It may seem like cats live a carefree life, but in actuality, cats are very much like humans in that they are prone to anxiety. Furthermore, because they are so sensitive, they have the ability to perceive little changes in their surroundings, helping them to detect a threat. Their reaction can be to freeze, hide or be aggressive.

Regardless of how they react to a threat, the thing that we’re concerned with in this article, is what comes before the reaction…anxiety. Simply put, anxiety is the anticipation of danger. It’s not a nice feeling and if there is no real threat, then you’ll be doing your cat a favor by helping her to relax. So in that regard, below are a few tips to review, when considering “Treatments For Cat Anxiety”.

Cat Anxiety Signs
First, you’ll have to determine if your cat is indeed afraid. When trying to determine if your cat is experiencing anxiety, try to pay attention to subtle and not so subtle cues. A cat’s expression is communicated through movements of the body or when they vocalize discomfort. Below are a few examples.

 

  • Hides away
  • Eliminates outside litter box
  • Yowling or gradually more vocal
  • Excessive grooming
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Aggressive/destructive behavior
  • Restless behavior
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Vomiting
Causes of Cat Stress
If your cat is experiencing any of the above symptoms, consider taking her to a qualified veterinarian. There your cat will be examined to eliminate the possibilities of underlying health problems. By the end of the procedure, the vet should understand your cat’s behavior and be able to pin point the cause of your cat’s anxiety. 
Below are some typical reasons for cat stress:

Lonely & Bored
If you’re the type of person who’s always out and about—leaving your cat home alone for long periods of time—it’s possible that she just needs a little more attention. Spending a little time petting, grooming and playing with your cat, helps to curb her aggressive/destructive tendencies.

A Shocking Event
Unfortunately, cats remember traumatic events and the stress of that event can be triggered under certain conditions. Be mindful of loud noisy explosions, fireworks and thunderstorms. If abandonment is an issue for your cat, then being alone too much can activate feelings of anxiety.

Changed Surroundings
If you’re moving to a new location, you’ll have to be especially sensitive to your cat’s needs to be reassured, that everything is okay. The disruption to her routine and environment, can be just enough to put her on edge.

Feline Cognitive Dysfunction (FCD)
If you have an older cat that has become forgetful of simple things, then it’s possible that she may be dealing with Feline Cognitive Dysfunction. If she is dealing with FCD, then your cat might not remember the placement of her food and water bowl. She might also have problems remembering how to use the litter box, which can explain why she might be eliminating in random areas around the house. Suffice it to say, forgetting these very simple routines can trigger anxiety in your cat.

Additions To The Family
Whether a new born baby is coming home or a new pet is being introduced to the house, it may take some time for your cat to get used to the new arrival. Try not to rush your kitty into any premature activity with the new addition to the family. She’ll need time to accept her new house mate.

Ailment
If your cat is experiencing any physical uneasiness, then it’s possible that this can be the source of her anxiety. Illnesses like arthritis, urinary issues or skin disease can cause a great deal of discomfort and stress for your cat.

A Few More Causes:

  • Past trauma
  • Unfamiliar person
  • Traveling
  • Veterinarian visit
  • Moving
  • Hyperactive kids
  • Highly trafficked home
  • Abusive owners

Treatments For Cat Anxiety
Once you know the cause of your cat’s stress, you’ll have an easier time choosing a remedy for it. As always, your vet should be able to consult you on the best solutions to reduce your cat’s stress; However, below are a few tips to consider when thinking about a treatment for cat anxiety.

Play Calming Audio/Music
Consider playing relaxing music like smooth jazz, atmospheric electronic music and/or classical. Close the shades or curtains of the room you’re playing the music in and make sure there is very little activity goin in or out of this room. Observe how she reacts. If she calms down, then this is a worthy method to continue doing. Consider trying this during loud events like thunderstorms or fireworks.

Safe Area
This is somewhat of a continuation of the above treatment. If your cat has anxiety because there is too much activity in the house, then it would be helpful to create a quiet place where your kitty can relax and recuperate. As noted above, try shutting the window and closing the curtains/blinds to prevent the stressful drama a storm or fireworks may bring. Consider diffusing the room with calming pheromones and play relaxing music. Leave the door cracked, so that she has a way out, if she chooses to leave the environment. If you don’t have a free room, provide a climbing tree or a perch so that she can safely and calmly view the area from above.

Calming Pheromones
Synthetic Calming Pheromones are designed to mimic the natural chemicals that cats use to communicate with each other. Pheromones communicate a sense of familiarity, thereby helping your cat to relax in an environment. Synthetic calming pheromones are available as a spray or a plug-in diffuser. 

Consider spraying pheromones on your cat’s favorite blanket or bed. This can be helpful while you’re traveling or going to the vet. Another option is to diffuse the room with calming pheromones. This could be helpful when trying to get your cat adjusted to a new environment, a new pet or during a thunderstorm.

Herbal Remedies
Herbal remedies are typically dried flowers and plants; However, there are exceptions like Bach Rescue Remedy—a flower’s essence in liquid form. Certain herbal remedies can be used as a sedative to help reduce your cat’s stress and as an added effect, act as a sleeping aid. Catnip, Valerian, German Chamomile, Hops and Bach Rescue Remedy are some of the common herbs used to relax a cat that is experiencing anxiety. They’re ideal for treating restlessness and helping to reduce trauma related stress.

Note: Every cat is different and may not react the same to a chosen herbal remedy. Consult a qualified veterinarian for the best treatment for your cat’s condition. It would also be helpful to look at the ASPCA’s complete listing of non-toxic and toxic plants/herbs for cats.

Nutritious Diet
Giving your cat a healthy, nutritious diet can help to keep your cat balanced, thereby minimizing her susceptibility to stress.

Condition Your Cat’s Behavior
Consider gradually exposing your cat to the cause of her anxiety. The more she becomes aware that there is no danger, the more you can expose her to that activity, without her becoming anxious.

Mental Stimulation
As mentioned above, boredom and loneliness can be a key reason as to why your cat is suffering from anxiety. Consider providing her with toys, climbing trees and scratching post to get her moving and thinking. Play with her and make sure that she receives plenty of exercise. Consider training her to walk on a leash, so that she can go outside and get some fresh air.

In conclusion, it’s perfectly normal for a cat to have stress. Furthermore, there are many causes of cat anxiety, but if you’re able to identify the source of her fear, you can begin to choose an appropriate “Treatment For Cat Anxiety. Hopefully, the above tips can help you in that regard. Thanks for reading.