Helping Cure Your Cat’s Anxiety: 3 Tips to Create a Stress-Free Environment Alleviating Anxiety in Cats—Your Guide to Creating a Stress-Free Environment

Helping Cure Your Cat’s Anxiety: 3 Tips to Create a Stress-Free Environment

Unable to figure out why your feline is acting strange? It could be experiencing anxiety. Read on to learn the causes of anxiety. We’ll also share some practical strategies to help you create a stress-free environment.

It’s a well-known fact that cats are independent creatures. Yet, surprisingly, far too many felines suffer from anxiety. It’s easy to see why: felines are both predators and prey animals. These small creatures must remain constantly vigilant. This is what contributes to stress and anxiety. 

The signs can vary from cat to cat. But, some common cat anxiety symptoms include avoiding eye contact, decreased appetite, hair standing up, excessive meowing and grooming, and hiding or escaping.

Observing your cat’s behavior or body language can help you figure out if it’s suffering from anxiety. If you notice signs of anxiety in your cat, it’s suffering from anxiety.

Medications can help treat anxiety. But giving anti-anxiety medication to your furry friend every time it displays anxious behaviors is difficult. However, as pet owners, you can alleviate anxiety in your feline by creating a stress-free environment where it can feel safe, secure, and content. 

In this article, we’ll explore some practical strategies to reduce your cat’s anxiety. But before that, let’s take a look at the causes of cat anxiety. 

Causes of Anxiety in Cats

Many things can contribute to feline anxiety. Some of them include:

1. Pain or Illness

Painful physical condition or illness can trigger anxiety in your cat or exacerbate it. 

If your four-legged friend exhibits severe anxiety symptoms like aggression, underlying medical conditions like dental problems, arthritis, or urinary tract infections could be the culprit. Aging-related changes in the nervous system and toxic conditions (such as lead poisoning) can also lead to anxiety in cats. 

2. Being Separated From You

Cats feel anxious when they are separated from their primary care provider. Your cat could experience separation anxiety if it lives strictly indoors and with only one caregiver. 

Felines with separation anxiety might follow their owners from room to room, exhibit signs of distress when their owners prepare to leave and greet them overly enthusiastically upon return. 

Female cats are more at risk of this type of anxiety than male cats. Even those felines who were abandoned earlier experience separation anxiety. Any cat can develop this anxiety disorder, but Tonkinese, Burmese, and Siamese cats are at high risk. 

3. Loud Noises

Loud noises can be distressing for felines due to their sensitive hearing. Common sounds like fireworks, thunderstorms, household appliances like vacuum cleaners, and nearby construction noises can trigger anxiety in cats. 

Cats may react by hiding, trembling, vocalizing excessively, or becoming aggressive. Exposure to loud noises for long periods of time can lead to long-term anxiety and behavioral issues.

4. Change

You might not know it, but changes in your whiskered friend’s environment can trigger anxious behavior in them. Common stress-inducing changes include rearranging the furniture, introducing a new pet to the family, or alterations in daily schedules. Even minor changes like moving its litter box to a new location can be unsettling. 

Nancy Boderick, a cat owner and a former medical transcriptionist, revealed that her cats would get anxious if she left the vacuum cleaner out in the main part of the house instead of its proper usual place. 

3 Tips to Create a Stress-Free Environment to Alleviate Anxiety in Cats

Here are a few tips to help you create a stress-free environment to alleviate anxiety in felines:

1. Set Up Hiding Places

Your home must have sufficient hiding places where your furball can retreat to when anxiety triggers. Failing to provide such a space will exacerbate your feline’s anxiety, which you wouldn’t want.

Create small, enclosed spaces with blankets or soft bedding in quiet areas of your home. These can be under furniture, in closets, or corners. Consider placing cardboard boxes or fabric tunnels around the house. Cats love those confined spaces from where they can observe their surroundings.

The carrier is another place where your furry friend might be comfortable. Put it in one corner of the room with the door open. Make sure you place a comfortable mattress in it. Should it feel anxious, it can run to its carrier and nap, at least for a while.

The Bergan Pet Comfort Carrier features a washable fleece bed. It also has convenient pockets and well-ventilated sides, ensuring cats remain comfortable inside. What’s more, it’s airline-compliant. 

2. Try Pheromone Products

Pheromones can help reduce your furball’s anxiety. Why not use them to calm your feline? 

The chemical signals that felines release from facial glands, anal glands, mammary areas, and paw pads to communicate with each other and the world around them are pheromones. Just like natural cat pheromones, synthetic ones offer calming effects. You can try them to calm your anxious cat. 

A number of products, such as sprays and diffusers containing pheromones, are available. The NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Spray for Cats is an excellent option for calming anxious cats. This spray stimulates feline pheromones, making felines feel safe and secure. It’s safe for use for kittens three months of age and above.

The hissing noise of sprays scares cats. If you use a spray, it can exacerbate your feline’s anxiety. To avoid that, consider going for pheromone-containing diffusers. The Feliway Electric Diffuser helps restore a feeling of calmness in anxious cats by duplicating the smell of a cat’s natural scent glands. Once plugged in, the synthetic hormone pheromone permeates throughout the environment. 

3. Establish a Scratching Area

Scratching is a natural behavior that helps cats mark their territory. It also provides mental stimulation.

Denying your furry friend a dedicated scratching area means denying its right to mark its territory as it wants. Boulevard Animal Hospital explains that felines scratching serves as an emotional outlet for felines. If you don’t offer your whiskered friend a dedicated scratching post, it will trigger anxiety in it. 

To prevent that, provide various scratching posts and pads throughout your home. Choose sturdy scratching posts that are tall, so your cat can stretch fully. 

The Kitty Cactus 18” Cat Post w/Sisal & Top helps satisfy the cat’s urge to scratch. This heavy-duty option comes fully assembled, so it’s ready to use out of the box. 

To sum things up, a lot of things, from physical pain or illness to changes in the cat’s environment, can trigger anxiety in your four-legged companion.

You can alleviate it by creating a stress-free environment; these tips will help you do that. Also, try keeping litter boxes and food bowls in their usual places. Changing locations might trigger anxiety in your feline friend. However, if your whiskered friend still exhibits signs of anxiety, consult a veterinarian.  

Remember, patience and consistency are key. With time and effort, you can create a peaceful haven where your cat feels secure, happy, and loved.

Was this article helpful?