Cats are notorious for being one of the most laid-back animals around. But even cats can get stressed out, especially when they’re new to a home or when there are changes in their environment. If your cat seems to be constantly anxious or stressed, here are 11 tips to help reduce her anxiety and make her life a little easier:
#1 – Create a Safe Haven
Provide your cat with a quiet place to retreat to when they feel overwhelmed or stressed. This could be a small room, closet, or even just a corner of the house where they can feel hidden away from the hustle and bustle.
A safe haven is a place where your cat can go to feel secure and relaxed. It should be a quiet area with few people or other animals around. It should also be free from any loud noises or bright lights. Some examples of safe havens include a bedroom, bathroom, or laundry room.
#2 – Give Them Plenty of Vertical Space
Cats feel safest when they are up high, where they can see everything happening around them. This is why you often see cats perched atop bookshelves or high furniture.
Provide your cat with plenty of vertical space, such as cat trees or perches, to help them feel more secure. You can also create DIY cat shelves using inexpensive materials like PVC pipes or boards.
#3 – Encourage Them to Scratch
Scratching is a natural instinct for cats. It helps them stretch their muscles and mark their territory. However, some cats scratch furniture out of anxiety or boredom.
Encourage your cat to scratch appropriate objects, such as scratching posts or pads. Make the surface more appealing by sprinkling catnip on it or attaching a toy.
You can also deter your cat from scratching furniture by covering it with double-sided tape or foil. However, this is only a temporary solution and you should still provide an appropriate scratching outlet.
#4 – Play Games Together
Playing games with your cat is a great way to reduce their stress and anxiety. It also strengthens the bond between you and your feline friend.
There are many different games you can play, such as fetch, hide-and-seek, or laser tag. Just make sure the games are safe for your cat and that you supervise them at all times.
You can also give your cat puzzle toys to keep them mentally stimulated. These toys often come in the form of a treat dispenser, which will give your cat a sense of accomplishment when they figure it out.
#5 – Make Sure They Have Enough Food and Water
One of the main causes of stress in cats is hunger. Make sure your cat always has enough food and water. This will help reduce their anxiety and keep them healthy.
You should also feed your cat small meals throughout the day instead of one large meal. This will help prevent them from getting too full or feeling sick after eating.
If you feed your cat dry food, make sure to always have a bowl of fresh water available. Cats are prone to dehydration, so it’s important to keep them hydrated.
#6 – Keep Their Litter Box Clean
Cats are very clean creatures and they hate having a dirty litter box. Make sure to scoop their litter box every day and change the litter completely every week.
If your cat’s litter box is too dirty, it may start going to the bathroom outside of the box. A dirty litter box can be one of the biggest sources of stress for cats, so make sure it’s cleaned out regularly.
#7 – Reduce Noise and Activity Levels
Cats are sensitive to noise and activity levels. If your home is particularly chaotic or there’s construction going on outside, your cat may become anxious.
Try to keep noise and activity levels down as much as possible. This may mean keeping the television off or avoiding loud music. You should also create hiding spots for your cat to retreat to when they feel overwhelmed.
#8 – Give Your Cat Plenty of Attention
Cats thrive on attention and interaction with their guardians. If you work long hours or are often away from home, your cat may become anxious.
Make sure to give your cat plenty of attention when you are home. Spend time playing with them, petting them, and just talking to them. This will help reduce their stress and make them feel more secure.
#9 – Visit the Vet Regularly
Regular vet check-ups are important for all pets, but they can be especially helpful for anxious cats.
Your vet can check for any underlying health conditions that could be causing your cat’s anxiety and provide you with guidance on how to best manage their stress. They may also recommend medication or other treatments if necessary.
Bringing your cat to the vet regularly will also help them get used to the environment and staff, which can make future visits less stressful.
#10 – Try Natural Remedies
There are a number of natural remedies that can help reduce your cat’s anxiety and stress.
Some popular options include using pheromone diffusers or sprays, giving your cat Bach flower essences, and using herbs such as chamomile and lavender.
You can also try making your own calming catnip tea by steeping dried catnip in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Let it cool before giving it to your cat to drink.
#11 – Consider Medication If Necessary
If your cat’s anxiety is severe and not responding to behavioral modification or natural remedies, your vet may prescribe medication.
There are several types of medication that can be used to treat anxiety in cats, including anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants. The type of medication prescribed will depend on the severity of the anxiety and other factors.
Medication can be an effective treatment for anxiety, but it’s important to work with your vet to find the right medication and dosage for your cat. Some medications can have side effects, so it’s important to monitor your cat closely after starting them on medication.
Whether your cat is dealing with a change in routine, loud noises, or new people and animals, there are ways to help them feel more comfortable. Hopefully, the tips we’ve provided have given you some ideas on how to reduce your cat’s anxiety and stress.
If you need more advice or have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help! Do you have any go-to methods for reducing your kitty’s anxiety? Let us know in the comments below!