Posts Tagged‘cat stress’

Separation anxiety has existed in dogs for a long time, but recently animal behaviorists have suggested that separation anxiety can also be an issue in cats. Many people assume that cats are solitary animals that do not develop a strong bond with their human companions. Quite the contrary, cats are very affectionate and social animals that enjoy the companionship with their owners. They may be selective in whom they’d like to stick close with, but it is no doubt that cats show a plethora of affection to the person they feel closely bonded to.

Symptoms:

Separation anxiety can create many issues both to the owners and the cats themselves. They tend to follow their owners wherever they go and demand for attention in a high maintenance manner. This can obstruct a person from carrying out his/her daily work. Some of the behavioral problems include excessive vocalization after the owner is gone, urinating or defecating outside the litter box, destructing items in the house by chewing or scratching, loss of appetite when the owner is not around, or excessive grooming to the point where a bald spot is formed. [Abnormal Cat Defecating Behavior]

Causes:

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Stress is cats’ biggest enemy. It may be hard for you to imagine since cats are often found lounging comfortably on the couch, playing with their favorite toys or enjoying food you specially selected for them. However, cats are subject to various potential stress factors. They form their own habits and create their own territory. When their territory is violated or their habits have been interrupted, they face the risk of increasing their stress.

Being a creature of habit, cats get confused when the environment is changed or a new member has entered into the same habitat. Below are the most common stressors that can potentially put a cat under tremendous stress:

  1. New member in the family such as a cat, adult or baby
  2. Loss of a loved one such as a cat owner or another cat
  3. Change in owner’s schedule
  4. A unfamiliar outdoor cat
  5. Quick change in diet
  6. Abrupt change in litter
  7. Unsanitary litter box
  8. Relocating or renovating the home
  9. New furniture or rearrangement of furniture

Ever wondered why patients seem to recover faster or feel better when they listen to soothing music? It provides a powerful distraction for them from feeling the discomfort, pain, stress and anxiety caused by the illness. Music can calm and uplift a person. Same thing seems to hold true for our feline friends.

Music Calms Your Cat on a Car Ride

Have you experienced driving your cat to the clinic where you have to deal with the ruckus in the car because your cat does not seem to be able to stop crying and yowling? It is painful to watch our cats in a great deal of stress. Try to play a soft, soothing piece of instrumental music. Within 5 minutes, your cat should react to the tune and calm down and relax.

How does Music Work in Cats?

Music provides a great therapy for cats with stress or anxiety issues. It has been studied that both dogs and cats can benefit from listening to soothing music which lowers their heart palpitation and blood pressure level, slows breathing, elevates endorphin level, and reduces stress. Cats can pick up certain tone that is inaudible to humans. The sound seems to be therapeutic to these animals and greatly decrease their stress level. When you play the music, turn the volume down to low so it will not disturb your cat’s sleep.

Music Can Help Treat Behavior Issues

Calm and soothing music can help cats with psychological issues, though this theory still requires more scientific research. Anxiety and stress can be a trigger to many physical illnesses in a cat such as the kitty flu or feline upper respiratory infection and urinary tract infection. Even for a perfectly healthy cat, stress can manifest into numerous behavioral problems such as feline aggression, spraying, inappropriate elimination, loss of appetite, excessive meowing, trembling, hiding from the world, pulling out of fur and so on. A stressed cat is very vulnerable and prone to getting sick. It is just like human. We are much stronger physically if we are happy and stress-free.

Music can complement treatment for feline stress related issues. If you want to stop your cats from fighting each other, try to play some music. It will help them relax and even put them to sleep. It is a great way for cats to cope with their undesirable behavior.

What Kind of Music is Good for Cats?

What’s the best instrumental music for cats? Generally, harp and piano are the best choices for cats. When you pluck a harp string, it produces a particular tone that pacifies cats more effectively than most of other instruments.

Below is a good example of harp music that your cat may enjoy:

Unhappy Cat
Unhappy Cat

Many abandoned cats have a hard time acclimating to their new home. They display frustration and stress through urine spraying, a natural way to mark their territory and show their dominance, or through some undesirable scratching behavior. Those cats are usually distrustful and insecure around humans.

Feliway Comfort Zone Spray or Feliway Comfort Zone Plug-in Diffuser helps calm the cats and assure them that the home they are staying in is secure and the people around them are of no threat. How does the product work? Cats don’t spray at the same area that is

Feliway Comfort Zone
Feliway Comfort Zone

marked with their facial pheromones. With that idea in mind, Farnam Companies developed Feliway Comfort Zone to effectively end urine spraying and help unhappy cats to regain their trust in humans.

There is an article which depicts several case studies with this device. You can find the article here:

http://cats.about.com/od/trainingaids/fr/feliwaycomfortzone.htm

The idea behind this device is to create a friendly environment that is comfortable to the cat. The smell from the bottle is oderless to humans and harmless to cats.

This product is an excellent device for felines that are going through stress-related behavioral problems.

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