How to calm your cat down

Have you noticed your cat behaving strangely and appearing stressed? Similar to dogs, cats also suffer from anxiety, which can impact their health and the way they interact with you.

If you’re wondering how to calm down your cat when it’s anxious, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we explore the signs that suggest your cat is suffering from anxiety, before sharing top tips on how to calm your feline friend down.  

Whether it’s fireworks or thunderstorms that frighten your cat, we will ensure your courageous kitty isn’t a scaredy cat for long. Scared or anxious cats can bolt or act unpredictably, and this can increase the chances of having an accident - we believe every cat should be covered by a cat insurance policy to help cover any vets bills should the worst happen.

How do I know if my cat is stressed or nervous?

It’s not always easy to spot when your cat is feeling stressed. Cats can be remarkably good at hiding stress, but there are still some indicators that you can look out for.

Signs your cat is anxious include:

  • Freezing on the spot
  • Making themselves small or hiding
  • Running away
  • Puffing their fur and arching their back
  • Tucking their tail between their legs
  • Hissing
  • Biting or scratching
  • Not being able to reach the litter tray in time!

In most cases, you’ve got nothing to worry about if you’re noticing any of the signs above. However, if your cat is severely stressed and it’s causing more concerning symptoms, such as a blocked bladder, then you might want to speak to a vet.

How to calm your cat

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take at home to help make your kitty feel less stressed and anxious.

7 ways to calm your cat:

  1. Create a relaxing environment. Whether it’s ensuring they have a cosy bed and are warm or having access to toys and scratching posts, you want to make sure your cat is comfortable in its surroundings.
  2. Work out what triggers their anxiety. Try to find out what makes your cat scared. Once you know, you can remove any triggers and preempt when something is about to happen that causes anxiety.
  3. Give them space. Some cats like a fuss, whereas others prefer to be left alone. Make sure you respect your cat’s wishes.
  4. Put on the TV or play soft music. Cats have sensitive hearing, which means loud outside noises like fireworks can scare them. Try turning on the TV or playing music to drown out the noise outside and relax them.
  5. Stay calm. Cats are likely to pick up on your stress. So try to remain calm in front of them.
  6. Stick to a routine. All pets like routine, so make sure you’re consistent with your cat and don’t throw too many surprises their way.
  7. Introduce new things slowly. If you do make any changes to your home or adapt your cat’s daily routine, then make sure you approach any change with caution and act slowly.

If you find that none of the above advice works and your cat’s anxiety worsens, then make sure you speak to a vet.

Top Tip: Ensure your cat is microchipped - from 10 June 2024 it will be compulsory to have your cat microchipped from 20 weeks of age. This will increase the chances of your feline friend being reunited with you should they get scared and run away or get lost.

Tips for calming your cat at night

If you’re wondering how to calm a cat at night, then there are some specific night-friendly tips you can try.

3 ways to calm your cat at night:

  • Keep your bedroom door shut. Allowing your cat into your bedroom may seem like a cute idea, but it can prevent them from feeling tired and keep them in a playful mood.
  • Create a safe space for them to sleep. Make sure their bed and chosen space are as comfortable as possible and they feel safe.
  • Increase playtime during the day. Make sure they’re worn out every night by playing with them more during the day. Hopefully, this will make them exhausted come bedtime.

Calming your cat in the car

The next time you’re transporting your cat in the car, you can make sure it’s a stress-free ride by doing the following.

3 ways to calm your cat in the car:

  1. Take short test drives. Ensure they’re comfortable travelling in a car so it becomes second nature to them. The more familiar the car is, the less scary it should be.
  2. Give them treats. Like with humans, tasty treats can help to make sure your cat is content and purring all the way.
  3. Make sure they’re tired before they travel. Play with them the day of travel and before they get in the car to try and make them tired. Hopefully, they’ll then sleep for most of the journey.

How to soothe a cat in heat

Your cat will start to behave differently when in heat. You should follow the below steps to keep them calm and stress-free.

3 ways to soothe a cat in heat:

  1. Isolate them from male cats. Your cat will be more excitable in the presence of a male cat and run the risk of becoming pregnant if allowed to mate. Make sure she doesn’t try to escape your home and gets lost or injured.
  2. Use natural remedies and pheromones. Natural remedies like catnip, L-theanine, and Feliway can all help to keep your cat calm when in heat. Make sure you do your research before you buy.
  3. Keep their litter box clean. Cats may spray urine against vertical surfaces when they’re in heat to communicate with male cats. Try to keep their litter box clean to encourage them to use that instead. Not to mention the fact that a dirty litter box is unpleasant for your kitty!

Now you know more about how to calm down your cat, you should be better prepared to deal with any stress or anxiety they experience. 

Make sure you stick to the cat advice in this article to ensure they’re always feeling puuuurfect.

Looking for more cat advice?

We’ve written some handy cat advice guides, to help you unlock the secrets of your mysterious moggy.


Need cat insurance?

Cat insurance can help cover the cost of veterinary treatment if your cat gets injured or falls ill.


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