Animal Friends Blog
Our little tigers can be quite sensitive souls and can suffer from anxiety brought on by the smallest of things, such as a slight change to your living room (maybe you didn’t like the new lamp where it was?) or you’ve moved the litter tray. To some cats, who are extremely territorial, this change is significant and can lead to increased stress levels.
There are a number of tells for a stressed cat, even though they will try give their best poker face, we recommend dealing with them sooner rather than later, as with human’s stress in cats can lead to mental and physical illnesses.
To help you identify the signs, we’ve put together a list of 10 symptoms to watch out for in the future:
This can be a sign of stress, but could also mean a variety of other things, like simply your cat’s digestive system doesn’t agree with their food, in which case it is best to change their food… if the problem persists a visit to the vet might be the best option.
Bald or sore patches
This can be a cause of over grooming which is a clear sign of stress, it would be best to monitor your little tiger as something else might also be causing the lack of fur i.e. fleas, fights.
Cats are the best at tricking us for an extra portion of food, but one of the key signs of stress is the lack of appetite. Has your little tiger stopped eating their favourite food?
Crouching or looking tense
Some cats will make themselves as small as possible, this is a clear sign of stress… or they’re readying themselves to pounce, best to monitor before you make a judgement call.
Have you noticed your little tiger’s absence? Sometimes a stressed cat will make themselves scarce, you might find them hiding under the bed… if this is normal behaviour do not worry, but if this is mixed with any other symptoms on this list they might be suffering from stress.
Sometimes we love our little tigers so much we just want to cuddle them. They will let you know if they’re not enjoying it. Some cats love the close attention, however, some cats will either bite, meow or scratch to get away… if that’s the case, let them go, otherwise their stress levels will rise, and this could lead to aggression.
Wide eyed and dilated pupils
This can be mistaken for an amorous happy look from cats but partnered together with the widened eyes this could mean your little tiger is stressed about something.
Reluctance to go outside
Most cats are a frequent visitor to the outside world but one day they decide it’s not for them, this could also be a sign of stress. Many things could cause this but the most common are scraps with other cats they want to avoid, something may have happened to them out there, or they’ve sensed something not quite right, like someone walking a dog, a new car etc. However, they just might not like the weather.
Visitors in their domain
Where cats are quite solitary and territorial, a stranger in their home can cause high levels of stress. If your little tiger is happy and social, they will probably enjoy the extra company and make you or the visitor aware they are happy to interact. If they are not looking for any additional attention, make your visitor aware and ask them to be patient as they make their way towards them. And tell your visitor not to worry about the staring… your little tiger is just making a judgement call on whether to interact or not – a pocket full of treats might help them settle down.
Pacing and loud meowing
Some cats will be quite forthcoming with their increased stress. If your little tiger is seen pacing around and meowing in the house, this could be a cause of stress.
With all these indicators you will hopefully be armed to handle anything that comes your way. Remember, it could be the smallest of things right down to a distaste for their food that could increase their stress levels, but we recommend finding the cause of this increase and dealing with it as soon as possible.
There will be some things you can do at home to help manage increased stress levels, but sometimes a vet can help with the more physical symptoms such as loss of appetite, bald or sore patches and diarrhoea. No matter what, there will always be someone available to help.
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