, which can help relieve some urinary issues and get her on the path to feeling well again. Feline Nutrition Foundation. Overly taxing situations can lead not only to mental distress but physical distress as well. More importantly, our stress can also influence the development of actual physical illness in our cats as well as in ourselves. If your cat is experiencing urinary stress, a visit to the vet is likely needed. His daily driver turned 18 years old and the rust holes were getting large enough for a cat to jump through! The emotional turmoil brought on by such difficulties as household financial problems, frequent job travel, marital differences, new babies and home remodeling can affect our cats in very tangible ways. Hiding is one of the most obvious signs that your cat is stressed but it's not the only one. Just as we feel stress from new surroundings, new schools or jobs, or changes in our relationships, so do our cats. Note:  I  (not my hubby) was considered Jessie’s protector, her savior, her buddy, the one who cried trying to figure out what to do with her stray butt, who sat outside petting her every day for weeks, who attempted to find her a good home (for five weeks), before I convinced my husband maybe we could keep her, who did everything the vet recommended for her optimum health, who slept with her two nights on the cramped utility room floor while she recovered from her spaying and slept on the couch for another month to ensure I could hear her if she “acted up” in her safe room (utility room)…her protector. But chronic stress can lead to health issues in your cat. So high blood sugar is just one of the negative impacts of stress. Cat eating disorders are mainly caused by stress, since stress directly affects eating habits.. A stressed cat can completely lose their apetite and even become malnourished. If your cat’s behavior changes suddenly in any way, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. The cat is more prone to contract diseases such as feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Stress can affect your period causing a condition known as Polymenorrhea. Cats are sensitive by nature. Feliway can be used to spray in carriers before vet visits, in remodeled areas, in places where new pets or people are introduced, and any location where stress can occur. By morning I was starving and she acted much better and loved on me like I might fall off the face of the earth! In my book, there is no such thing as a bad cat or inappropriate behavior. "Humans who suffer from anxiety are known to pace or have difficulty sitting still, and this is true in cats as well. It can affect your friendships and loved ones. Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. It may be the cat's stress, such as having a new cat to adjust to in the house. Sometimes even a minor change in the environment, such as moving a piece of furniture, can cause stress. I wouldn't be surprised. Stress can cause urinary tract disease and changes in your cat’s pH. Surprises pop up. The cat is especially susceptible to pathological stress. I’m a very scheduled person. Stress is an adaptive mechanism intended to ensure survival in dangerous situations. At least that’s what we honestly believe. Once evening came, Jessie no longer acted normal (for her). A pet who is exhibiting such behavior likely already had some propensity for the behavior. Sometimes, it may take something as drastic as a beloved cat getting sick before we make the necessary changes to take better care of ourselves. If she wasn’t better by morning, I would call the vet. Many times I will go to her, pet her silky hair, place my forehead against hers and tell her how much I love her. This unhealthy situation holds true for all cats. I try to take advantage of Jessie Cat’s medicinal-like, soothing, always free and freely-offered qualities and abilities to help me relax now. can stress affect my health much? Here you can find how to relieve menstrual cramps without medication. (Part 2), What It’s Like Living in a Single Cat Household, Planning for Disasters to Protect Your Cat. – Oh…I’m so dedicated!). Hopefully, many people will turn to their cats for comfort and flip off the switch on stress. You wonder what were such important “things” I had been pulled away from working on that day? And, of course, guess what happened? Very odd. Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. New cats are tense to begin with and add to that your agitated emotions that kitty can sense. For me, that’s daily. 1. Doing this will almost always calm my frantic brain. A psychological trigger may be to blame, like a traumatic experience, lack of proper socialization or a history of abuse or neglect. I immediately flew into the house to check on Jessie Cat, who was perfectly fine. Plus, I worried about a newly spayed cat stuck in the utility room (which is actually her safe room-huge-all decked out) and what trouble she was getting into. One of the most important ways in which we can help our cats is by managing our own stress level. While that may not always be realistic, there are things people can do to minimize the effect of environmental stress on cats. It’s good to note that stress and your cat’s health can be a two-way “Cause and Effect” game. Plus, all those “things” I wasn’t getting done and when the heck would I get them done!? From an in-person conversation with feline veterinarian Dr. Fern Crist, September 2008. Having to stay indoors at the moment is stressful for us. Jessie Cat had stayed on a chair, mostly snoozing, during my intense “flying around the house trying to get everything caught up” phase. We assume no liability for any misuse of the information contained at this website. Not. Stress and Your Cat… My Personal Story. Most often, you’ll notice your cat’s PrettyLitter has turned blue, which means your cat’s urine is more alkaline than normal. Tempers may fray with raised voices or children may become excessively lively and noisy. Sometimes the anxiety manifests due to the animal entering a certain developmental stage in life. All better . If You're Feeling Stressed, So Is Your Cat, Copyright © 2021. I’ve read and heard that pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and comfort people who are sick, lonely or in pain. While they don't get upset about the same things we do, our cats can experience chronic stress, which isn't good for them. About it to stay indoors at the moment is stressful for us tendency eat... 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