Detecting stress in cats

It is important to always observe your cat and be on the alert for signs of stress.

A change in behavior can be a sign that your cat is sick and needs medical attention immediately.

“Stress can make anyone a little crazy, even our cats. The tricky part is while the anxiety and fear associated with stress affects our cats in much the same way it does us, most cats tend to hide and mask their inner turmoil. Even worse, stress can be an indication that your cat has a health issue,” said PetMD in “10 Signs Your Cat Might be Stressed.”

Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D., a certified applied animal behaviorist, said “chronic stress can even ‘suppress the immune response, causing a broad range of illnesses.’”

Detecting stress in cats
Santi, a white two-three week old kitten when rescued by Save ALL, loves to hide under chairs and play with his brother Seb, also an odd-eyed cat.
PetMD listed down some signs of stress that an owner has to watch out for, specially if it occurs suddenly in your cat.

1. Your cat urinates outside the litter box.

It may be annoying, smelly and difficult to clean, but please pay attention when your cat urinates outside the litter box.

“Cats that urinate outside the litter box are trying to tell us something. Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist to find out what it is, “ PetMD said.

2. Your cat has diarrhea, constipation and other digestives issues.

This is indicative of a possible medical condition which requires a visit to the veterinarian.  

3. Your cat excessively grooms herself.

“Cats are known for their fastidious grooming, but licking themselves raw or bald is a clear sign of distress. Skip the groomer and go straight for the vet's office, “ PetMD stressed.

4. Your cat scratches excessively.

Another indication of several health and behavioral issues is excessive scratching.

5. Your cat wants to be alone all of a sudden or prefers isolation.

“Aloofness is second nature to cats. However, a cat should not be actively and constantly hiding from you and everyone else in the house. Once you've managed to wrangle him or her into a cat carrier,  go to the vet, “ PetMD said.

Detecting stress in cats
Nagui and Lian, gray pusang Pinoys or puspins, were rescued along the busy Naguillan Road going down from Baguio to La Union. They were abandoned beside the road. Humans can be that cruel.
6. Your cat “talks” a lot.

Excessive vocalization indicates a problem in a cat.

“Many find the tone of a cat ‘talking’ quite soothing, but be wary of unusually long or recurring bouts of panicked meows — especially if your cat is not the typical ‘talker.’ If it does happen, take your cat to the veterinarian rather than try to crack the kitty language code, “ PetMD stressed.

7. Your cat’s appetite is less than her usual appetite.

“Cats don't go on fasts or diets like we do so it's important to consult a veterinarian if your cat suddenly loses interest in cat food  or stops eating altogether,” PetMD warned.

8. Your cat sleeps more than he used to do.

Cats can sleep up to 20 hours a day but  this does not mean your cat will.

“By now you will have become accustomed to his or her sleeping schedule. Speak with your veterinarian if your  cat is sleeping more than usual or seems overly lethargic, “  said PetMD.

9. Your cat is aggressive towards other animals.

A cat who fights or is aggressive towards other pets in the household may be sick or stressed.

“Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist before the problem gets worse, “ PetMD suggested.

10. Your cat is aggressive towards people.

“A stressed or sick cat may also display aggression towards people, even you. Again, it's best to consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist immediately, “ PetMD said.

Topics: cat stress , PetMD
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