Stress is a nasty thing to deal with, and sadly even out cats can be affected by it. Your cat isn’t able to tell you what is bothering her, and they are masters at hiding their feelings! Here are a few things to look out for – it might just be that kitty is trying to tell you something.
“I will not use this litterbox any longer!”
Your cat normally uses her litterbox, but all of a sudden you find cat urine everywhere but the litterbox! Resist the urge to punish your cat. She is not trying to be naughty and has her reasons for behaving this way.
Did something in your household recently change? Perhaps you rearranged the furniture or brought home a baby. These tings can be distressing for your cat, and her refusal to use her litterbox might be her way of telling you she is not too happy. Other factors can also play a role in causing this behaviour, such as a dirty litterbox or even a medical condition.
“I need some alone time”
Cats are considered by many to be more on the aloof side. However, a healthy, happy cat will at times seek out our companionship. It is important that you know your cat well, so that you can determine just how social she prefers to be. This will depend on your cat’s personality. If you notice that she starts to prefer hiding away for longer than what is normal for her, it might be an indication that everything is not alright.
“Grooming makes me feel better!”
Your cat’s daily schedule includes plenty of time spent grooming herself. But pay attention if the grooming starts to become obsessive. Excessive grooming might even result in bald spots on the cat. If your cat is stressing about something, she might use grooming as a way to cope with whatever is bothering her. Grooming releases endorphins, which help your cat to feel better, but this is by no means a solution for her. It is important to figure out what is stressing your cat in the first place, so that you can find a way to make her feel better.
“Dinner? Thanks, but no thanks”
Saying no to food is not normal for your kitty. If your cat always has kibble available, she is likely to eat little bits of food throughout the day, making it difficult for you to monitor changes in her appetite. Therefore, it is a good idea to have set mealtimes for your cat. If you are unsure, your vet will be able to help you calculate exactly how much you need to feed to keep your cat in good shape. If these things are in place, you will be able to tell if she has gone off her food which is a sign that you need to investigate what the problem could be.
If your normally laid-back cat all of a sudden becomes aggressive, it might be that she is reacting out of fear or stress. Do not assume that she is simply in a bad mood – if the behaviour continues you have to seek help.
Be your cat’s antidepressant
Take time out of your day to spend with your cat. A good daily play session can provide her with exercise that, just like in humans, can help her to get rid of that stress. Also make sure that she does have her own safe space to escape to when things happen that can cause stress – such as visitors or thunderstorms.
Any drastic change in your cat’s behaviour is meant to tell you something. Do not punish her, there is always a reason behind her actions. Your first port of call is always a visit to the vet, as your cat’s behaviour could be linked to her being in pain or discomfort due to a medical problem. Once medical issues are ruled out, a consultation with a reputable animal behaviourist will explain to you why our cat is actin the way she is, and you will be equipped with valuable tools to manage the behaviour.