Do you own an anxious cat? You have probably at least met one in your life. Anxiety is common in cats (and dogs, coincidentally) but is often overlooked because of the various symptoms that can arise. In this article, we’ll tell you more about the following topics: What is cat anxiety? How can you spot anxiety in your cat? What causes it? Does your cat have separation anxiety? How can you treat cat anxiety? And how CBD oil is becoming a popular treatment to help calm pets.
What Is Anxiety in Cats?
Just as in humans, cats’ anxiety can reveal itself in numerous ways. PetMD defines three categories of anxiety:
- A phobia, which is an excessive and persistent fear of a particular stimulus.
- Fear, which is the intuitive feeling of anxiety that results from a person, situation, or object that seems to cause an external threat (either perceived or real).
- Anxiety is the anticipation of the potential dangers of imagined or unknown origin that cause normal bodily reactions related to fear.
The key difference is that anxiety is a continuing condition (whereas phobias and fear are temporary). As stated by PetMD, anxiety in cats mostly develops (between one and three years of age) early in social maturity.
How Can You Spot Anxiety in Your Cat?
Cat anxiety often triggers the development of harmful behaviors that the cat might not have displayed before; This can include scratching and clawing on furniture and curtains, respectively.
Similarly, habitual behaviors may become an issue for anxious cats. Repetition of behavior over and over again is the one termed as habitual behavior. This might reach a point where your cat is unintentionally causing harm to itself or something in its environment; for instance, repetitive grooming as bald spots develop.
Other signs include:
- Mood changes
- Failure to use the litter tray
- Excessive meowing
- Follow people around
- Change in weight and appetite
- Increased lethargy
What Causes Anxiety in Cats?
Various things may cause anxiety in cats. Events like moving home or accommodating a new member to your family can cause a sense of anxiety in cats.
Likewise, many cats might be anxious when past trauma gets triggered. In case your cat is adopted, try as much as possible to learn about its past care and history. This will help you avoid getting your pet in circumstances that might cause it to review a disturbing memory and cause anxiety. Rehoming cats numerous times in their lives leads to anxiety. Also, there is a relation amongst kittens that have not been mingled at an early age and more likelihood of developing anxiety.
Understand that any change in your cat’s environment or routine might result in anxiety. If you begin a new occupation and suddenly leave home at different intervals, this might be enough to make your cat uncomfortable and lead to separation anxiety.
Does Your Cat Have Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is common among cats that have experienced mistreatment in the past or have been relocated numerous times. However, it can develop in any pet regardless of its origin. This happens when a cat shows feline anxiety signs, particularly when separated from its owner or another close animal.
Cats experiencing separation anxiety will compulsively follow their owners between rooms and seek constant attention. When you are about to leave your home, they will recognize the signs and become distressed. They will hide, sulk, or express their displeasure vocally. When they are home alone, they might engage in destructive actions that they are generally unwilling to do, such as refusing to eat or not using the litter box.
How Can You Treat Cat Anxiety?
If you are concerned about your nervous feline, start making an appointment with your vet to exclude potential illnesses and ailments that might contribute to the symptoms. After that, try to get to the roots of the causes of anxiety. Here are methods you can use to control cat anxiety.
- Visit the veterinary to get medication for anxiety in cats
- Create a secure space
- Provide enrichment and playtime
- Clean the litter tray more often
- Try soothing pheromone diffusers
- Use natural relaxing supplements like CBD for pets
How CBD Oil Is Becoming a Popular Treatment to Help Calm Pets
Cannabidiol (CBD oil) is a natural constituent found in the cannabis plant. For thousands of years, cannabis has been used by people for ropes and medicinal purposes. Among the medicinal purposes is the relief of anxiety in pets and people. CBD oil functions by interacting with the endocannabinoid system; hence, naturally relieving and calming anxiety. The endocannabinoid system is a recently discovered complex biological system that is not yet well understood; however, you should be able to find CBD products geared for pets at your local pet store or online.