Cats appear so easy going and independent. A full bowl of food, a sunny window, fun things to pounce on are the essentials of a happy kitty life. However, cats can suffer from stress and there will be subtle signs that your kitty may need some relief. What causes stress and what can we do to help?
Cats don’t like change and any deviation from their normal, everyday routine can be bothersome. The change can be small and appear insignificant (different type of litter in the box, changing the clocks at daylight savings time, rearrangement of the living room furniture) to larger events (change in the family dynamics when children go back to school, introduction of a new pet into the family, relocating to a new home) but to your kitty any of these events can trigger anxiety. There are things you can do to help them through difficult times.
1 – Keep Their Routine Consistent
Don’t let changes in your routine cause changes in your cat’s.daily life. Kitty does not need a watch to tell them when it is meal time. If you feed your cat scheduled meals, keep the times consistent. Although you may eat dinner later in the summer because of a different family schedule, your cat won’t understand the reason behind the change. All they know is their meal is not there as usual, creating a stressful situation.
If you will no longer be available to feed at the same time mask any change so it will not effect your cat. Either gradually shift mealtime to an earlier, or later, time or leave kitty’s food in its usual spot for them to find when they come looking for dinner.
2 – Introduce New Things Gradually
Litter boxes are very important a cat and if there is a change in the litter or location of the box can be traumatizing. If a change in type of litter is necessary, introduce the new litter by first mixing the two types together and gradually adding more of the new type until the new one is the only one in the box.
If you must change the location of the box let your kitty know where it is. Once the box is in its new location, gently bring kitty to the new box location and place them in so they will make the connection that it is the same box, just in a different spot.
Introductions to new furry family members should be done slowly and on your kitty’s own terms. When introducing another pet into the family, at first have the new arrival safely in a carrier. This way, introductions can be made in a non-threatening manner.
3 – Provide Tools for Stress Relief
Sometimes stressful situations can’t be avoided and maybe kitty needs something to help them through the tough times. When relocating to a new home, the Kitty Comfort Mat can help with the transition. The Kitty Comfort Mat is small soft, fuzzy blanket for your cat’s sleeping area. Cats love the feel of a soft fuzzy surface and, when they find one, they will happily knead with their paws and purr. It fits perfectly in the bottom of any carrier and can act as a familiar comfort that will help alleviate anxiety. Visit Paw Print Island Pet Boutique at http://www.etsy.com/shop/PawPrintIsland for a variety of sizes, styles and colors.
Be aware of subtle changes that will let you know that your cat is feeling stressed. Litter box issues, a change in eating habits, and excessive grooming are all warning signs of stress. With your help, and lots of love and attention, kitty will maintain the stress-free easy going life they enjoy.