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Stress in Pet Cats

Did you know your pet cat can also suffer from stress? Just like humans, pet cats can get frazzled by various situations or events. Their stress and anxiety levels rise when they have conflicts with other cats or when there are abrupt, significant changes in their routine. Too much stress can have negative effects on their health, as well.

According to researchers from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, stress in pets can increase their risk of maladies. Stress in cats, in particular, can lead to undesirable behavioral changes that leave owners no choice but to relinquish them or have them euthanized.

The study revealed that stress is triggered when there is a change in a cat environment or when they have poor relationships with their humans. Felines can also get stressed when a new member of the household arrives.

Stress can distort cats’ behavior. A domestic cat can become less playful, leading to noticeably fewer interactions with humans and other felines. They also tend to experience changes in their eating habits. Some cats display compulsive behavior such as over-grooming; others can become neglectful.

Increased aggressiveness, vigilance and urine spraying are also common indications of feline stress. In some cases, stressed-out cats hide away for longer periods, which is contrary to their nature as being curious and social creatures.

To reduce stress among felines, researchers suggested separating them from the rest of the household. Let them have their own space, food and water bowls, litter tray, toys, etc. After getting them accustomed to the environment, gradually introduce them to other territories. If there is another animal in the house, help them adjust and acclimatize to the other pet’s scent or presence.

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