15 Signs That Your Cat Might Be Stressed

Like us, cats can experience feelings of stress that can cause them serious internal distress. As owners, we should learn to recognize the signs and mitigate the underlying cause, especially if the cause is a health problem. If a cat suffers from stress for a period of time, this can have a serious effect on its overall health and well-being.

Cats are very good at masking stress and some clues are quite subtle. So here are 14 signs that your cat may be stressed out for you to watch and act accordingly, especially if it appears suddenly.

1. Spraying or disposal outside the litter box

Stressed cat’s area unit is legendary to avoid victimization in their litter boxes. So if your cat, who usually uses the box all the time, suddenly goes elsewhere, stress may well be the cause.

Spraying or urinating around your home is a sure sign that everything is not going well. If your cat has not been spayed or neutered, it may be time to talk to your veterinarian about the operation. However, if your cat has already been cured, there will be another cause for this antisocial habit. He may feel the urge to mark his territory because he noticed a strange cat through a window, but on some occasions, he may have developed a urinary tract infection (UTI). So, if it becomes more than a one-time event, beware of a visiting cat and visit your veterinarian.

If your cat starts defecating outside her litter box, it may be for a variety of reasons. In a multi-cat house, another cat that first uses the box can put the second cat away by using it. Your cat may also have difficulty getting into the box due to advanced age or injury, or may not like the position of the box. If you have recently moved it, move it back or try a new position if necessary.

Keeping the litter as clean as possible really helps. Having at least two litter boxes in a household with several cats is also a good idea. If you’re not a fan of litter boxes and don’t like the idea of having more than one in your home, try a hidden box.

2. Hiding

Signs that your cat may be stressed
Cats sometimes like quiet places out of sight, but if your cat suddenly hides much more and doesn’t emerge when you try to soften her up, stress could be a major factor. If you have recently introduced a new pet into the house, this could be the cause. Sometimes older cats hide because of an imaginary danger caused by the onset of feline cognitive dysfunction (FCD). If the cover-up lasts more than a day, you should take your cat to the vet for an examination.

3. Excessive grooming

Most cats groom several times a day, but not to the point of removing excessive hair. If your cat seems to groom all the time and especially if baldness spots begin to appear, it is likely that something is stressing him out. Sometimes it is a new animal that causes your cat to feel insecure and you will need to work on installing your existing cat. Do it as soon as possible, as your cat may develop an excessive grooming habit that she has had to give up. Your cat may also have a health problem causing skin irritation, so it may be necessary to go to the vet.

4. Excessive Shedding

If you notice that your cat is losing much more hair than you thought for the time of year, stress could certainly be a contributing factor. Consider if there is anything in your cat’s environment that makes him/her worry and try to eliminate this trigger. Excessive molting can also be caused by poor nutrition, infection or allergy. It is therefore recommended to seek the advice of your veterinarian.

5. Changing sleep patterns

Cats can sleep quietly for up to 18 hours a day. This behavior is not unusual.

If your cat suddenly starts sleeping much more than usual, he may be under stress. Loneliness and boredom can be the cause, so try to play and interact much more with your cat to reduce these feelings. Give her lots of toys and scratch posts to enrich her environment.

If your cat sleeps significantly less than usual, it is also a sign of stress. Agitation and inability to relax means that something may be troubling your cat.

6. Decreased or lost appetite

It is worrying when cats stop eating because they can dehydrate so quickly because they get a lot of fluids from their food (assuming they don’t follow a dry food diet only). Just as we lose our appetite when we feel nervous about an exam or driver’s license, cats can lose theirs when they are stressed. So, if you notice that your cat is barely eating or stopping eating, ask yourself if there is anything in his environment that could stress him and try to eliminate the problem. This is not always easy, especially if the cause is a new pet.

7. General lethargy

Signs that your cat may be stressed
If your cat becomes abnormally lazy and hesitates to play or move so much, stress may be the cause. Lethargy is a common symptom of stress and boredom can be the problem. Again, an enriched environment and game is the key to curing this type of stress. This simple Cat Dancer is one of the simplest toys for any cat. It has thousands of positive opinions from satisfied customers and offers excellent value for money.

8. Excessive focus

If your cat mews, screams or “talks” much more than usual, especially when he can’t see you, then be careful because something may be wrong. In older cats, memory problems can lead to this type of behavior. Being alone in the dark can disorient and stress cats. Consider using nightlights from sunrise to sunset that plug into wall outlets such as these (opens in a new window). They are perfect to ensure that your cat is never left completely in the dark. They’re cheap to run too.

If your cat vocalizes and seems to be suffering or sick, don’t take any risks and go directly to the vet. If the excessive vocalizations continue for a few days, even if there are no obvious symptoms of illness, take your cat for a general check-up.

9. Increased aggressiveness

Signs that your cat may be stressed
If your cat becomes aggressive or shows an increase in her usual level of aggression towards people or other pets, then stress may well be to blame. In many cases, aggression does not target the cause of stress. The pain of an injury or illness can cause this unwanted behavior, so don’t ignore it. Check carefully if your cat shows signs of injury or anything unusual – a trip to the vet could be on the cards.

10. Skittish and Nervous Behavior

Stress can make a cat nervous and nervous with the people with whom he is usually comfortable. If your cat is suddenly more easily frightened and runs a mile when you enter the room, then something worries him. As usual, try to eliminate the cause if it is obvious – it may not be. A pet camera may be worth investing in because it will capture the events that happen when you are away from home – you may find out what is bothering your cat.

11. High heart rate

Stress can cause a high heart rate in cats. So if your cat’s heart rate is high (more than 220 beats per minute when resting), stress or other medical problems could be the cause. You can measure your cat’s heart rate by placing one hand on her left side, just behind her front paw. Count the number of beats in fifteen seconds and multiply by four to induce the center rate in beats per minute (bpm). If your cat’s heart rate is over 220 bpm and rest does not lower it, do not take any risks – go directly to your vet.

12. Dilated pupils

Signs that your cat may be stressed
The size of a cat’s pupils increases and decreases with the amount of light. If your cat is in broad daylight and her pupils are oversized, this is a sign that she is feeling stressed and often this type of stress is caused by pain. Keep an eye on your cat and if her pupils don’t diminish fast enough, you should really go to the vet.

13. Tail folded between the legs

An assured and happy cat holds its tail high. A stressed cat often keeps his tail low, his tail went between his legs.

14. Diarrhea or constipation

The stress caused by a change in your cat’s environment can often cause changes in the stool. So if you notice that your cat has diarrhea or constipation for more than a day, chances are your cat will feel stressed. If you have just moved or refurbished the furniture in your current home, this could be the cause. If your cat does not settle in after a few days, ask your vet for advice.

15. Excessive scratching

Signs that your cat may be stressed
Cats scratch if they have fleas or skin problems, but stress can also cause them to scratch excessively for no apparent reason. If your cat does not have fleas and other obvious skin problems, he may feel stressed and you will need to determine why.

Now that you know what could be a symptom of stress, the most difficult task to accomplish is to eliminate the cause.