You Okay, Honey? 7 Signs that Your Cat is Stressed Out

If your cat is acting weird—well, weirder than normal—it could be because she is stressed out.

Do cats experience stress?

Of course they do!

Like humans, cats can have anxiety that is caused by a number of things. 

Fireworks. A new family member. A move to a new home. Thunderstorms. Humans leaving them for vacation.

You get the idea. Any change or noise or disruption to their precious routine can cause your cat to become anxious and experience stress. 

How do you know if a cat is stressed out?

Great question.

Cat stress can manifest itself in a number of different ways, but some of the most common signs include:

Your cat is being extra clingy.

I’m talking level-five obsessed with you, won’t-leave-your-side clingy. If this is the case, your cat may be experiencing stress, including separation anxiety

Your cat is sleeping less.

This is the equivalent of a human staying up all night worried about work or the family. When a cat is stressed out, her body and mind have a hard time relaxing enough to get into a deep sleep.

Your cat is not using her litter box.

A lot of cats who have stress will stop using their litter box. If this is happening to your cat, please take her to the vet ASAP to rule out any dangerous infections that could be causing this behavior or even the stress itself.

Your cat is eating more.

Or less. Changes to eating habits can be a sure sign that your cat is experiencing mood changes. My kitty, Belle, becomes ravenous when she is stressed out, while others will stop eating altogether. 

Your cat is being destructive.

This is an especially important sign to keep an eye out for. Depending on the type of damage your cat is creating, it could become dangerous for her. Rainbow will tear apart paper to get her point across, which is relatively harmless, but some cats can—and do—destroy much worse.

Your cat is meowing excessively. 

When your cat talks to you, you need to listen. If she starts to cry out more than usual it could be a sign that she is worried about something.

Your cat is picking fights with you or other animals.

Your cat probably won’t be her sweet, innocent self when she is stressed out. Have patience with her, and try your best to keep her away from anyone she could hurt until she is feeling better.

Every cat is different.

Now, hear meow-t. This isn’t a complete list by any means, and your cat may show one, two, all, or none of these symptoms. Each kitty is an individual and needs to be treated like one—that includes taking them to the vet any time they are experiencing a behavioral change to rule out medical problems.

Help her out with stress relief for cats. 

If your vet gives you the all-clear, you can then begin to start helping your cat relieve her stress in healthy ways. Maybe she needs to spend more time playing with you. Maybe she needs her own space in your house where no other animals will bother her. Maybe she could benefit from a dose of feline-approved holistic CBD oil. Work with your vet—and your furbaby—to find a solution that helps give your cat happiness and peace. 

I know a lot about cats, but I’m not a veterinarian. Please don’t take any of the statements I give as medical advice and do always consult your trusted vet, especially if your cat is experiencing behavioral challenges.

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