You may think of your cat as an independent, abled feline who carries itself with the kind of confidence you'd like to emulate yourself. But our cats face the perils of anxiety too. There are a few things you didn't realize are making your cat anxious — but don't worry, there are ways to ease it. The first step in handling your kitty's anxiety is identifying the cause.
It's most likely that your cat's anxiety is not an out of the blue kind of deal. According to PetMD, "Most fears, phobias, and anxieties develop at the onset of social maturity, from 12 to 36 months of age. A profound form of fear and withdrawal of unknown cause often occurs around eight to 10 months of age." For instance, in this developmental stage of your kitten's life, if they endured a rather booming thunderstorm, dropping a pot on the kitchen floor could spike their anxiety. But sometimes, later in life, cats develop separation anxiety. This, for the house cat who fancies themselves a lion, is an unexpected anxiety, but a significant one none the less.
If your cat has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, PetMD encourages cat parents to, "learn to recognize the physical signs associated with the fears, phobias, and anxieties and head the behavior off before it has a chance to take over your cat's behavior." You can start by pin pointing what common things might be threatening your cat's peace of mind. Be kind and sympathetic to your cat if it suffers from anxiety.
Cats? Separation anxiety? Yeah, right. Aren't all cats plotting their world takeover? Apparently not. According to PetMD, "history of abandonment, multiple owners, rehoming, or prior neglect is common" — in the cases of cats affected by separation anxiety. Make sure your cat feels the love before you leave the house. And even though you can't convince it that you'll be back, there are ways to pad your home environment with ways to ease the stress of you leaving.
You might find the YouTube montages of cat's being surprised by cucumbers funny, but unexpected objects fill the feline with a fright. Any sudden appearances of objects isn't funny to your cat.
Cats who weren't exposed to love or social environments (I know, heartbreaking) can be anxious of the all the love you're trying to give them. Be conscious of the amount of cuddles you're trying to give them and respect their space to not overwhelm them.
Having Your Friends Over
Hey, cats experience social anxiety too! New additions to their social space might spark an anxiety. Even though you can't sit your cat down and communicate through meows that a few friends are coming over, you can ease people into the space so your anxious kitty can adjust.
Bringing New Furry Friends Home
If brining human friends over was stressful for your cat, brining another furry friend into the space could really ignite some anxiety. You'll need to patient with a slow and thoughtful introduction ~process~ to keep the change (whether it's temporary or permanent) from causing an anxiety attack.
If your home is all about modern design, your cat might be living in an anxious environment. Cats feel more supported and comfortable when they have many places to snuggle into and hide under.
Cat or human, whose anxiety isn't piqued by a bit of angered confrontation? If your cat has been abused in the past, even raising your voice can really unsettle them. If behavior is becoming a real issue in your house, it might be worth seeking a trainer to work with your feline.