What Are Some Effective Cat Anxiety Treatments?
Effective cat anxiety treatments include more interaction (for cats that enjoy attention,) calming products and, in severe cases, medication. It doesn't take much to cause anxiety in a cat. Something as simple as a new schedule or the addition of a household pet can be all it takes. Since your cat can't tell you they are stressed, you'll need to learn the signs of an anxious cat so you'll know when it's time to look for a solution.
Is My Cat Stressed?
Whether your cat is a lazy soul who spends his entire life sleeping, eating, and repeating, or you enjoy the company of an active feline who romps and plays at all hours, there are some telltale signs of anxiety that apply to most cats including:
- Urinating or defecating outside the litter box
- Aggression towards other pets or people
- No social interaction
- Excessive vocalization
- Hiding (more than usual)
- Loss of appetite
- Destructive behavior
While these are signs of anxiety, each can also be the sign of another issue such as a medical condition. That's why it's always a good idea to visit your vet anytime there is a change in your cat's behavior. If your vet does determine that stress is the cause, potential remedies include:
If your cat enjoys human attention and interaction, sometimes all it takes to ease his anxiety is more playtime. Some stress is due to boredom and loneliness, so spending more time with your cat and providing interactive toys can help.
Change the Environment
Make sure that your home is a pleasant environment for your cat where he has places to hide, his own litter box, and plenty of access to food and fresh water. Adding kitty condos, window seats, and other cat-friendly features can make home more pleasant and help to reduce anxiety.
Some pet owners experience success with the use of products such as calming shirts, diffusers, or collars. Such products are readily available at most pet supply stores or from your vet.
If nothing seems to work or if the anxiety is severe, enlist the help of your vet or an animal behaviorist. You should also seek professional help immediately if your cat is not eating or drinking.
What works for one cat won't work for all, so finding the right solution for your cat is a matter of trial and error. The good news is that, in most cases, it's possible to reduce or eliminate your cat's anxiety and give him the happy, healthy life he deserves.
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