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Managing stress in cats

Unwanted or strange cat behaviour is often due to cat stress.  Here we talk about the signs to look for and what you can do to help.

Why do cats show unwanted behaviours or get stressed?
Cats like to be in control of their environment.  Cats carefully mark their home environment using facial marking, therefore, if we remove or disrupt these marks by moving furniture, bringing in a new item, excessive cleaning, building work, DIY etc we can disorientate our cats and in some cases bring on stress.

What are the unwanted cat behaviours (signs of cat stress)?
Unfortunately, as a prey species cats have developed ways of hiding any weakness, including, stress. Cats may show very little sign that they are upset and the signs they do show (being so different from those displayed by more social species like dogs and people) are commonly misinterpreted as bad or ‘naughty’ behaviour rather than a cry for help.

Signs to look out for include:
Urine spraying
Vertical scratch marking
Hiding away or refusing to interact
Over grooming
Tension or multi-cat conflict

What situations cause cats stress?
So what are stressful situations for cats? Taking your cat away from its territory can be extremely frightening for them and can completely disorient our feline friends. Such as:

The dreaded ‘cat carrier’ 

Take the cat stress test here and measure your cat’s stress risk level!

How can you help?
Speak to your Vetsure vet for advice in the first instance.  He or she may recommend trying a Feliway spray or diffuser.  The diffuser is ideal for multi-cat households, moving home, introducing new pet, redecorating, new furniture, settling into a new home, for firework / party nights or to add as further support to the Feliway spray in scratching and urine spray marking.  The spray is ideal for scratching, spraying, going to the vet and cattery or as support to Diffuser apply the Spray to the doorways, cat-flap, windows sills and to other prominent objects within your home.

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