There are many behaviours that we as humans assume our cats like, and may not realize it is causing the cat stress. Some cats are much more affectionate than others, and when a cat wants love and attention they will ask for it, or even demand it. Learn to tune into your cat’s mood and life with your kitty will be a happy one.
5 Triggers That Can Cause Your Cat Stress:
- Punishment – Something that is a serious cause of stress in cats is punishment. Using force or yelling at your cat will only scare them. This is not an effective way of getting them to change their behavior. Instead, have them focus on something else to distract them away from what they were doing. This will teach them you’d prefer them to do different things aside from what they were originally doing.
- Over Zealous Affection: Most cats tend to strongly dislike being restrained and held down to be “cuddled”. If your cat is purring and showing signs of enjoyment, they may enjoy this. But odds are, your cat will not respond positively to this kind of behavior. Allow your cat to come to you on their own terms and gently stroke their fur and give them kisses. Even something as simple as stroking your cat’s fur backwards instead of the direction their fur grows can cause a cat stress.
- Litter Box Privacy: If the litter box isn’t in a private spot, you should consider moving it, cats feel more comfortable when they have privacy and feel safe while using the bathroom. Having the litter box in an open room, high traffic area or a room where other animals have access can cause a cat stress.
- Litter Box Cleanliness: Another thing that will stress your feline is to have a dirty litter box. Cats are very clean animals by nature and a clean litter box is a must. A dirty box can quickly lead to unwanted behaviour such as them choosing a more suitable place to go to relieve themselves in your home. Do your best to scoop their litter box once per day and once per week dumping it out and replacing it with fresh litter and your kitty and you will be much happier.
- Bringing In New Pets: While kittens are much more adaptable to the family bringing home new pets, adult cats are quite territorial, especially when they are strictly indoor cats. Bringing a new pet home such as a puppy or another cat, it can cause a great deal of stress to your cat. Such introductions must be made slowly and in some cases the household cat will never adjust to the new member of the family and this must be taken into consideration for their happiness.
With 20 years experience as a veterinary technician and the owner of 3 beautiful felines that I dearly love, I’ve seen and heard it all when it comes to cats and know that if we just take a few extra steps to ensure their happiness, we can alleviate cat stress in the household and among those who live with them.
Image Credits: Gisella Klein via flickr