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Reducing Stress in Cats

Reducing Stress Helps Your Cat Feel Safe

Domestic house cats have behaviours very similar to their wild cousins and understanding this innate behaviour helps us to provide a safe home environment which is critical to their welfare. Cats favour familiar environments where they have an idea of what and who is in them. If you have ever taken your cat to a new environment (like the vet) or introduced your cat to a new pet, you will understand! In novel situations cats will often have a fight-or-flight response and will try to hide or escape to cope. Sometimes they will fight, but it’s usually when they feel that they have no other options (like escaping or hiding).

Cats thrive on predictability, familiarity and routine! So how can we help?

Some cats in multi-cat households get along very well however, many cats in these situations merely tolerate one another, or they don’t get along at all. When you have more than one cat it’s really important to ensure that cats have access to their resources without competition from the other cats.

  • Provide multiple feeding stations, water dishes, resting places, perches and litter trays in different locations which can reduce fear and gives cats a sense of control. A good rule to follow to determine how many of each resource you need is the number of cats in your house plus 1 (or at the very least one resource per cat).
  • As cats are solitary hunters, feeding them in separate locations can reduce anxiety associated with feeding competition. Cats also prefer to drink in a location away from their feeding area.
  • Provide your cats the opportunity to socialize and engage with you one-on-one.

If you have more than one cat:

Some cats in multi-cat households get along very well however, many cats in these situations merely tolerate one another, or they don’t get along at all. When you have more than one cat it’s really important to ensure that cats have access to their resources without competition from the other cats.

  • Provide multiple feeding stations, water dishes, resting places, perches and litter trays in different locations which can reduce fear and gives cats a sense of control. A good rule to follow to determine how many of each resource you need is the number of cats in your house plus 1 (or at the very least one resource per cat).
  • As cats are solitary hunters, feeding them in separate locations can reduce anxiety associated with feeding competition. Cats also prefer to drink in a location away from their feeding area.
  • Provide your cats the opportunity to socialize and engage with you one-on-one.

Not feeling safe leads to stress!

Not feeling safe in their environment and lack of control to improve their situation can cause cats to feel stressed. Stressed cats can develop a number of behavioural or physical issues such as toileting outside of a litter tray, excessive grooming, or even illness. Watch for changes in your cats’ behaviour. If you notice a change in sociability, eating, drinking, grooming or the development of undesirable behaviour, consult your veterinarian.  

 

Other links you may be interested in!

Indoor vs Outdoor

Tips for how to ensure your cat is happy and safe as an indoor cat

Free Roaming Cats

Many cats have no home and survive on their own.

Cats & Birds

Ensure that people are aware of best-practices to reduce the potential harm of their bird

Training Basics

Many people don’t realize that cats can be trained, but the methods are different than training a dog.

The Importance of Cat Play

Introducing play will help your cat to exhibit natural behaviours and keep them healthy and happy.

Reducing Stress in Cats

Understanding your house cat's innate behaviour will help you create an environment where your cat is happy and stress free

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