Is your cat behaving strangely, acting out or just looking depressed? A cat’s happiness depends on a number of external factors, and it is up to us, the cat owners, to recognise when our cat is unhappy or stressed and do whatever is necessary to ease her discomfort.
A cat is a territorial being and a creature of habit, so any one of the following could put your cat under stress:
– Moving house / moving the litter box
– Loss of an owner / another cat
– New member of the family (cat or baby)
– Dirty litter box
– Change in owner’s routine
– Boredom / loneliness
– Too many visitors
– Loud noises
– Tension in the home
– Unfamiliar cat / dog outside the home
– Change in diet
Signs your cat is unhappy / under stress
– Spraying / urinating outside of her litter box
– Becoming more vocal
– Displaying signs of aggression
– Becoming reclusive
– Body language (crouched low, flat ears, tail wrapped around body, droopy whiskers)
– Lack of playing (particularly in kittens) could indicate ill health
– Excessive sleep
– Loss of appetite
These are just a few of the signs. Keep an eye out for any change in behaviour which might indicate your cat is unhappy. Note that when a cat misbehaves for whatever reason it is important not to punish them. They won’t understand why they are being punished and will most likely act out even more. Treat each misdemeanour/behaviour symptomatically. Using the list above, eliminate reasons for the stress, provide your cat with plenty of attention (but let the cat be in control of how much attention she receives), try supplements for stress which act as a calming agent, and if necessary, take her to the vet to rule out illness or anything more sinister.
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