Just like humans, cats also experience feelings of stress, depression, loneliness, and anxiety. It’s up to us, as pet owners, to remain vigilant to our pet’s behavior to ensure they live a happy and relaxed life.
Sudden changes in environment, loud noises, or the loss of a family member can cause feline anxiety and depression. Luckily, this isn’t a condition that can’t be treated, here is a guide on what you can do when your cat suffers from anxiety or depression.
Signs and Symptoms of Feline Anxiety
Before you self-diagnose your pet with anxiety or depression, it’s important that you are aware of the signs and symptoms of the condition. The number one sign is that your pet will become destructive. They will start scratching and clawing at furniture, curtains, and even your legs or arms.
The destructiveness isn’t just towards things in their environment, they can become destructive and damaging to themselves by biting their own skin or overgrooming their coats. Especially if they haven’t shown any acts of destruction before, it should be a cause of concern.
Here is a list of other common signs of the condition:
Drastic changes in mood with extreme and immediate shifts from one mood to another
Vomiting without having changed their diet
Loss of appetite
Increase in appetite
Hiding under furniture, in the closet, or in a tree
Shows signs of aggression and high temperament
Excessive meowing and yelling
Following family members around the house when they never used to
Not using the litter box
Change in sleeping patterns
Shaking or trembling whenever there’s a loud noise or new people entering the home
Don’t want to be petted or touched
Scratching their humans or fellow house pets
If your feline isn’t usually up to any of the above-mentioned shenanigans, then you should take them to a licensed vet for further inspection. Read this article for more signs that your cat might have anxiety.
No matter your feline’s background or what they’ve endured in their life, all cats are prone to anxiety.
What Causes it?
There are loads of external factors that can cause your feline to get anxious or stressed. Cats that come from an abusive background or that has been rescued out of horrible situations are more prone to anxiety and stress. Despite them being more prone, it can develop in almost any house pet when they are faced with changes.
Here is a list of the most common causes:
Change in environment
Loss of a family member or other family pet
Loud noises from building constructions or traffic
The introduction of a new family member (baby) or pet
When they are neglected or left alone for too long
Separated from their mother too soon or separated from another pet who they’ve been living with for a long time
An underlying medical condition
It’s the owner’s responsibility to ensure that a pet cat has a safe environment and is treated with love and loads of attention.
How to Treat it?
In many cases, this condition masks serious underlying conditions. When you start realizing that your cat is behaving differently, then you should visit the vet immediately for testing. Finding out whether they have a medical condition will give you the necessary information to take measures.
Especially if your vet diagnosed your feline with anxiety or stress, you should consider alternative calming methods and supplements instead of chemically induced medication. You can either put your cat on medication or introduce them to symptom treating supplements like CBD oil found here: https://www.holistapet.com/.
Identifying the root cause of your cat’s condition is also important. Once you know what causes it, you can take measures to either remove the problem or change routines. Ensure that your pet has a safe place where they can sleep and feel secure. Introducing more perches or scratch posts into the home is also a method in treating cat anxiety.
As long as you stay vigilant to your cat’s behavior and their reaction to their environment, you’ll be able to adjust accordingly and cure the symptoms.