Tips to Help Cats De-stress

Stressed Cat

If you notice a change in the behaviour of your cat such as over-grooming, pacing or excessive verbalising then it may be stressed. Minimise stress in cats with the following tips:

  1. Check their health. Your cat may be suffering due to pain.
  2. Keep to a routine. Cats constantly asses risks, so cut out any unexpected circumstances that they may feel are threatening. When making changes, try to introduce cats to it gradually.
  3. Provide adequate space. Perhaps the cat needs a larger litter tray, scratching post or bed, or maybe they do not have easy access to the outdoors. Check the cat flap to ensure that it is opening and closing correctly. Remember to keep the litter tray in a private area, away from food and drink.
  4. Alleviate competition. Think about the number of cats you own and those that are in the neighbourhood. The pressure to keep their own territory may be stressing them, especially if they are constantly fighting with housemates.
  5. Provide varied activities. Cats enjoy keeping active and tend to get bored easily if indoors. Give them plenty of toys to play with, such as tall scratching posts, moving toys, or the Ancol Cat Playground. Also ensure that there is a lot of climbing space. Some people have even developed their homes to include high shelving and hammocks specifically for their cats.
  6. Give extra places to find food or drink. Cats prefer hunting for food rather than finding it in the same place as this mimics the wild.
  7. Offer hiding places. If a cat is stressed, they may want time alone where they cannot be disturbed. Clear out spaces on top of wardrobes, bookcases and under beds for their use.
  8. Have multiple sleeping options. Some cats enjoy varying where they sleep, so ensure that you provide bedding in a few key areas. These should be elevated if possible and near heat sources, particularly for Siamese or Burmese cats who lose heat easily. Some cats prefer sleeping in front of windows or surveying the area and if so, they may like the Windowsill Cat Pad.
  9. Give cats space. They will come to you when they want attention, and when they do, give them your whole attention and play for as long as they want.
  10. Block out loud noises. It may be that the television or music is too loud as cats have very sensitive hearing. If the road traffic is noisy outside, provide a warm, safe place for the cat to hide in an interior room.
  11. Natural remedies. If the above does not help, try cat pheromones or herbal remedies to help alleviate stress such as Feliway or Serene-UM.

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