According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, when your cat is stressed out, it also stresses you out, especially if you can’t figure out the source of their anxiety. Moreover, signs of anxiety like aggression towards other animals or people or lack of appetite only make life harder. Let’s check out what causes stress for cats.
- Boring kittenhood – If your kitten lacks socialization in the first eight weeks of its life, it can lead to chronic stress. You need to introduce your kitten to everything it may come across throughout its life during that 8-week window. This includes other pets, people, shapes and sizes, and different types of indoor and outdoor environments. An uneventful and boring kittenhood would make your kitten grow into a stressed-out cat.
- Unfamiliar odors – While humans have 5 million odor sensors, cats have 200 million. Since they have such a powerful sense of smell, unfamiliar smells may be offensive to them and can become a stress trigger. It can be anything from a new set of scented candles to a new laundry detergent. In order to avoid stressing your cat, use non-scented detergents, avoid citrus scents and keep a well-ventilated home.
- Mirrors – Most animals lack self-awareness. That’s why you see them attacking a mirror or behaving in strange ways when they come across their open reflection in thousands of videos on the internet. The same holds for your cat. If there are large mirrors in your home, your cat would be spooked by constantly encountering an unfamiliar cat in your home and would be stressed out. That’s why it’s best to keep your cat away from rooms full of mirrors or invest in switchable mirrors that can be turned opaque when they aren’t in use.
- Unknown people – Any change in your inner circle can stress out your cat. This can happen when people leave your home due to a divorce, death, or some other reason and when new people join your household due to marriage, new relationships, etc. to prevent those changes from becoming a source of stress, you need to keep your cat’s life as normal as possible during that transition period. That means sticking to a fixed and strict feeding and grooming schedule and a safe place to retire when your cat doesn’t feel comfortable.
- Change in work life – If you just started a work-from-home schedule or changed shifts due to a new job, your cat would pick up those changes and get nervous. Cats like to be on schedule and that includes everything that’s going around them. Cats are extreme conservationists that hate change. Try to make the transition as smooth as possible to not stress your cat.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities suggests that you control your behavior around your cat and manage the sources of anxiety as much as possible. If your cat gets stressed, remove known stressors from your home, and avoid sudden changes to its environment along with other such experiences.