In our recent blog Can my dog keep me healthy? we discussed how the simple act of petting an animal can reduce stress. Stress can wreck havoc on our bodies but you should also know that stress is bad for your cat, too. Can you recognize the signs of stress in your cat? If not, keep reading. Actually, keep reading anyway – you might be surprised by some of the signs that can indicate your cat is stressed out.
Does your cat have digestive problems? You know, diarrhea, constipation. A lot of poop or not pooping at all? Eek. In fact, if your cat experiences any digestive health issues, he just might be stressed out. It’s not always just about the treats he got into or the food you are feeding him. Discuss this with your vet before changing his food or treats. Stress may be the culprit. You don’t want to ignore this sign because, as we all know, stress can further exacerbate any ailment or illness.
Is your cat licking or scratching? If your cat is licking his paws or other parts of his body excessively or grooming himself more than usual, he just might be stressed out. Don’t neglect this sign. Not only could this mean he’s stressed out but, it could be a sign of some other health issue and your cat is trying to make himself feel better. Additionally, behavior disorders can be noted in cats too. Don’t delay and call your vet today to get this figured out. The longer you wait the more distress your cat will be in.
Has your cat’s sleep patterns changed? If you cat is sleeping more, or less, it could be a direct sign that something is wrong. Just like when you are sick or stressed, your cat might not be able to sleep or might sleep too much when he’s not feeling well. You know your cat better than anyone and if something’s off, you can bet there’s a reason. This also goes with your cat’s eating and drinking patterns. If he’s taking in more or less, then your cat might be stressed out – or worse.
Is your cat suddenly behaving aggressively? Just like us humans, cats can get short tempered or even downright nasty when they’re stressed. Sudden or prolonged signs of aggression can indicate a mental or physical ailment and that must not be ignored. Don’t make excuses or try to rationalize aggressive behavior in your cat. “He doesn’t like men.” “He’s scared.” “He’s getting old.” Before you jump to any conclusions, it’s best to consult your vet.
Be a good steward. You are your pet’s direct line of defense against disease and stress. Always consult with your vet when something changes with your cat. Cats are creatures of habit and any change can indicate something is seriously wrong.