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Designed by, A Diet for Your Cat's Urinary and Kidney Health, Buckley's Story, Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher, Cardiovascular Reactivity and the Presence of Pets, Friends, and Spouses: The Truth About Cats and Dogs, A Pilot Study Using Synthetic Feline Facial Pheromone for the Management of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis. What types of stress can affect people? Even a small change in routine can cause painful health issues like cystitis (inflammation within the bladder) in some cats. Cats are natural teachers and healers, and they really do love us that much. She still hadn’t eaten anything that night and seemed to sulk and not want to move off the chair. If your cat is experiencing urinary stress, a visit to the vet is likely needed. Depending on her stressors, your vet may prescribe medication and/or adjust her diet with therapeutic cat food, which can help relieve some urinary issues and get her on the path to feeling well again. If you see any of these symptoms, check with your veterinarian to eliminate any medical problem. Tempers may fray with raised voices or children may become excessively lively and noisy. Surely most of them live a pretty cushy life with their every whim catered for. How to Recognize Stress in Your Cat . Existing cats learn your routines and personality and again sense when you’re ready to explode. One of the most important ways in which we can help our cats is by managing our own stress level. Just remember it’s possible that having a sustained stress level can negatively affect your cat as my anxiety had done to Jessie. can stress affect my health much? New cats are tense to begin with and add to that your agitated emotions that kitty can sense. Environmental stress can … “Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. At least that’s what we honestly believe. Some stressed cats also have a tendency to eat compulsively and not be able to stomach the food, before vomiting. So we know that our cats help us be less stressed. We as humans know how unsettling stress can feel. Stress has been identified as a significant component of (or trigger for) most common cat behaviour problems and some common diseases. So what can we do to help keep our cats' lives as stress-free as possible? For example, some cats and dogs may have the genetic coding for anxiety already present. Life is a madhouse though. In general, stress lowers a cat’s immunity to disease. When stress affects you, your behavior goes nutty, which signals to your cat something is wrong, then your cat could feel stressed, too! Here are a few things you can try to calm yourself down: Reduce your chores. Hissing, running away, growling, scratching items, and eliminating outside the litter box can be other signs of stress in your cat and should not be ignored, especially if they are occurring regularly. This is because they feel the need to exercise full control over their environment. If she’s lounging in a sunny window right now it’s probably hard to imagine that anything in her life could cause stress, but surprisingly, there are many events that can result in stress to your cat. So I did the zombie-thing and slept it off. Just as we feel stress from new surroundings, new schools or jobs, or changes in our relationships, so do our cats. We are not attempting to diagnose or correct health and behavioral problems or to take the place of a professional veterinarian. Stress and anxiety just happen. Then her behavior alarmed us more so as we settled down to watch two television shows (I still didn’t have all the chores done, but didn’t want to miss my favorite shows! Do You Care to Snare the Hair Instead of Wear? 1. Feliway can be used to spray in carriers before vet visits, in remodeled areas, in places where new pets or people are introduced, and any location where stress can occur. I wouldn't be surprised. Strays, Shelters, Adoption…What Can One Person Do? But chronic stress can lead to health issues in your cat. I look back on that day and night and realize how crazy I behaved. Watch for the signs of chronic stress, like changes in your cat’s appetite or sleeping patterns, a drop in energy, or withdrawal. What's most disconcerting, however, is that when your cat is stressed or anxious, it can impact his or her health. Caregiver Stress: Yes, caregiver stress can affect health. Stress and Your Cat… My Personal Story. All better . Jessie appeared sick and completely out of it! Stress, like any other illness, needs to … Sometimes, it may take something as drastic as a beloved cat getting sick before we make the necessary changes to take better care of ourselves. We live on “overload” most of the time. 6. By morning I was starving and she acted much better and loved on me like I might fall off the face of the earth! Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. TVs, iPods, video games, washing machines and dryers can all stress out noise-sensitive species, such as dogs and cats. Cats are … The cat is more prone to contract diseases such as feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). However, it can also be a disease with serious physical and behavioral repercussions. Cat stress can cause unusual feline behavior. All better . Having to stay indoors at the moment is stressful for us. There is such a thing as unappreciated behavior. Overly taxing situations can lead not only to mental distress but physical distress as well. Not. I’ve read and heard that pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and comfort people who are sick, lonely or in pain. According to veterinarian Lorie Huston, she found that her cat suffered from grief and stress after the loss of a household pet. Yes: The effect of stress on a person's health is depends on the stress( severity, length, intensity and how you cope with the stress). A pet who is exhibiting such behavior likely already had some propensity for the behavior. Not only can it exacerbate existing physical conditions, but it can lead to a number of problems often considered behavioral, such as litter box avoidance, aggressive behavior, or depression and … Heat stroke in cats is extremely dangerous and it can lead to multiple organ failure. Shortly after adopting Jessie Cat, perhaps two weeks into her living in the house, we went truck shopping for my husband. A psychological trigger may be to blame, like a traumatic experience, lack of proper socialization or a history of abuse or neglect. And on the flip side, a health issue can be the primary cause of your cat’s stress. Cats do not show their emotions as overtly as some other species and tend to withdraw and become quiet rather than ‘act out’ their anxieties. Obviously, I would need to tag along and drive our current vehicle back home if/when he bought a new truck since he’d be driving that one home. But, and this is important, stress affects more than just your blood sugar. I try to take advantage of Jessie Cat’s medicinal-like, soothing, always free and freely-offered qualities and abilities to help me relax now. If your cat’s behavior changes suddenly in any way, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. How You Can Help Her. Even if she appears fine (or sleeping), I keep myself from freaking out over something or do not let a high level of panic last for very long. Very odd. Dr. Fern Crist, of The Cat Hospital of Fairfax, Virginia: "As a veterinarian, I frequently see cats that are urinating outside the litterbox. Using sprays or plug-ins containing pheromones can have a calming effect on the environment, and help with situations involving inter-cat aggression, introducing a new cat or baby to the household or any other issues that can be viewed as a disruption of normal routine by the cat. I proceeded to dive into the trenches and get as much of those chores done as possible, moving at the fastest human speed I could manage. She remained sleeping in a cocoon of the blanket, on his lap, in his huge protective arms for the entire night. If she wasn’t better by morning, I would call the vet. You wonder what were such important “things” I had been pulled away from working on that day? The emotional turmoil brought on by such difficulties as household financial problems, frequent job travel, marital differences, new babies and home remodeling can affect our cats in very tangible ways. The cat is especially susceptible to pathological stress. Hopefully, many people will turn to their cats for comfort and flip off the switch on stress. Karen Allen, PhD, Jim Blascovich, PhD, Wendy B. Mendes, MS, ", 4. If You're Feeling Stressed, So Is Your Cat, Copyright © 2021. But what do cats have to be stressed about? We know it is bad for us. Supposedly, people who have pets live longer. It can also negatively affect a person's behavior and relationships. Cat Hair Everywhere. It had been quite a few years since I had any attacks that were of that caliber; I was familiar with the sensations. Tian Xu and others, "Stress Triggers.". My hubby gathered her in his arms, sat in his recliner with a blanket and encouraged her to snuggle into the blanket with his arms more or less holding her. Stress affects our cats in much the same way it affects us. How does stress affect my cat? In my book, there is no such thing as a bad cat or inappropriate behavior. We are not veterinarians. (Part 2), What It’s Like Living in a Single Cat Household, Planning for Disasters to Protect Your Cat. It may be the cat's stress, such as having a new cat to adjust to in the house. Once evening came, Jessie no longer acted normal (for her). Stress can affect your period causing a condition known as Polymenorrhea. Well there is actually quite a lot in modern life that can cause stress and different factors such as genetics and socialization can influence how well each individual copes with these. It is important that you manage and reduce stress in your cat as much as you can because if your cat is stressed, they can become both emotionally and physically unwell and may develop physical illnesses as well as display problem behaviour. My cat has had a spotty history of getting signs of a urinary tract infection but it seems that most of the time it is diagnosed as FLUTD. His daily driver turned 18 years old and the rust holes were getting large enough for a cat to jump through! He told me to fetch her food and several times tried offering her the food, holding the bowl to her mouth. Stress is an adaptive mechanism intended to ensure survival in dangerous situations. Some call them panic attacks. Well, nothing that is truly that important or critical at all…such as: making a grocery list, several loads of wash to do, preparing banking paperwork, and many other household chores. Stress in cats acts much the same way. Cats always have good reasons for what they do. Your cat more than likely knows it, too! Believe it or not, there are even pet-specific composers out there creating stress-busting music for pets! You probably know it. I’m a very scheduled person. I swear it was as if someone drugged her! More importantly, our stress can also influence the development of actual physical illness in our cats as well as in ourselves. So high blood sugar is just one of the negative impacts of stress. My human, Gina, was a mess that particular day and it made me feel all yucky and kind of scared. Feliway has been reported to increase appetite and food consumption in hospitalized cats as well as minimize cat stress in general and promote a feeling of well-being. Stress can lead to unhappy behaviour such as less interaction with you, hiding away, general mischief or even scratching or spraying. As responsible owners, we sometimes need to take a good look at ourselves when we ask why our pets are having problems. Dr. Warren Kriedman answered. I felt on edge during the entire outing as my day was filled to the brim with other “things” I normally would have been doing if we weren’t truck shopping. By the next day, Jessie was perfectly normal again. Sometimes even a minor change in the environment, such as moving a piece of furniture, can cause stress. “More importantly, our stress can also influence the development of actual physical illness in our cats as well as in ourselves. In fact, I glance at Jessie to see if she is reacting to my behavior. It can affect our ability to process thought, our daily routines and sometimes even result in serious health conditions. My heart raced, my head pounded and felt like it would pop (but no actual headache), my hands trembled and felt tingly numb, and I couldn’t take in deep breaths. With zero zest, she pushed the food around with her nose and ate a mouthful here and there. This unhealthy situation holds true for all cats. About Cats, New Cat How-tos, Care and Behavior. It’s good to note that stress and your cat’s health can be a two-way “Cause and Effect” game. This occurs when a woman has short cycles or cycles lasting less than 21 days, leading in some cases to light menstruation twice a month. Stress and anxiety can have debilitating effects on a human's health. Eating disorders can also affect cats, albeit for very different reasons to those in humans. In some cases, stress can lead to the development of bladder stones or crystals, which can cause bleeding in … Now, go rub your kitty and soak up a mental chill pill from the experience! And my stress made her sick. Many times I will go to her, pet her silky hair, place my forehead against hers and tell her how much I love her.

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