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Some cat have a naturally anxious demeanor while others freak out during vet visits and car trips. This leaves a lot of pet owners in a fix as they try to look for ways to calm their cat down. Fortunately, there are a lot of natural remedies to help with stress relief, and the best part is that they are easy to administer. Try these flower essences and herbs the next time your cat gets stressed:
How to administer herbs to your cat
- Catnip – We know what you're thinking. Giving a substance that riles up Felix in an effort to calm him down seems counterintuitive. But they key to effectively use catnip for stress relief is to give it to your cat 15 minutes before the stressful event, like the much dreaded vet trip. After he hangs from your ceiling and bolts around the living room at lightning speed, he will tire himself out and remain unusually calm.
- Valerian – This herb mimics the effects of catnip, but with one major difference. After your cat comes down from the high, not only will he be calm, he'll most likely go to sleep. In fact, this herb is used as a remedy for people suffering from insomnia and it tends to have the same effect on cats. The herb will induce euphoria and chill your cat out, making him more docile in the process.
- Chamomile – Chamomile tea has a calming effect on people, and the dried flowers of the plant have the same anti-anxiety properties on felines as well. Animal studies have demonstrated that chamomile contains compounds that act on the same parts of the nervous system and the brain as anti-anxiety medication. They promote relaxation by reducing stress.
- Rescue remedy – Bach flower remedies are known to relieve anxiety and stress in humans. However, they can also be used on cats and dogs. Though it is technically not a herb, it is an excellent stress buster. The immediate effectiveness of the remedy is what makes it stand out from the other treatments. If you want to calm down your kitty pronto, this is a great choice. Make sure that you buy the alcohol free version for Felix.
Most of these herbs come in many forms – dried leaves or flowers, tinctures, teas and essential oils, to name a few. However, you cannot administer essential oils to cats as their liver cannot break down the compounds. Dried herbs are the safest. To prevent your cat from eating the flowers and leaves, put them in a tube collar. That way, your cat will benefit from the relaxing qualities of the herbs without over-ingesting them. If you prefer to go the tincture route, make sure you buy the product from a reputable pet company.