Tian Xu and others, "Stress Triggers.". We are not attempting to diagnose or correct health and behavioral problems or to take the place of a professional veterinarian. Cats do not show their emotions as overtly as some other species and tend to withdraw and become quiet rather than ‘act out’ their anxieties. Cat Hair Everywhere. Once evening came, Jessie no longer acted normal (for her). 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. I immediately flew into the house to check on Jessie Cat, who was perfectly fine. It can raise your blood pressure. I definitely know it. – Oh…I’m so dedicated!). It can affect your friendships and loved ones. The information found at this website is meant for informational or entertainment purposes. Caregiver Stress: Yes, caregiver stress can affect health. 6. Changes in temperature: extreme cold. While that may not always be realistic, there are things people can do to minimize the effect of environmental stress on cats. But what do cats have to be stressed about? All better . We as humans know how unsettling stress can feel. Stress and anxiety just happen. New cats are tense to begin with and … In some cases, stress can lead to the development of bladder stones or crystals, which can cause bleeding in … “More importantly, our stress can also influence the development of actual physical illness in our cats as well as in ourselves. I have ADHD and OCD. Stress can affect your period causing a condition known as Polymenorrhea. When stress hits hard, your cat may even lose weight or groom themselves bald. About Cats, New Cat How-tos, Care and Behavior. 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 … So I did the zombie-thing and slept it off. My human, Gina, was a mess that particular day and it made me feel all yucky and kind of scared. I swear it was as if someone drugged her! Stress can have negative physical and mental on cats, and it can negatively affect their relationships with other pets and humans in the home. By the next day, Jessie was perfectly normal again. We can keep their environment as calm and consistent as possible. Cats pick up on our emotions, often before we ourselves have identified them. When stress affects you, your behavior goes nutty, which signals to your cat something is wrong, then your cat could feel stressed, too! Supposedly, people who have pets live longer. 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! Stress, like any other illness, needs to … She didn’t get excited and eat her freshly set-out food. This is because they feel the need to exercise full control over their environment. If you see any of these symptoms, check with your veterinarian to eliminate any medical problem. You wonder what were such important “things” I had been pulled away from working on that day? From an in-person conversation with feline veterinarian Dr. Fern Crist, September 2008. If she wasn’t better by morning, I would call the vet. (Part 2), What It’s Like Living in a Single Cat Household, Planning for Disasters to Protect Your Cat. 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. 2 doctor answers. Stress has been identified as a significant component of (or trigger for) most common cat behaviour problems and some common diseases. The cat is more prone to contract diseases such as feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Caregivers are more likely to have symptoms of depression & anxiety; have higher levels of stress hormones; are more likely to have long-term medical problems such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or arthritis; have weaker immune responses to the flu vaccine; have slower wound healing, etc. But chronic stress can lead to health issues in your cat. Stress can lead to unhappy behaviour such as less interaction with you, hiding away, general mischief or even scratching or spraying. Stress relief for pet owners won't solve every pet health problem, but can go a long way toward alleviating many of them.". Yes: The effect of stress on a person's health is depends on the stress( severity, length, intensity and how you cope with the stress). Stress in cats acts much the same way. Cat anxiety may be caused by pain or illness, exposure to something toxic or infectious diseases that affect the nervous system. “Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. He told me to fetch her food and several times tried offering her the food, holding the bowl to her mouth. Stress is unpleasant. Believe it or not, there are even pet-specific composers out there creating stress-busting music for pets! This unhealthy situation holds true for all cats. In fact, I glance at Jessie to see if she is reacting to my behavior. 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. Feline Nutrition Foundation. Stress can cause urinary tract disease and changes in your cat’s pH. Tempers may fray with raised voices or children may become excessively lively and noisy. Life is a madhouse though. Now, go rub your kitty and soak up a mental chill pill from the experience! Jessie Cat had stayed on a chair, mostly snoozing, during my intense “flying around the house trying to get everything caught up” phase. 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. You probably know it. What types of stress can affect people? 47 years experience Psychiatry. can stress affect my health much? His daily driver turned 18 years old and the rust holes were getting large enough for a cat to jump through! So we know that our cats help us be less stressed. Here you can find how to relieve menstrual cramps without medication. 1. Stress affects our cats in much the same way it affects us. The emotional turmoil brought on by such difficulties as household financial problems, frequent job travel, marital differences, new babies and home remodeling can affect our cats in very tangible ways. And on the flip side, a health issue can be the primary cause of your cat’s stress. It had been quite a few years since I had any attacks that were of that caliber; I was familiar with the sensations. So, it was a bit spur of the moment the day hubby planned on making a truck purchase. Having to stay indoors at the moment is stressful for us. Do You Care to Snare the Hair Instead of Wear? Just as we feel stress from new surroundings, new schools or jobs, or changes in our relationships, so do our cats. If temperatures rise above 108° F then it could be fatal. By morning I was starving and she acted much better and loved on me like I might fall off the face of the earth! 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. 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. She remained sleeping in a cocoon of the blanket, on his lap, in his huge protective arms for the entire night. Here's what you need to know about the stressors that can make your cat feel crazy, and the symptoms of cat stress. The cycle of stress. Surprises pop up. Just remember it’s possible that having a sustained stress level can negatively affect your cat as my anxiety had done to Jessie. A pet who is exhibiting such behavior likely already had some propensity for the behavior. 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. 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. 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. The entire process of the vehicle purchase took much longer than I anticipated. 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. If your cat is experiencing urinary stress, a visit to the vet is likely needed. Environmental stress can … 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. Surely most of them live a pretty cushy life with their every whim catered for. Even a small change in routine can cause painful health issues like cystitis (inflammation within the bladder) in some cats. The cat is especially susceptible to pathological stress. As responsible owners, we sometimes need to take a good look at ourselves when we ask why our pets are having problems. We live on “overload” most of the time. More importantly, our stress can also influence the development of actual physical illness in our cats as well as in ourselves. All better . 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. Tian Xu, The Yale Cancer Center, and The Fudan-Yale Center for Biomedical Research, "Stress Triggers Tumor Formation,", 5. Several times that afternoon into early evening I experienced anxiety attacks. As responsible owners, we sometimes need to take a good look at ourselves when we ask why our pets are having problems. I proceeded to dive into the trenches and get as much of those chores done as possible, moving at the fastest human speed I could manage. Strays, Shelters, Adoption…What Can One Person Do? How to Recognize Stress in Your Cat . This unhealthy situation holds true for all cats. There are many stressors that can significantly upset your cat, from loud noises to the death of a human companion. Cats are natural teachers and healers, and they really do love us that much. Some are wonderful, some terrible, some neutral but suck our time. Some call them panic attacks. It may be the cat's stress, such as having a new cat to adjust to in the house. Shortly after adopting Jessie Cat, perhaps two weeks into her living in the house, we went truck shopping for my husband. 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 affect your muscles and bones. For both parties involved – you and your cat! 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. Your cat more than likely knows it, too! Hiding is one of the most obvious signs that your cat is stressed but it's not the only one. Jessie appeared sick and completely out of it! Stress is an adaptive mechanism intended to ensure survival in dangerous situations. Sometimes the anxiety manifests due to the animal entering a certain developmental stage in life. For example, some cats and dogs may have the genetic coding for anxiety already present. Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. 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. 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. 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. Cat stress can cause unusual feline behavior. We were worried and wondered if she was ill or even dying! Eating disorders can also affect cats, albeit for very different reasons to those in humans. 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. According to veterinarian Lorie Huston, she found that her cat suffered from grief and stress after the loss of a household pet. Overly taxing situations can lead not only to mental distress but physical distress as well. Sometimes even a minor change in the environment, such as moving a piece of furniture, can cause stress. 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. She still hadn’t eaten anything that night and seemed to sulk and not want to move off the chair. It can also negatively affect a person's behavior and relationships. And, of course, guess what happened? 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. I’ve read and heard that pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and comfort people who are sick, lonely or in pain. Finding ways of coping with your stress now will help you whenever you find things getting tense. Stress and Your Cat… My Personal Story. Some stressed cats also have a tendency to eat compulsively and not be able to stomach the food, before vomiting. One of the most important ways in which we can help our cats is by managing our own stress level. 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. If You're Feeling Stressed, So Is Your Cat, Copyright © 2021. If your cat’s behavior changes suddenly in any way, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. I’m a very scheduled person. Most often, you’ll notice your cat’s PrettyLitter has turned blue, which means your cat’s urine is more alkaline than normal. 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