Recently we have seen a rise in the number of cats suffering from stress, and it’s mostly to do with lockdown. Lockdown has not only had a huge effect on our mental health but our pets too.
Some cats are finding their family suddenly being home all day incredibly stressful. They are used to solitude when the children are at school and adults at work. Most cats tend to wander to find some peace, but if the weather is bad or they are locked indoors due to contamination worries, they may not receive the quiet they need.
Cats are incredibly stoic and good at hiding pain. But if your cat becomes stressed they can become unwell and may develop a physical illness.
How can you tell if your cat is stressed?
- Vomiting and Diarrhoea
- Over-grooming which can lead to bald patches
- Cat Flu symptoms (runny nose and eyes)
- Eating odd things such as wool/plastic
- Appetite changes
- Weight changes
- Poor coat condition
- Frequent squatting for urination
- Toileting outside the litter tray
- Scratching excessively
- Aggressive behaviour
- Excessive meowing
- Increased dependency
What can you do to help your cat?
1. If they take themselves off then leave them alone
2. Provide places to hide – we have a great video on making a cat hiding box on our Facebook Page… https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=685982615479789
3. Avoid making changes in their home
4. Manage your own voice and stress levels
5. Use a pheromone plug-in or spray
6. Classical music – especially piano music can be incredibly relaxing for pets
7. Provide places for your cat to act cat (scratch, climb and watch birds)
8. When they ask for attention give it to them
9. Make sure there are plenty of food and water stations around the home
10. The same with litter trays, ensure there are plenty and that they are large and deep enough for litter
If you have any questions or concerns then please do contact your local branch for advice.