10 behaviors that stress your cat like crazy… Some might surprise you

https://www.barkandwhiskers.com/p/30736166-3e26-4030-8efe-82363c4e945c/
https://www.barkandwhiskers.com/2016-01-09-nl-stress-triggers-for-cats/

By Dr. Becker

If you know anything about cats, you know that they get stressed easily. In fact, a slight variation in your cat’s daily routine can make him nervous. Major changes, such as moving to a new home or bringing a new pet into the household, can quickly turn even a cool cat over the edge.

The reason may be that felines equate “unauthorized” changes in their environment with a loss of control. Cats really like to feel in control of their environment and when they don’t, they become anxious.

But what many people don’t realize is how much stress we, as pet guardians, can create in our cat. Veterinary publication dvm360 put together a list of stress triggers in cats…and I think some of them might surprise you.

10 Ways to Stress Your Cat

1. Punish him for behaving like a cat. When your cat does something you don’t want him to do, getting physical with him will only do one thing: teach him to fear you. Yelling “no” will scare him, but probably only momentarily.

Instead, when you notice your cat misbehaving, distract him with a toy or activity to show him what you want him to do instead, then reward him generously for his desirable behavior.

Make sure your cat has plenty of approved climbing and scratching surfaces.and keep potentially dangerous objects out of reach.

2. Let’s assume she understands what you’re saying. Cats and other animals use body language to communicate. This is why talking to them is usually unproductive.

Instead, if you teach your cat “sit” and other commands, she will learn to associate your words with the behaviors you want to see. Like dogs, cats can be clicker trained using food rewards. According to Catster:

“Cat clicker training is a simple and fun way to help shape your cat’s behavior. The scientific term for this method is operant conditioning – in simple terms, this means you can take advantage of the natural tendency your cat to repeat an action that has a positive consequence.

With clicker training, punishments are not used. You “mark” a desirable behavior with a single click, then reward it with a treat. »1

3. Grab his head. It’s natural for humans to approach cats head-on, but it’s anything but natural for the cat. If you’ve noticed, most cats’ reaction is to back away from a direct grab.

Unfortunately, as soon as the cat tosses it upside down, many people get so engaged in the exchange that they grab the cat’s head and start ruffling its fur. Now imagine how much you would like someone to do that to you!

Cats do not appreciate frontal approaches or headlocks. They are much more comfortable with long, gentle movements from the head or neck to the tail, or with a little scratching around the ears or chin.

4. Hold her to kiss or hug her. Cats are natural predators, but they are also prey. The first thing a predator does when it catches prey is hold it, so your cat must maintain its ability to move freely and escape.

This is also why your cat is probably stressed when you hold it, even if you are affectionate. Cats like to have all interactions on their own terms (this is part of their need to control their environment), so it’s always best to let your kitten come to you.

5. Ignore his litter box. Cats are very clean creatures, so it goes without saying that they hate dirty toilets. Most kittens held captive in homes will happily use the litter box and not the floor or any other forbidden area as long as their human keeps their bathroom clean.

Kitty’s litter box should be scooped at least once a day, then emptied and thoroughly cleaned every one to two weeks. This will prevent your cat from eliminating outside the box, and will also allow you to regularly monitor the quantity and quality of its “production”.

6. Choose a bad place for his litter box. Just like a human toilet isn’t located in the middle of the living room, your cat’s litter box shouldn’t be in an open, noisy, high-traffic area of ​​your home either.

Just like us, cats need a private, safe place to do their business. Place the litter box in a quiet area of ​​your home where your cat is not likely to encounter people, other animals, or noisy appliances. If your cat is older, make sure the location and the litter box itself are easily accessible to them.

7. Use your fingers and toes as toys. It’s extremely tempting to wiggle old toots or fingers under the blankets to watch your cat’s reaction. It’s also normal to be painfully surprised to learn how fast it can move and how sharp its little teeth and claws are!

What you should NOT do in response is get angry at your cat because you imitated prey behavior and he responded appropriately. A better option is to use interactive toys to interact with your cat so that it learns that your hands and other parts of your body are not prey.

8. Leave her alone for days. Many people think that one of the benefits of having a cat is that their independent nature allows them to be left alone for long periods of time.

While it is true that cats do not require as much attention as dogs, It’s really not a good idea to leave your cat alone. when you travel.

First, kibble, which is the only food that won’t spoil by sitting out for days, is not a species-appropriate diet for cats. I never recommend dry pet food, especially for kittens.

Additionally, many cats will gorge and eat all the food within a few hours of you leaving. Then they vomit (often) and have nothing to eat until you return. This is stressful for your cat and can also put its health at risk, as kittens need to eat every day.

A smelly, unattended litter box is an invitation to your cat to find another place to do its business. And finally, in the worst case scenario, your cat could get hurt or sick while you’re gone, and no one would know.

I recommend asking a friend, relative, neighbor, or professional pet sitter to come by each day while you are away to feed and water your cat, scoop out the litter box, and spend a few minutes with your cat to make sure he is happy and healthy.

9. Use scented candles, plug-ins, cologne, or other strong-smelling chemicals. Cats are very sensitive to smells (this is one reason they get so stressed during vet visits – all those smells!) and are often bothered by strong odors in the air, on clothing or bedding, and even on their humans.

If you share your home with a cat, try to minimize your use of chemicals of all kinds, especially those with strong odors. Instead, choose organic, non-toxic home cleaners instead of toxic pine-based floor cleaners, wet chemical mops, or ammonia/bleach-based cleaners.

ten. Bring home strange cats. Any new member of the household, two or four legged, will cause temporary stress in your cat. This goes double for a new feline in the family, especially when the stranger isn’t properly introduced.

The introduction of a new cat into the family must be well controlled. This means setting it up in a separate space first and letting the cats get used to each other gradually, at their own pace. This approach will help reduce the risk of inter-cat aggression and reduce everyone’s stress level.

Sources:

Related Articles:

  The eye signal that indicates you’ve become friends with a strange cat

  The top three reasons why cats avoid their litter box

  Anti-stress for kittens

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