Introduction to dealing with a stressed out cat
Cats are one of the best pets to have because they are highly independent. This comes with them highly valuing normalcy and being afraid of changes. Because of this, some may become suddenly anxious whenever there is a change in their environment. No matter the severity, it is always best to try to reduce their stress and anxiety as quickly as possible as long term it can continue to build on itself until it becomes a major problem for both owner and pet.
Here, we guide you through recognizing the different symptoms of cat anxiety, what you can do to try to help reduce your cats anxiety, and looking at CBD as a possible way of helping your at.
What is Cat anxiety?
While it might actually sound like something that humans suffer from, cat anxiety is when cats start getting stressed out over something and get anxious. Cats have a very active fight-or-flight response that is still hardwired into their system even after they become domesticated. This is seen as an evolutionary trait that allowed them to easily escape when chased by predators. While this is rarely used by house cats, they still unconsciously activate this whenever there are big changes in their environment. In particular, this can be caused by:
- A new furniture in the house
- A new pet
- Having strangers in your house
- Moving to a new location
- Loud noises in your area
Signs your cat might be suffering from anxiety
Although you might not first notice it, as their anxiety continues to build it might become more visible.. This is because their anxiety increases and usually gets worse over time. It essentially builds on itself, just like when someone is anxious and someone else advises them to just stop being anxious. It just ends up making them more anxious.
There are some signs that might be just things you pass off initially, like they’re eating a bit less or seem less energetic. These can be easy to miss as it could be very small changes in behavior. But after a while the might become less affectionate and stiffer when cuddled. This could be off putting as they used to be happy to see you or more relaxed in your presence. But now they are not relaxed even with your presence.
Another sign is their reactions to sudden noises or actions. Usually this type of response is their way of coping with a new environment or thing in their space. What used to be their safe area has now changed or been threatened and they are always on edge. In this study , they found a common link to illnesses that were made worse when the cats are stressed. So just like in humans, the more stress the body deals with the worse illnesses can become as the body is just getting run down.
After a while of being stressed you might start hearing things that can alert you to this change in their comfort levels. An increase in meowing or making sounds can tip you off that they aren’t feeling alright. Another thing you might notice is that although they seem lethargic they might actually be moving around a lot more. Similar to a person tossing and turning in bed. Even though they are in bed or laying down they just can’t get comfy no matter how hard they try. One of the final things that you might notice is that your cat is licking themselves a lot more than usual. This could be their reaction to stress and in the long run can cause skin issues.
What can you do for an anxious cat?
The drawback of having a cat is that they can’t tell you what is wrong. You can try to deduct what the issue is by reasoning and thinking about the changes in their lives that can be causing their stress. But in all honesty there are probably a lot of times that they just get stressed out, or we can’t fix what the issue is.
If the stress is caused by moving, they might eventually feel safe and relax in their new environment. This goes for new additions to their areas. Maybe you got a new cat or pet, and they just need to get used to sharing their spaces. It is hard to hear but sometimes all you can do is try to fix the issue as best you can and hopefully it will work itself out in time.
Another thing you might want to try is to play relaxing music for your cat. Just like humans, they can find comfort in sounds. It might sound crazy, but it is worth a try. Here is a playlist of constant relaxing music that might work for cats:
Using CBD for Cat anxiety
While you might not want to see your cat in such an anxious state you can always look at something that can help them relax. Similar to humans, if we can’t get rid of anxiety there are times where we might drink some tea, or other medicines to help ease the stress. One of the most commonly used things for a stressed cat are CBD products. CBD is a health supplement that can be given to reduce your cat’s anxiety. Available in oil, treat, and cream form, this is widely praised by many for its beneficial effects.
CBD is extracted from the cannabis sativa hemp plant. Short for cannabidiol, this compound can lessen cat anxiety by interacting with their neurotransmitters which produce happiness and stabilization of mood. It has also been seen to activate neural receptors that play a big part in emotional processing.
CBD is safe for cats and will not make them “high”. It also does not have side effects when given in proper doses.
How to use CBD for cats
CBD is a very flexible supplement because it can be used either temporarily or regularly. Some owners only give it to their cats when they are anticipating an event that will cause anxiety for cats. For example, they will give CBD before a party, a fireworks show, and any similar events near their home.
Still, it is best to give it regularly as it also gives many other benefits such as:
- Improving metabolism
- Relieving them of pain
- Reducing inflammations
- Improving mood
- Improves sleep quality
With all of these benefits, your cat will have a better quality of life which can help protect them from diseases as they grow older.
How to use CBD to treat cats anxiety
As mentioned, CBD is available in a lot of forms to maximize its accessibility for all cats. This makes it convenient to give even if your cat is fussy with food.
The most popular form is CBD oil which you can extract, measure, and give to them through a dropper. Its liquid form makes it quick to work as it easily reaches their bloodstream.
Another form is CBD treats which mixes the oil with a chewable treat that is flavored and scented with beef, chicken, and similar flavors. Through this, it becomes very easy to give to them.
Finally, CBD creams are advised to be applied on any wounds and sores which may have formed because of excessive licking. This can protect it and hasten the healing process.
Final thoughts on helping a cat be less stressed
The best way to fix a cats anxiety is to treat the cause of their stress. However, that is not always doable as sometimes we have to move, or a new addition to the house just isn’t avoidable. In those cases one of the best ways to calm an anxious cat is by giving them CBD either as a temporary or regular fix. It also comes with many other health benefits such as improved digestion and pain relief which makes it more recommendable.
Even with this supplement, we still highly recommend fixing the problems in their environment which causes anxiety for the cat. Through this, they will feel more at ease and comfortable in their own home. As we want to be as transparent as possible, CBD isn’t always the answer but it can help with lessening the stress that comes from issues. There are a lot of times CBD will help, and for those times it can really be life changing for everyone involved. But at the end of the day it might also just be something that can lessen their anxiety, versus getting rid of it completely.
Each situation is different , so it is hard to say for sure what will happen or how they will respond. So, like every other article, we suggest doing the best you can and if that isn’t helping maybe try out CBD. For many people CBD is the step before they try medicating their pets, so in the risk/reward situation there is very little risk with a high potential reward.