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by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Cat Stress

Stress Defined:
"The difference between what is, and how we think it should be."


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Feline Stress Factors

What is it?

Feline stress can be caused by physical or emotional discomfort. Cats tend to respond with stress to changes in the environment such as moving furniture, new furniture, new people or pets, people yelling, or too much household activity.

Always rule out medical causes of stress or any sudden behavior changes by a visit to the veterinarian and diagnostic tests. If your cat gets a clean bill of health,
then most likely, the stress is coming from something or someone in the home environment or just outside the home such as new cats in the neighborhood hanging out around your house.
When observing any sudden behavior changes, or any other signs of stress, always start by ruling out medical causes by a visit to the veterinarian and diagnostic tests.

How do know if a cat is stressed?

Your cat's body language will tell you if he or she is stressed versus relaxed and happy. Pay attention to ears, mouth, and tail. Ears back and a low or twitching tail are signs of stress as is panting or an open-mouthed cat.

What are possible causes feline stress?
  • Fleas or any medical condition

  • New cat seen in the neighborhood

  • New cat heard in the neighborhood

  • Change or work schedule of people

  • New baby

  • New or rearranged furniture

  • New scent in the house

  • Someone raised their voice in the last 4 hours

  • Insufficient opportunity to exercise

How do know if a cat is stressed?

  • Overeating

  • Not eating

  • Displaced grooming

  • Inappropriate urination or defecation

  • Aggression

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