Can Cats Have Anxiety?
Cats can absolutely suffer from anxiety, just like all animals. Although cats can’t express themselves with words, they will show that they are suffering from anxiety through various signs and symptoms, and often through the development of destructive behaviors.
Many of the signs of cat anxiety could be interpreted simply as bad behaviour, so it’s important to try and notice exactly when your pet starts to show signs of a problem.
What is Anxiety in Cats?
Anxiety occurs when your cat is anticipating a potential danger or threat. Even though your cat may not actually be in danger, the perception of danger results in a physical response.
Cats may develop anxiety following a traumatic event or in response to a specific stimulus. It can often stem from changes in your cat’s environment, such as moving to a new home, conducting renovations or redecorating, the addition of a new family member or pet, or even nearby construction noise.
Many cat owners first notice signs of anxiety between 5 months and 1 year of age, but anxiety can develop at any time. As anxiety can worsen over time, it’s important to take steps to mitigate stressors and treat your cat’s anxiety as soon as possible.
What Causes Cat Anxiety?
Many different things can cause cat anxiety. They are often similar to the things that cause humans to feel anxious, such as big changes to routine or environment. Events such as moving home or introducing a new person to the family can prompt a feeling of anxiety in cats.
Some common causes include:
·A past traumatic experience, such as physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, being caged for a prolonged period, etc.
·Being deprived of social and environmental exposure for the first 14 weeks of life or longer
·A change in routine, often resulting in separation anxiety
·An unfamiliar environment
·A new situation, such as the introduction of a new household pet or baby
·An illness, painful physical condition, or disease such as hyperthyroidism
·Aging, which may lead to cat dementia or other nervous disorders
How to Calm an Anxious Cat?
If you’re worried about your anxious cat, you should first make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out possible illnesses and diseases that could be contributing to his symptoms. Following that, you’ll need to try to get to the bottom of what is causing your cat’s anxiety. From there, you can tailor your treatment plan to suit your cat’s specific needs.
·Create a safe space
·Provide playtime and enrichment
·Stick to a routine—and clean the litter box more often!
·Try calming pheromone diffusers
·Use natural calming supplements
Visit the Vet for Cat Anxiety Medication
If all else fails, talk to your vet about prescription cat anxiety medication. But never give your cat human anti-anxiety medication without first checking with your vet.
Remember, treating cat anxiety will probably be a lesson in patience and trial and error. Don’t be afraid to ask your vet for advice. An anxious cat deserves as much care and attention as an ill kitty.
We hope all cats have a sweet and healthy life.