Felines are often mistaken for being aloof and boring, but did you know that these attributes can actually be a sign of cat stress? A bored cat is a stressed cat because it’s not in their nature to be inactive at all times. Other signs of feline stress are aggression, over-grooming, jerky motions to sudden noise, and refusal to play with toys.
Because our kitties are such stoic beings, they often hide their anxiety and, over time, this can surface as disease. This is why it’s important for cat parents to take control of our cats’ anxiety. Below are 7 tips on how you can help reduce cat stress at home.
7 Ways To Reduce Cat Stress At Home
If you’re noticing some stressful behavior in your furry feline, use these tips to take the edge off!
As humans, we know how much exercise can help reduce our stress and the same goes for our cats. The more we can exercise our cats and get them engaged in playtime, the more we will help reduce their stress, engage their senses, and help their overall health and well-being.
If you’ve got a kitty that acts like they don’t want to play or exercise, they’re lying to you. This is likely due to a lack of confidence. Confidence building sessions with our cats can help reduce their stress in big ways. This just means putting away distractions, going into a room with just you and your cat and engaging in play. Even if they act like they don’t want to play at first, find their favorite toy and engage with them for 15-20 minutes. Let them exercise their feline instincts without distraction of other pets or people – and they will get to be a lot more comfortable in their own skin.
While this isn’t possible for everyone, if you live in an area where it’s safe for your cat to go outside – supervised – this is a great way for cats to exercise their fine feline-ness. They will get the sights, smells, and feel of the earth, which – by itself – really helps to reduce our cats’ stress. It’s amazing how the mental stimulation alone can reduce anxiety.
There are so many natural, effective calming formulas out there that can really help take the edge off of high anxiety cats. We have one called Cat Calm, and there are also flower essences and CBD oils that can be effective. These are not sedatives, or chemically laden medications that turn our cats into a shell of their former selves. These are natural ways to help bring the edge off.
Did you know that the food we feed our cats is directly related to their overall stress, anxiety, health and well-being? Dry food is high in carbohydrates. What we know about carbs is that it creates inflammation in the body. Inflammation in the body creates not just nutritional stress but also social stressors. The doctors tell us to eat a healthier diet in order to reduce our stress and this is also true for our cats. We want to feed a species appropriate diet that’s high in animal protein with low/no carbohydrates.
Our cats are little predators and love to hunt, instinctively. When you can let your cat engage in their prey sequence – stalking, chasing, catching, playing, and eating – it really helps to reduce their stress and boredom. We use an indoor hunting feeder system, where you put food inside these small mice and hide them around the house. Our cats have over 200 million scent sensors in their nose – and can smell food from a mile away. Hide food on the top shelves of your house, in a shoe box, stuffed in couch cushions… you get what I’m saying? This is an incredible way to reduce stress for indoor, bored kitties.
Keeping our own anxiety in check is super important for us and our cats. When they say that cats can smell fear, it’s not just a saying – it’s actually something they do. It’s been scientifically proven that when we stress we excrete a hormone called cortisol – and our cats, with those 200 million scent sensors, can smell it from a mile away and will carry the stress of their owner. So, as responsible loving cat parents, we need to do our best to keep our anxiety under control. Meditation, calming music, exercise, eating healthy… whatever it is we need to do to keep your anxiety in check will really help your cat’s stress levels as well.
Joining Julie Live to Talk Cat Health
Recently we (the Two Crazy Cat Ladies) joined Julie for a LIVE and it was awesome.
Here are just a few of the things we covered:
- Giving supplements to fussy cats
- Doing your research
- Bowl choices
- Tooth brushing
- Heart conditions
- Taco Bell (Wait, what?? You’ll just have to watch and see!!)
Be well all!