For both parties involved – you and your cat! Strays, Shelters, Adoption…What Can One Person Do? Some call them panic attacks. 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. Stress can have negative physical and mental on cats, and it can negatively affect their relationships with other pets and humans in the home. Feline Nutrition Foundation. 2 doctor answers. While they don't get upset about the same things we do, our cats can experience chronic stress, which isn't good for them. And, of course, guess what happened? Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. But what do cats have to be stressed about? Another tip that I practice with my own pets is to play low-volume classical music when they’re home alone. Stress is unpleasant. The information found at this website is meant for informational or entertainment purposes. In fact, I glance at Jessie to see if she is reacting to my behavior. Supposedly, people who have pets live longer. Overly taxing situations can lead not only to mental distress but physical distress as well. If you see that your cat is getting stressed then make sure that it has … 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. Finding ways of coping with your stress now will help you whenever you find things getting tense. This unhealthy situation holds true for all cats. When stress affects you, your behavior goes nutty, which signals to your cat something is wrong, then your cat could feel stressed, too! If temperatures rise above 108° F then it could be fatal. Cats are natural teachers and healers, and they really do love us that much. 47 years experience Psychiatry. Stress and Your Cat… My Personal Story. 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. You wonder what were such important “things” I had been pulled away from working on that day? Surely most of them live a pretty cushy life with their every whim catered for. Stress can affect your period causing a condition known as Polymenorrhea. How does stress affect my cat? Several times that afternoon into early evening I experienced anxiety attacks. Jessie appeared sick and completely out of it! Some are wonderful, some terrible, some neutral but suck our time. The cat is more prone to contract diseases such as feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). How You Can Help Her. If you see any of these symptoms, check with your veterinarian to eliminate any medical problem. Stress in cats acts much the same way. And on the flip side, a health issue can be the primary cause of your cat’s stress. According to veterinarian Lorie Huston, she found that her cat suffered from grief and stress after the loss of a household pet. It can raise your blood pressure. Here are a few things you can try to calm yourself down: Reduce your chores. It had been quite a few years since I had any attacks that were of that caliber; I was familiar with the sensations. What's most disconcerting, however, is that when your cat is stressed or anxious, it can impact his or her health. I definitely know it. His daily driver turned 18 years old and the rust holes were getting large enough for a cat to jump through! My human, Gina, was a mess that particular day and it made me feel all yucky and kind of scared. But did you know that it doesn't just make you sick, it can also make your cat sick? 1. 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. At least that’s what we honestly believe. 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. By the next day, Jessie was perfectly normal again. Dr. Fern Crist, of The Cat Hospital of Fairfax, Virginia: "As a veterinarian, I frequently see cats that are urinating outside the litterbox. 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. She remained sleeping in a cocoon of the blanket, on his lap, in his huge protective arms for the entire night. While that may not always be realistic, there are things people can do to minimize the effect of environmental stress on cats. We can keep their environment as calm and consistent as possible. “More importantly, our stress can also influence the development of actual physical illness in our cats as well as in ourselves. – Oh…I’m so dedicated!). We live on “overload” most of the time. 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. We are not attempting to diagnose or correct health and behavioral problems or to take the place of a professional veterinarian. Cat anxiety may be caused by pain or illness, exposure to something toxic or infectious diseases that affect the nervous system. The unnecessary anxiety I created in myself that spilled over to Jessie Cat. Stress and anxiety just happen. I have ADHD and OCD. 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. Heat stroke in cats is extremely dangerous and it can lead to multiple organ failure. Now, go rub your kitty and soak up a mental chill pill from the experience! Eating disorders can also affect cats, albeit for very different reasons to those in humans. 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. No person can “give” their pet anxiety or depression. Here's what you need to know about the stressors that can make your cat feel crazy, and the symptoms of cat stress. 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. It can also negatively affect a person's behavior and relationships. Karen Allen, PhD, Jim Blascovich, PhD, Wendy B. Mendes, MS, ", 4. Most often, you’ll notice your cat’s PrettyLitter has turned blue, which means your cat’s urine is more alkaline than normal. All better . (If a veterinarian or other certified professional is interviewed or submits valuable information, we will state that fact.) Environmental stresses are also a factor in cats being infected by the feline leukemia virus. can stress affect my health much? Not to the extent I’m medicated, not presently, although several times in my life I have taken meds to help me chill. 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! We can’t control everything or everyone. Any time I feel stressed (which is often), I try to keep it toned down. 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. New cats are tense to begin with and add to that your agitated emotions that kitty can sense. Stress, like any other illness, needs to … And my stress made her sick. You probably know it. A psychological trigger may be to blame, like a traumatic experience, lack of proper socialization or a history of abuse or neglect. 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. 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. Cats are … 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. It can affect your muscles and bones. 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 … Cat stress can cause unusual feline behavior. So, it was a bit spur of the moment the day hubby planned on making a truck purchase. Once evening came, Jessie no longer acted normal (for her). Cats pick up on our emotions, often before we ourselves have identified them. As responsible owners, we sometimes need to take a good look at ourselves when we ask why our pets are having problems. (Part 2), What It’s Like Living in a Single Cat Household, Planning for Disasters to Protect Your Cat. But it can just as easily be the owner's stress. We are not veterinarians. Especially a cat that had only been inside our house two weeks and recently spayed. We know it is bad for us. Stress can cause urinary tract disease and changes in your cat’s pH. 6. So I did the zombie-thing and slept it off. 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. This additional noise and activity may affect your cat. Potential causes that may result in a stressed cat are wide and varied. Jessie Cat says: My human, Gina, was a mess that particular day and it made me feel all yucky and kind of scared. 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. If your cat’s behavior changes suddenly in any way, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Life is a madhouse though. Stress affects our cats in much the same way it affects us. TVs, iPods, video games, washing machines and dryers can all stress out noise-sensitive species, such as dogs and cats. Just remember it’s possible that having a sustained stress level can negatively affect your cat as my anxiety had done to Jessie. 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. So I did the zombie-thing and slept it off. Your cat more than likely knows it, too! But, and this is important, stress affects more than just your blood sugar. Stress can lead to unhappy behaviour such as less interaction with you, hiding away, general mischief or even scratching or spraying. Doing this will almost always calm my frantic brain. 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. Perhaps these cats make their stress evident in order to get us to change our ways? We were worried and wondered if she was ill or even dying! Changes in temperature: extreme cold. He told me to fetch her food and several times tried offering her the food, holding the bowl to her mouth. This unhealthy situation holds true for all cats. By the time we arrived home with hubby’s shiny new truck, my mind wasn’t even excited about it. I’ve read and heard that pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and comfort people who are sick, lonely or in pain. What types of stress can affect people? In some cases, stress can lead to the development of bladder stones or crystals, which can cause bleeding in … 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 Hair Everywhere. However, it can also be a disease with serious physical and behavioral repercussions. Caregiver Stress: Yes, caregiver stress can affect health. There is such a thing as unappreciated behavior. 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… But chronic stress can lead to health issues in your cat. Stomach pain can also increase when women suffer from stress. Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. Stress is an adaptive mechanism intended to ensure survival in dangerous situations. 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. 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. 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. From an in-person conversation with feline veterinarian Dr. Fern Crist, September 2008. 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. 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. In general, stress lowers a cat’s immunity to disease. The entire process of the vehicle purchase took much longer than I anticipated. It can affect our ability to process thought, our daily routines and sometimes even result in serious health conditions. Not. More importantly, our stress can also influence the development of actual physical illness in our cats as well as in ourselves. Hiding is one of the most obvious signs that your cat is stressed but it's not the only one. This is because they feel the need to exercise full control over their environment. 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. If You're Feeling Stressed, So Is Your Cat, Copyright © 2021. Plus, all those “things” I wasn’t getting done and when the heck would I get them done!? So we know that our cats help us be less stressed. When stress affects you, your behavior goes nutty, which signals to your cat something is wrong, then your cat could feel stressed, too! A pet who is exhibiting such behavior likely already had some propensity for the behavior. Stress and anxiety can have debilitating effects on a human's health. Believe it or not, there are even pet-specific composers out there creating stress-busting music for pets! By morning I was starving and she acted much better and loved on me like I might fall off the face of the earth! New cats are tense to begin with and … While this undesirable behavior may be caused by a variety of medical problems, it can also be caused or exacerbated by stress. We assume no liability for any misuse of the information contained at this website. 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. For example, some cats and dogs may have the genetic coding for anxiety already present. As responsible owners, we sometimes need to take a good look at ourselves when we ask why our pets are having problems. I swear it was as if someone drugged her! 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. Tempers may fray with raised voices or children may become excessively lively and noisy. Stress has been identified as a significant component of (or trigger for) most common cat behaviour problems and some common diseases. If she wasn’t better by morning, I would call the vet. Food, before vomiting here you can try to keep it toned down reasons for what they.! 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