All cats are individuals, have different backgrounds, genetics and experiences which all shape your cats’ behaviour. Knowing and observing your cat closely can reveal behavioural changes which might need intervention. The earlier you intervene the better it is for all.
It’s good to know your cat’s normal habits well, this way anything abnormal is quickly identified. Normal behaviour can include: your cat bringing gifts (birds, mice), drinking from the toilet, eating grass, meowing, finger licking, and having ‘cat attacks’ (especially in combination with catnip!).
Does your cat shows any of these behaviours, especially if recently and / or excessive in nature?
- Avoiding the litter box, urine marking or spraying, scratching, playing rough, compulsive behaviours, hyper nights/too much night time activity, excessive meowing, obsessive grooming, aggression.
These might be signs that something is stressing the cat.
Causes might be:
- Pain/ illness
- Social interaction with other pets
- Fear and need for safety
Knowing and removing the cause of stress is important to not let your cat suffer any further. Furthermore these behaviours may become habitual and hence a potential danger to either your cat(s) or yourself. First of all, it is necessary to rule out pain, illness and any medical problems (such as bladder stones, urinary tract diseases, crystals in the urine, arthritis, parasites like fleas or worms, being in heat) by seeing your veterinarian first.
There are certain external causes of stress which are quite common and cannot be avoided. Fireworks season comes with loud noises which can easily frighten pets. Holiday season might bring travelling and new surroundings or staying behind in an unknown surrounding (cattery) or with “new people” (such as a pet sitter).
For these temporary causes there are a wide range of helpers that can be useful to reduce these external stresses.
- Internal: oral remedies, for example Zylkene or KalmAid
- external: helpers such as pheromones Feliway or Pet Remedy
It is important to give the proper time for these therapies to work so please read the instructions carefully.