Stress is an unpleasant phenomenon that happens in animals, too. If the cat owner wants to see his pet healthy and cheerful, then you need to learn to recognize the warning signs and know how to help him.
Causes of stress
Sometimes stress is caused by serious reasons, sometimes – quite insignificant, for example, buying a new filler. Let’s name the most common ones:
- moving or repairing – a new place of residence confuses the animal and makes it very nervous, as well as the fuss during repairs;
- jealousy – manifests itself to a new family member, a newborn child or a new pet. The cat thinks that the newcomer encroaches on his personal territory and steals the attention of his beloved owner;
- malaise – a cat who is constantly suffering from pain or the consequences of an injury, is stressed, afraid and worried;
- emotional shock – prolonged departure or death of the owner provokes extreme stress.
Also, a stressful state in cats can cause a trip to the vet, changing the daily routine, rearranging furniture. Obesity contributes to constant stress. If you change the usual feeding schedule, you will also make the cat worry.
How stress manifests itself
To help your pet in a timely manner, you need to know how stress manifests itself. Symptoms of this phenomenon are not always easy to recognize, especially if you do not know much about animal psychology. Pay attention to the cat’s behavior. Perhaps he:
- excessively licked, so that the skin remains the consequences in the form of scratches and bald spots;
- constantly yawns;
- abruptly changed food preferences, shows an excessive appetite, or began to nibble on inedible things;
- constantly walks behind you and meows or just nervously moves around the territory;
- he tries to be alone, choosing dark places.
Pay attention to the condition of the cat’s fur. Under stress, it significantly worsens – it fades and falls out. An animal under stress may lose its usual interest in keeping its fur coat clean.
A stressful state will indicate “toilet” problems. One of the main warning signs is a violation of urination. The reason is stress hormones, which cause inflammation of the bladder. Hence the physical manifestations of extreme anxiety and agitation. If the cat is clearly uncomfortable going to the tray, he does it too often, walks by or there is blood in the urine – these are alarming symptoms. Stress is sometimes indicated by diarrhea.
Why your pet needs help
Underestimate the harmful effects of stress on the cat’s body can not be. External events provoke an overstrain of the nervous system, which affects not only the behavior of the cat, but also health. Internal organs begin to fail.
There are long-term and short-term stress. The latter is caused by minor changes in the animal’s life and often passes without consequences. Long-term stress is more dangerous, as it gradually damages the body more and more, and the cat gets sick.
The immune system suffers, and the pet can easily catch an infectious disease. The consequence of stress is the appearance of skin diseases, hypertension, and increased blood sugar. This will be noticeable in the tests if you go to the vet for a checkup.
There are three stages of stress development:
- in the first stage, you usually don’t notice anything. But you can see how the pet has become apathetic or overly excitable. Changes may also affect nutrition: the cat eats much more than usual or refuses to eat at all. This stage is characterized by a decrease in pressure and temperature, a decrease in body tone, rapid breathing;
- at the second stage, the cat adapts to the situation, recovers and calms down, the condition is normalized in the absence of stimuli;
- in the third stage, exhaustion occurs if you do not eliminate the stress factor. The animal is no longer able to recover, calming down, and stops eating, sometimes to the point of death.
To prevent the irreparable, be attentive to the cat and help yourself. If it doesn’t work out and the situation is serious, contact your veterinarian immediately.
What can the host do
If you notice signs of stress in the cat, you need to eliminate its causes. After that, the animal should return to normal. At this time, you should pay more attention to it.
The task of the owner of a cat who is under stress is to switch his attention, distract from the stressful factor. Offer new toys and entertainment, give delicious food.
Physical activity helps with stress. The best option is to buy a game complex where the cat can climb, jump, play with all sorts of devices. Consider your pet’s age and health status. Physical activity should be adequate. The cat’s nervous system doesn’t need to be overloaded to avoid an emotional breakdown.
You can relieve stress in a cat by immersion – simulate situations that irritate the animal. The goal is to teach him that there is nothing dangerous in them. For example, if the cat is panicking on the street – take it out in a carrier on the street, gradually increasing the walking time.
Pet under stress will relax the attention of the owner. Stroke and massage him more often. This will be useful for you as well. A good method of relaxation is a pleasant smell. Aromatherapy calms animals whose sense of smell is much better than ours. Use an aroma lamp or special incense sticks. Choose the smell of lavender, mint, cedar, bergamot. They give a sedative effect.
Try different methods of getting rid of stress, taking into account the reasons that caused it. You may need a combination of several methods. You will understand what exactly suits your cat only in practice.
Adjust the animal’s nutrition under stress. For the nervous system, sea fish, vegetable oil, eggs, fish oil will be useful. Choose ready-made food with a content of fatty acids.
What medications will help the cat
If home measures did not have an effect, then the veterinarian will relieve stress. Do not self-medicate and give the cat only prescribed medications in the specified dosages. Medicines based on natural herbal extracts are safe for your pet. They are given to relieve stress and preventatively, so that the situation that is straining the animal does not overextend it.
In some situations, pheromones prescribed by veterinarians help cats adapt. The walls and furniture in the house will have a smell that cat glands emit. A synthetic analog of this smell is very useful to use when moving, having treated the premises in a new house with it. The animal will sense that there is no reason to worry, and its emotional state will stabilize.
Be attentive to your cat so that you don’t miss any signs of stress. Timely competent assistance, including veterinary, will facilitate the condition of the animal.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.