What Causes Stress in Cats?

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What Causes Stress in Cats?

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Cats like routine and predictability. Even slight changes in our environment can cause stress in cats. According to feline experts, when cats feel stressed for a long time, it can diminish their immune response and harm their health. For that reason, we should carefully consider any unusual behavior in our cats. Namely, cats possess a strong sense of smell and sense of hearing. They can smell unusual source of smell from a very long distance. It helps them become aware of a presence of a cat intruder in the yard. But, on the other hand, it causes them stress. As in people, stress, when is kept under control, can be a huge driving force that brings more dynamics and action in our lives. Without stress, our lives will easily become boring. However, when a stress level rises and lasts too long, our body reserves decreases, and we become more prone to illnesses. The same applies to cats. When exposed to chronic stress, cats express all types of problematic behavior, even aggression. Under stress, many cats sleep for too long, showing lethargy and signs of depression. It is up to us to recognize the symptoms and remove the cause of stress. If we are unable to protect a cat from the source of stress, it is highly recommended to do whatever we can to alleviate stress. According to experts, the best way is to keep their routine predictable and continuous. It will help a cat feel safe. To find out more about what causes stress in cats, the article “Stress in Cats. Causes, Symptoms and Treatments of Anxiety and Stress in Cats” gives us interesting advice.

What Causes Stress in Cats?

Physical changes in the family or household

These might include re-homing, remodeling the house, a new baby, a new family member or a frequent visitor, a new pet or changes in the environment such as new furniture or furniture being moved around. It’s also true that these changes might work the other way round, as when a family member moves out or dies.

Most of these kinds of changes are unavoidable. For example, you won’t give away a baby because your cat will experience stress because of it. So your only choice is to help your cat cope more easily with the changes. Here are two suggestions.

First, if possible make any changes gradual, to reduce your cat’s stress. If a baby is expected, start to set up the baby’s room months in advance, adding new furniture and items gradually, step-by-step. Even if you move homes, save him from all the repairs and packing, and let him explore the home gradually, on his own terms. Of course, gradual changes are not possible at all times, such as when a family member dies; no one’s prepared for that.

Second, pay a lot of attention to your cat. Play as much as you can (check these tips if you think you’re too busy to play with a cat), keep him in your lap, pet him, brush him, and talk to and cuddle him! He will be grateful and will cope with the change more easily.

As we have seen, stress can be minimized even though change is unavoidable. Life is unpredictable by itself and big life changes, like a death of a family member, the arrival of a new baby, divorce, moving to a new house, etc., are stressful for humans, too. But, all we need is to provide our cat with care, love and structured time. If our daily routine remains unchangeable, we will keep stress levels at its lowest, no matter what caused it.

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