Here’s How to Tell If Your Cat is Stressed Out

Stressed cat

Cats are just as prone to stress as any human being, which means nothing good for the animals. Stress is, for some, a good thing. For most, however, it’s a bad thing. While a human, for instance, might use stress as a way to motivate themselves to get things done, improve their lives and make better decisions, a cat with a lot of stress is merely going to suffer. Sure, go ahead and laugh; as if a cat can be stressed out. All it does is sleep all day, play with hair ties it finds on the bathroom counter in the middle of the night and eat. What is so stressful about that?

Cats are more intuitive and aware than we like to give them credit for being. In fact, they are highly aware of their surroundings and are not oblivious to what’s happening in their house. Anything from a move into a new home, the addition of a new pet or baby or the loss of an old pet or even a child that moved away to college could upset your cat. Divorce, new food; cats are highly sensitive animals that become stressed at the smallest changes in their lives from time to time – much like me or you.

Unlike you or me, however, our cats are not as likely to blog about their stress, see a therapist or whine to his or her friends. And while you’re likely sitting back thinking that a stressed out cat needs to just get over it, or that it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal; it is. Cats with excessive stress in their lives are prone to health issues, and they may suppress their immune system. Additionally, it’s imperative that all cat owners know that stress within a cat’s life might actually be indicative of a more serious health problem. For the sake of your cat’s life, become familiar with the signs of stress your cat might exhibit.

Digestive Issues

Sure, cats experience rather unpleasant situations from time to time, but one with sudden chronic diarrhea or constipation might be suffering from excessive stress. While sudden vomiting and digestive issues could indicate that your cat is simply not feeling well at the moment, it could also mean something more serious. If symptoms continue longer than a day or two, it might be because your cat is experiencing a great deal of stress in his or her life.

Stressed cat

Urination Outside the Litter Box

One of the most common indicators of stress in a cat is the desire to urinate anywhere but inside the litter box. Take note that there are several things to take into consideration here, however. Before you go assuming that your cat is stressed and ill, check the litter box. It’s not uncommon for cats to refuse to use a box that is too full. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for cats to refuse to use a litter box if another animal has been using the box. If you can eliminate these as possible reasons your cat might be using the bathroom outside the litter box, you can begin to assume it might be stress related.

Frequent Talking

Some cat breeds are talkers, and they do like to make sure they are heard by any and everyone in existence. You know your cat; you know how often he or she likes to vocalize their feelings, so you can tell when your cat is suddenly chattier and more talkative than usual. If you do begin to notice that your cat is more vocal than usual, it might indicate stress. Something to keep in mind here, however, is that a cat that suddenly wants to carry on a conversation with you is not always a bad thing. A cat that wants to talk to you in a way that sounds panicked or whiny, over-the-top and fearful is what should have you worried about your cat’s level of stress.

Extreme Isolation

For many, this might be a difficult sign to notice. Cats are often aloof and uninterested in spending time with their families. They spend their time alone, sleeping or playing, or just keeping watch over what’s happening inside the home. However, cats can spend too much time alone to the point of isolation. Should you notice that your cat is suddenly more interested in spending his or her time alone, does not come to you for a cuddle or even sleeps more than usual, it could be an indication that he or she is stressed. This is worth a visit to the vet, because it very likely indicates that your cat has some sort of health issues.

Stressed cat

Sudden Vanity (Excessive Grooming)

Cats are animals that do enjoy cleaning themselves, and they do it often. However, if you begin noticing that your cat is grooming his or her own fur more than usual, as in an excessively, it could indicate that your animal is stressed. You might begin noticing that your cat has raw patches on his or her fur and that the cat is bleeding because it is grooming so much it’s removing its own fur and damaging its own skin. While you might feel compelled to get the cat to the groomer to see what’s going on, don’t; get the cat to the vet right now. This almost always indicates a severe level of stress in the cat’s life, and it’s worth having it checked out.

Any Recent Changes?

If you suspect your cat is stressed, ask yourself a question: Is my cat’s life different now? Did you move? Did another animal in the house die? Did a new animal come into the home? Did a child come into the home? Did a child move out of the home? Did you divorce or remarry? What changes have occurred in the life of your cat that might indicate a reason to be stressed? If you can pinpoint one, it might help you understand where your cat is coming from. It might also indicate your cat is suffering from some health issues, so it’s imperative you get the cat to the vet if you suspect stress is an issue.

Photos by Getty Images

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.