If you see any of these symptoms, check with your veterinarian to eliminate any medical problem. She still hadn’t eaten anything that night and seemed to sulk and not want to move off the chair. But, and this is important, stress affects more than just your blood sugar. It is important that you manage and reduce stress in your cat as much as you can because if your cat is stressed, they can become both emotionally and physically unwell and may develop physical illnesses as well as display problem behaviour. Tian Xu and others, "Stress Triggers.". All better . In some cases, stress can lead to the development of bladder stones or crystals, which can cause bleeding in … While this undesirable behavior may be caused by a variety of medical problems, it can also be caused or exacerbated by stress. But chronic stress can lead to health issues in your cat. If You're Feeling Stressed, So Is Your Cat, Copyright © 2021. If your stress is a result of the normal anxieties and worries about your career, being pregnant and what the future holds, there are things you can do to help yourself cope. What types of stress can affect people? Overly taxing situations can lead not only to mental distress but physical distress as well. Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. Note: I (not my hubby) was considered Jessie’s protector, her savior, her buddy, the one who cried trying to figure out what to do with her stray butt, who sat outside petting her every day for weeks, who attempted to find her a good home (for five weeks), before I convinced my husband maybe we could keep her, who did everything the vet recommended for her optimum health, who slept with her two nights on the cramped utility room floor while she recovered from her spaying and slept on the couch for another month to ensure I could hear her if she “acted up” in her safe room (utility room)…her protector. All better . Hiding is one of the most obvious signs that your cat is stressed but it's not the only one. Believe it or not, there are even pet-specific composers out there creating stress-busting music for pets! She remained sleeping in a cocoon of the blanket, on his lap, in his huge protective arms for the entire night. We assume no liability for any misuse of the information contained at this website. Supposedly, people who have pets live longer. We can’t control everything or everyone. Especially a cat that had only been inside our house two weeks and recently spayed. If your cat’s behavior changes suddenly in any way, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. I wouldn't be surprised. In my book, there is no such thing as a bad cat or inappropriate behavior. Potential causes that may result in a stressed cat are wide and varied. The emotional turmoil brought on by such difficulties as household financial problems, frequent job travel, marital differences, new babies and home remodeling can affect our cats in very tangible ways. There are many stressors that can significantly upset your cat, from loud noises to the death of a human companion. Stress can affect your period causing a condition known as Polymenorrhea. can stress affect my health much? It can affect your friendships and loved ones. I warned him that she’d get too hot under the blankets, let alone she never lounged on him and his recliner, and jump down soon. The cat is especially susceptible to pathological stress. Fortunately there’s a simple solution Feliway is an easy-to-use product that helps create a loving and comfortable home environment where your cat will spend more time with you. Depending on her stressors, your vet may prescribe medication and/or adjust her diet with therapeutic cat food, which can help relieve some urinary issues and get her on the path to feeling well again. When you think of what your cat goes through during the day do you ever thing of the possibility that she could also be affected by stress? I swear it was as if someone drugged her! We are not veterinarians. Yes: The effect of stress on a person's health is depends on the stress( severity, length, intensity and how you cope with the stress). While they don't get upset about the same things we do, our cats can experience chronic stress, which isn't good for them. Finding ways of coping with your stress now will help you whenever you find things getting tense. It’s good to note that stress and your cat’s health can be a two-way “Cause and Effect” game. Several times that afternoon into early evening I experienced anxiety attacks. Tian Xu, The Yale Cancer Center, and The Fudan-Yale Center for Biomedical Research, "Stress Triggers Tumor Formation,", 5. Cats are natural teachers and healers, and they really do love us that much. 2 doctor answers. Stress can lead to unhappy behaviour such as less interaction with you, hiding away, general mischief or even scratching or spraying. Heat stroke in cats is extremely dangerous and it can lead to multiple organ failure. When stress affects you, your behavior goes nutty, which signals to your cat something is wrong, then your cat could feel stressed, too! The information found at this website is meant for informational or entertainment purposes. Feliway can be used to spray in carriers before vet visits, in remodeled areas, in places where new pets or people are introduced, and any location where stress can occur. Feliway has been reported to increase appetite and food consumption in hospitalized cats as well as minimize cat stress in general and promote a feeling of well-being. How You Can Help Her. He told me to fetch her food and several times tried offering her the food, holding the bowl to her mouth. Here are a few things you can try to calm yourself down: Reduce your chores. When stress hits hard, your cat may even lose weight or groom themselves bald. Dr. Warren Kriedman answered. Not to the extent I’m medicated, not presently, although several times in my life I have taken meds to help me chill. Cats always have good reasons for what they do. If she’s lounging in a sunny window right now it’s probably hard to imagine that anything in her life could cause stress, but surprisingly, there are many events that can result in stress to your cat. In general, stress lowers a cat’s immunity to disease. By the next day, Jessie was perfectly normal again. (Part 2), What It’s Like Living in a Single Cat Household, Planning for Disasters to Protect Your Cat. TVs, iPods, video games, washing machines and dryers can all stress out noise-sensitive species, such as dogs and cats. Shortly after adopting Jessie Cat, perhaps two weeks into her living in the house, we went truck shopping for my husband. 47 years experience Psychiatry. We were worried and wondered if she was ill or even dying! So I did the zombie-thing and slept it off. His daily driver turned 18 years old and the rust holes were getting large enough for a cat to jump through! My heart raced, my head pounded and felt like it would pop (but no actual headache), my hands trembled and felt tingly numb, and I couldn’t take in deep breaths. (Part 1), Strays, Shelters, Adoption…What Can One Person Do? Plus, all those “things” I wasn’t getting done and when the heck would I get them done!? I proceeded to dive into the trenches and get as much of those chores done as possible, moving at the fastest human speed I could manage. For example, some cats and dogs may have the genetic coding for anxiety already present. We know it is bad for us. Once evening came, Jessie no longer acted normal (for her). Not. Very odd. How does stress affect my cat? We can keep their environment as calm and consistent as possible. Cats are … From an in-person conversation with feline veterinarian Dr. Fern Crist, September 2008. As responsible owners, we sometimes need to take a good look at ourselves when we ask why our pets are having problems. However, it can also be a disease with serious physical and behavioral repercussions. Stress in cats acts much the same way. Stress is unpleasant. The unnecessary anxiety I created in myself that spilled over to Jessie Cat. Tempers may fray with raised voices or children may become excessively lively and noisy. Well, nothing that is truly that important or critical at all…such as: making a grocery list, several loads of wash to do, preparing banking paperwork, and many other household chores. My cat has had a spotty history of getting signs of a urinary tract infection but it seems that most of the time it is diagnosed as FLUTD. I’m a very scheduled person. Stress can have negative physical and mental on cats, and it can negatively affect their relationships with other pets and humans in the home. When stress affects you, your behavior goes nutty, which signals to your cat something is wrong, then your cat could feel stressed, too! Things that may not seem stressful to a person can be perceived as extremely stressful by a cat, and the cat's physiological reaction to the stressors can manifest as illness. Designed by Shape5.com, A Diet for Your Cat's Urinary and Kidney Health, Buckley's Story, Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher, Cardiovascular Reactivity and the Presence of Pets, Friends, and Spouses: The Truth About Cats and Dogs, A Pilot Study Using Synthetic Feline Facial Pheromone for the Management of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis. So, it was a bit spur of the moment the day hubby planned on making a truck purchase. A pet who is exhibiting such behavior likely already had some propensity for the behavior. Here you can find how to relieve menstrual cramps without medication. A psychological trigger may be to blame, like a traumatic experience, lack of proper socialization or a history of abuse or neglect. Just remember it’s possible that having a sustained stress level can negatively affect your cat as my anxiety had done to Jessie. Obviously, I would need to tag along and drive our current vehicle back home if/when he bought a new truck since he’d be driving that one home. Plus, I worried about a newly spayed cat stuck in the utility room (which is actually her safe room-huge-all decked out) and what trouble she was getting into. Stress affects our cats in much the same way it affects us. The cat is more prone to contract diseases such as feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). It had been quite a few years since I had any attacks that were of that caliber; I was familiar with the sensations. She didn’t get excited and eat her freshly set-out food. If temperatures rise above 108° F then it could be fatal. At least that’s what we honestly believe. Stress and Your Cat… My Personal Story. With zero zest, she pushed the food around with her nose and ate a mouthful here and there. By the time we arrived home with hubby’s shiny new truck, my mind wasn’t even excited about it. Some call them panic attacks. Even a small change in routine can cause painful health issues like cystitis (inflammation within the bladder) in some cats. Doing this will almost always calm my frantic brain. Cat eating disorders are mainly caused by stress, since stress directly affects eating habits.. A stressed cat can completely lose their apetite and even become malnourished. It can affect our ability to process thought, our daily routines and sometimes even result in serious health conditions. Stress has been identified as a significant component of (or trigger for) most common cat behaviour problems and some common diseases. Some are wonderful, some terrible, some neutral but suck our time. Well there is actually quite a lot in modern life that can cause stress and different factors such as genetics and socialization can influence how well each individual copes with these. Cats pick up on our emotions, often before we ourselves have identified them. Dr. Fern Crist, of The Cat Hospital of Fairfax, Virginia: "As a veterinarian, I frequently see cats that are urinating outside the litterbox. But it can just as easily be the owner's stress. Your cat more than likely knows it, too! Eating disorders can also affect cats, albeit for very different reasons to those in humans. Cats do not show their emotions as overtly as some other species and tend to withdraw and become quiet rather than ‘act out’ their anxieties. Now, go rub your kitty and soak up a mental chill pill from the experience! The cycle of stress. And on the flip side, a health issue can be the primary cause of your cat’s stress. Some of our cats most common causes of stress include: 1. visiting strangers or a new baby 2. competition for resources such as food, water or litter trays 3. other cats both in the house or neighborhood 4. a chang… It can also negatively affect a person's behavior and relationships. If your cat is experiencing urinary stress, a visit to the vet is likely needed. As responsible owners, we sometimes need to take a good look at ourselves when we ask why our pets are having problems. Caregivers are more likely to have symptoms of depression & anxiety; have higher levels of stress hormones; are more likely to have long-term medical problems such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or arthritis; have weaker immune responses to the flu vaccine; have slower wound healing, etc. My human, Gina, was a mess that particular day and it made me feel all yucky and kind of scared. Life is a madhouse though. Extreme heat is dangerous to a cat; on the other hand, extreme cold can also bring severe complications to a feline’s body and organs. You probably know it. Surprises pop up. Even worse, stress and anxiety can affect your cat’s health negatively, manifesting itself in a variety of ways including illnesses like cystitis and inappropriate elimination. Cat anxiety may be caused by pain or illness, exposure to something toxic or infectious diseases that affect the nervous system. Cats are sensitive by nature. (If a veterinarian or other certified professional is interviewed or submits valuable information, we will state that fact.) I definitely know it. Another tip that I practice with my own pets is to play low-volume classical music when they’re home alone. “More importantly, our stress can also influence the development of actual physical illness in our cats as well as in ourselves. This unhealthy situation holds true for all cats. Changes in temperature: extreme cold. 1. This unhealthy situation holds true for all cats. As responsible owners, we sometimes need to take a good look at ourselves when we ask why our pets are having problems. Existing cats learn your routines and personality and again sense when you’re ready to explode. Stress can cause urinary tract disease and changes in your cat’s pH. We as humans know how unsettling stress can feel. According to veterinarian Lorie Huston, she found that her cat suffered from grief and stress after the loss of a household pet. Some stressed cats also have a tendency to eat compulsively and not be able to stomach the food, before vomiting. It can raise your blood pressure. Karen Allen, PhD, Jim Blascovich, PhD, Wendy B. Mendes, MS, ", 4. – Oh…I’m so dedicated!). If you see that your cat is getting stressed then make sure that it has … But what do cats have to be stressed about? Watch for the signs of chronic stress, like changes in your cat’s appetite or sleeping patterns, a drop in energy, or withdrawal. Sometimes even a minor change in the environment, such as moving a piece of furniture, can cause stress. For me, that’s daily. So I did the zombie-thing and slept it off. Having to stay indoors at the moment is stressful for us. So we know that our cats help us be less stressed. My hubby gathered her in his arms, sat in his recliner with a blanket and encouraged her to snuggle into the blanket with his arms more or less holding her. Most often, you’ll notice your cat’s PrettyLitter has turned blue, which means your cat’s urine is more alkaline than normal. About Cats, New Cat How-tos, Care and Behavior. I felt on edge during the entire outing as my day was filled to the brim with other “things” I normally would have been doing if we weren’t truck shopping. We are not attempting to diagnose or correct health and behavioral problems or to take the place of a professional veterinarian. "Humans who suffer from anxiety are known to pace or have difficulty sitting still, and this is true in cats as well. You wonder what were such important “things” I had been pulled away from working on that day? And my stress made her sick. Sometimes the anxiety manifests due to the animal entering a certain developmental stage in life. Cat stress can cause unusual feline behavior. Here's what you need to know about the stressors that can make your cat feel crazy, and the symptoms of cat stress. This additional noise and activity may affect your cat. Do You Care to Snare the Hair Instead of Wear? Even if she appears fine (or sleeping), I keep myself from freaking out over something or do not let a high level of panic last for very long. Cat Hair Everywhere. I look back on that day and night and realize how crazy I behaved. We live on “overload” most of the time. I try to take advantage of Jessie Cat’s medicinal-like, soothing, always free and freely-offered qualities and abilities to help me relax now. And, of course, guess what happened? How to Recognize Stress in Your Cat . I’ve read and heard that pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and comfort people who are sick, lonely or in pain. New cats are tense to begin with and add to that your agitated emotions that kitty can sense. Then her behavior alarmed us more so as we settled down to watch two television shows (I still didn’t have all the chores done, but didn’t want to miss my favorite shows! The entire process of the vehicle purchase took much longer than I anticipated. No person can “give” their pet anxiety or depression. If she wasn’t better by morning, I would call the vet. Surely most of them live a pretty cushy life with their every whim catered for. Sometimes, it may take something as drastic as a beloved cat getting sick before we make the necessary changes to take better care of ourselves. Any time I feel stressed (which is often), I try to keep it toned down. For both parties involved – you and your cat! By morning I was starving and she acted much better and loved on me like I might fall off the face of the earth! 6. By morning I was starving and she acted much better and loved on me like I might fall off the face of the earth! But did you know that it doesn't just make you sick, it can also make your cat sick? Jessie appeared sick and completely out of it! Stomach pain can also increase when women suffer from stress. One of the most important ways in which we can help our cats is by managing our own stress level. Stress and anxiety can have debilitating effects on a human's health. Caregiver Stress: Yes, caregiver stress can affect health. Hopefully, many people will turn to their cats for comfort and flip off the switch on stress. Jessie Cat says: My human, Gina, was a mess that particular day and it made me feel all yucky and kind of scared. Jessie Cat had stayed on a chair, mostly snoozing, during my intense “flying around the house trying to get everything caught up” phase. Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. What's most disconcerting, however, is that when your cat is stressed or anxious, it can impact his or her health. Perhaps these cats make their stress evident in order to get us to change our ways? There is such a thing as unappreciated behavior. While that may not always be realistic, there are things people can do to minimize the effect of environmental stress on cats. Stress relief for pet owners won't solve every pet health problem, but can go a long way toward alleviating many of them.". Just as we feel stress from new surroundings, new schools or jobs, or changes in our relationships, so do our cats. But for someone with my wacky brain, when I can’t get through my many, many, varied checklists and get things done when I want them done, I can spin out of control. This is because they feel the need to exercise full control over their environment. I have ADHD and OCD. Stress, like any other illness, needs to … So what can we do to help keep our cats' lives as stress-free as possible? Hissing, running away, growling, scratching items, and eliminating outside the litter box can be other signs of stress in your cat and should not be ignored, especially if they are occurring regularly. This occurs when a woman has short cycles or cycles lasting less than 21 days, leading in some cases to light menstruation twice a month. It can affect your muscles and bones. It may be the cat's stress, such as having a new cat to adjust to in the house. Environmental stresses are also a factor in cats being infected by the feline leukemia virus. New cats are tense to begin with and … Using sprays or plug-ins containing pheromones can have a calming effect on the environment, and help with situations involving inter-cat aggression, introducing a new cat or baby to the household or any other issues that can be viewed as a disruption of normal routine by the cat. Not only can it exacerbate existing physical conditions, but it can lead to a number of problems often considered behavioral, such as litter box avoidance, aggressive behavior, or depression and … More importantly, our stress can also influence the development of actual physical illness in our cats as well as in ourselves. Stress is an adaptive mechanism intended to ensure survival in dangerous situations. Stress and anxiety just happen. So high blood sugar is just one of the negative impacts of stress. More importantly, our stress can also influence the development of actual physical illness in our cats as well as in ourselves. Just as with humans, stress can cause a wide variety of health issues in cats by compromising their immune system. In fact, I glance at Jessie to see if she is reacting to my behavior. Feline Nutrition Foundation. Strays, Shelters, Adoption…What Can One Person Do? Environmental stress can … I immediately flew into the house to check on Jessie Cat, who was perfectly fine. “Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. Many times I will go to her, pet her silky hair, place my forehead against hers and tell her how much I love her.