Our feline friends are extremely sensitive to the environment around them, and in general, they do not like rapid changes… And yet life is made of change, which can be sources of stress, as for us humans… So , a stressed cat can show annoying behaviors, such as an increase in the number of scratches (watch out for the sofa…) or urinary problems (and this is not very pleasant, especially for the smell), for example…
The origins of stress in cats
There can be different sources of stress in cats, as mentioned in the introduction. Sources of stress in cats are related to changes and modifications in the environment, to which cats are very attached. We have made for you a small list (unfortunately not exhaustive)
- Outings in a “transport box”, to go to the veterinarian, for example. Noise and smells can be a big source of stress
- New family members (human or animal). It is important to anticipate this arrival and to have your tomcat accept the changes very patiently and gradually (if possible of course).
- Moving to a new residence
- A change in daily routine: new job with change of schedules, regular telework, going on vacation…
- Parties and loud noises. Holidays are particularly stressful for cats, especially those that focus on fireworks, such as July 14th. Big parties where the doorbell is constantly ringing, accompanied by loud music, talk and laughter, usually make the most optimistic cat run for cover.
In each of the cases listed, you must reassure your cat by putting it in the most familiar environment possible, sometimes isolated, with toys and smells that it knows. Do not hesitate to try to be closer to him and reassure him with caresses and lots of love.
The expression of stress in cats
As with humans, it is difficult to understand and identify excessive stress in your cat. It can be expressed with symptoms that are sometimes close to a health problem (cystitis for example). If in doubt, contact your veterinarian first and then direct you to the cause of the stress. However, if this change is happening at the same time as a major change in your life, you should make the connection quickly.
Here are some signs to guide you:
- inappropriate scratching or aggressive behavior
- Urinary problem (forgetting the litter box)
- cat that hides or is clingier
- Decreased appetite – Less activity
- Excessive grooming (sometimes to the point of creating hairless, hairless areas, often behind the thighs, or on the belly)
- Excessive vocalizations
Solve your cat’s stress problem – Soothe a stressed cat
1- Reduce the source of stress
Once you have identified that your cat is stressed, excluding any medical cause, you must first reduce the source of stress, this of course seems obvious…
However, there are two problems with this approach:
- It is sometimes difficult to find the cause of the stress: one of our readers discovered after a year that her cat was stressed because of the window… He saw the neighbour’s cats passing through the garden during the day and this frustration made him anxious
- This cause of stress can sometimes not be easily reduced: if you have a newborn at home or if you have already moved, for example
2 – Understand his behavior and help him
Once you have understood that your cat is stressed and that his change in behavior is linked to anxiety, of course you should not add stress to stress by punishing him, for example… Quite the contrary…
You have to help your cat find a healthy, safe and loving environment… Give him his best toys, leave little treasure caches so he can play, be reassuring and above all be loving and patient…
3- Soothe the atmosphere and help your cat
To reduce this feeling of oppression and stress, it is worth investing in a pheromone diffuser. You can also use plant extracts with soothing properties, such as valerian for example.
A natural solution that we have found is an innovation called Catizen… It is a diffuser of Pheromones and Valerian. Two in one !
How does this look?
The diffuser looks like what is done to diffuse a mosquito repellent, except that there, a soothing product for your cat is diffused. So you have a diffuser to plug into an electrical outlet, and a refill in the form of a bottle.
What is the product, is it dangerous?
Pheromones are odorless secretions emitted by the cat that allow it to mark its territory. The synthetic pheromones, once diffused in the air, give him a calming and security signal that reassures him.
Valerian, on the other hand, is a natural and soothing catnip, which does not produce addiction, but a real feeling of well-being.
Thus, the combination of the two active ingredients in the Catizen product is an innovation that will cocoon your cat and give it the feeling of security and peaceful environment it needs.
And does it work?
We asked MSD Santé Animale, the manufacturer of the Catizen product, to give us access to the results of their study on the efficacy of the product.
The results shown are excellent Up to 75 to 80% efficiency for urinary markings and a reduction of up to 60% over the whole study
So of course this product cannot be effective on all cats, but used early and over time, it will have a positive effect on your tomcat.
If you want to buy this product, go to your veterinarian for the moment, or even online in specialized shops.
A stressed cat is an unhappy animal, but its human will also quickly be in distress. It is therefore important to identify this stress, its cause and then to act: reduce the source of anxiety and use your love and appropriate products to soothe it.