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To see a furry friend in distress is enough to set off any feline lover. Worry not dear, because help is at hand.
Cats can be particularly sensitive creatures and their stress triggers could be any one or more of the following; changes in the usual brand of pet food, filthy litter box, relocating homes, newcomers or new additions, presence of strange animals in the vicinity of the house, loud sounds, repair work being carried out in the house, inability to find a safe spot in the house. These stressors could be enough to trigger anxiety or stress symptoms in some humans as well.
Cats are mistakenly thought of as reclusive creatures, however the incidence of stress can be deciphered by watching out for the following symptoms:
1. Urinating outside the litter box: Cats are pretty clean creatures, however if they start literally “messing” around, it should ring warning bells. Instead of freaking out, try to understand the underlying factors triggering the said reaction, such as change in the orientation of furniture in the house etc.
2. Decrease in appetite: Cats don’t usually go crash dieting and prefer to be a little curvaceous than a size zero. If they start picking on the food and start rejecting the stuff they once gorged on, it could be a symptom of an underlying health condition or stress.
3. Isolation: Cats are playful, jolly creatures as opposed to being introverts. If your happy ball of fur, refuses to come out of hiding and fetch that yarn of wool, it could be an indication of its inability to adjust to some stressor.
4. Excessive grooming: Licking away to feline glory is a characteristic feature of kitties however, grooming to the extent of insane, unstoppable licking or going bald is a sure shot indication of an underlying problem.
5. Aggression towards people or other animals: Amiable kitty turning into a disguised little tigress? Chances are that all the incidences of taking unkindly to even friendly petting, growling away at your pet dog could be reflective of unresolved issues gnawing away at your kitty.
Once you spot the any of the above symptoms are a combination of them, make haste and book that appointment with the vet. Rule out any medical condition and spend some time playing with your kitty, do some vertical thinking and give your kitty a small vertical plant or tree to climb on. Set up a safe zone in the premises of your home, where your cat can feel at home. Happy tummy, happy kitty! Invest in a good brand of cat food that provides a balanced intake of nutrients along with being taste bud friendly. Last but not the least, look after your kitty, notice any change from the usual behaviour and take corrective action.