Jessie Cat says: My human, Gina, was a mess that particular day and it made me feel all yucky and kind of scared. Doing this will almost always calm my frantic brain. can stress affect my health much? We as humans know how unsettling stress can feel. My cat has had a spotty history of getting signs of a urinary tract infection but it seems that most of the time it is diagnosed as FLUTD. Cat anxiety may be caused by pain or illness, exposure to something toxic or infectious diseases that affect the nervous system. All better . She remained sleeping in a cocoon of the blanket, on his lap, in his huge protective arms for the entire night. 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. So high blood sugar is just one of the negative impacts of stress. As responsible owners, we sometimes need to take a good look at ourselves when we ask why our pets are having problems. If temperatures rise above 108° F then it could be fatal. The cat is especially susceptible to pathological stress. It had been quite a few years since I had any attacks that were of that caliber; I was familiar with the sensations. Potential causes that may result in a stressed cat are wide and varied. You wonder what were such important “things” I had been pulled away from working on that day? Surely most of them live a pretty cushy life with their every whim catered for. Not to the extent I’m medicated, not presently, although several times in my life I have taken meds to help me chill. When stress hits hard, your cat may even lose weight or groom themselves bald. Feliway has been reported to increase appetite and food consumption in hospitalized cats as well as minimize cat stress in general and promote a feeling of well-being. Extreme heat is dangerous to a cat; on the other hand, extreme cold can also bring severe complications to a feline’s body and organs. About Cats, New Cat How-tos, Care and Behavior. Finding ways of coping with your stress now will help you whenever you find things getting tense. Karen Allen, PhD, Jim Blascovich, PhD, Wendy B. Mendes, MS, ", 4. Fortunately there’s a simple solution Feliway is an easy-to-use product that helps create a loving and comfortable home environment where your cat will spend more time with you. Here's what you need to know about the stressors that can make your cat feel crazy, and the symptoms of cat stress. If you see any of these symptoms, check with your veterinarian to eliminate any medical problem. Here are a few things you can try to calm yourself down: Reduce your chores. TVs, iPods, video games, washing machines and dryers can all stress out noise-sensitive species, such as dogs and cats. What types of stress can affect people? Believe it or not, there are even pet-specific composers out there creating stress-busting music for pets! All better . It can affect your friendships and loved ones. Environmental stresses are also a factor in cats being infected by the feline leukemia virus. In some cases, stress can lead to the development of bladder stones or crystals, which can cause bleeding in … She didn’t get excited and eat her freshly set-out food. Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. “Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. Overly taxing situations can lead not only to mental distress but physical distress as well. When stress affects you, your behavior goes nutty, which signals to your cat something is wrong, then your cat could feel stressed, too! 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. And my stress made her sick. It can affect your muscles and bones. But what do cats have to be stressed about? If she wasn’t better by morning, I would call the vet. The information found at this website is meant for informational or entertainment purposes. Your cat more than likely knows it, too! Even a small change in routine can cause painful health issues like cystitis (inflammation within the bladder) in some cats. More importantly, our stress can also influence the development of actual physical illness in our cats as well as in ourselves. But did you know that it doesn't just make you sick, it can also make your cat sick? 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. Jessie Cat had stayed on a chair, mostly snoozing, during my intense “flying around the house trying to get everything caught up” phase. 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 … 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. 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! Some are wonderful, some terrible, some neutral but suck our time. How does stress affect my cat? It may be the cat's stress, such as having a new cat to adjust to in the house. Sometimes even a minor change in the environment, such as moving a piece of furniture, can cause stress. Some of our cats most common causes of stress include: 1. visiting strangers or a new baby 2. competition for resources such as food, water or litter trays 3. other cats both in the house or neighborhood 4. a chang… 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. New cats are tense to begin with and … Stress can have negative physical and mental on cats, and it can negatively affect their relationships with other pets and humans in the home. Just remember it’s possible that having a sustained stress level can negatively affect your cat as my anxiety had done to Jessie. Changes in temperature: extreme cold. As responsible owners, we sometimes need to take a good look at ourselves when we ask why our pets are having problems. 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. Jessie appeared sick and completely out of it! 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. We were worried and wondered if she was ill or even dying! 2 doctor answers. His daily driver turned 18 years old and the rust holes were getting large enough for a cat to jump through! 1. While that may not always be realistic, there are things people can do to minimize the effect of environmental stress on cats. Stress, like any other illness, needs to … Stress relief for pet owners won't solve every pet health problem, but can go a long way toward alleviating many of them.". Sometimes the anxiety manifests due to the animal entering a certain developmental stage in life. Stress and anxiety can have debilitating effects on a human's health. When stress affects you, your behavior goes nutty, which signals to your cat something is wrong, then your cat could feel stressed, too! 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. Plus, all those “things” I wasn’t getting done and when the heck would I get them done!? 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. Cats always have good reasons for what they do. 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. So what can we do to help keep our cats' lives as stress-free as possible? Stress and Your Cat… My Personal Story. Surprises pop up. So I did the zombie-thing and slept it off. 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. 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. And, of course, guess what happened? In my book, there is no such thing as a bad cat or inappropriate behavior. While they don't get upset about the same things we do, our cats can experience chronic stress, which isn't good for them. We assume no liability for any misuse of the information contained at this website. "Humans who suffer from anxiety are known to pace or have difficulty sitting still, and this is true in cats as well. 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. The unnecessary anxiety I created in myself that spilled over to Jessie Cat. 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. As responsible owners, we sometimes need to take a good look at ourselves when we ask why our pets are having problems. But, and this is important, stress affects more than just your blood sugar. Especially a cat that had only been inside our house two weeks and recently spayed. Stress is an adaptive mechanism intended to ensure survival in dangerous situations. Environmental stress can … Several times that afternoon into early evening I experienced anxiety attacks. For example, some cats and dogs may have the genetic coding for anxiety already present. 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. 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. Our stress can induce undesirable behaviors in our cats, such as inappropriate urination. Many times I will go to her, pet her silky hair, place my forehead against hers and tell her how much I love her. A psychological trigger may be to blame, like a traumatic experience, lack of proper socialization or a history of abuse or neglect. Cats are natural teachers and healers, and they really do love us that much. For both parties involved – you and your cat! Another tip that I practice with my own pets is to play low-volume classical music when they’re home alone. I’m a very scheduled person. There are many stressors that can significantly upset your cat, from loud noises to the death of a human companion. Just as with humans, stress can cause a wide variety of health issues in cats by compromising their immune system. Dr. Warren Kriedman answered. We live on “overload” most of the time. Some stressed cats also have a tendency to eat compulsively and not be able to stomach the food, before vomiting. How You Can Help Her. My human, Gina, was a mess that particular day and it made me feel all yucky and kind of scared. Some call them panic attacks. Caregiver Stress: Yes, caregiver stress can affect health. By morning I was starving and she acted much better and loved on me like I might fall off the face of the earth! You probably know it. Shortly after adopting Jessie Cat, perhaps two weeks into her living in the house, we went truck shopping for my husband. This unhealthy situation holds true for all cats. In fact, I glance at Jessie to see if she is reacting to my behavior. It’s good to note that stress and your cat’s health can be a two-way “Cause and Effect” game. Most often, you’ll notice your cat’s PrettyLitter has turned blue, which means your cat’s urine is more alkaline than normal. Stress and anxiety just happen. 47 years experience Psychiatry. Hopefully, many people will turn to their cats for comfort and flip off the switch on stress. Perhaps these cats make their stress evident in order to get us to change our ways? Stress can affect your period causing a condition known as Polymenorrhea. If your cat’s behavior changes suddenly in any way, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Stress affects our cats in much the same way it affects us. 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. Watch for the signs of chronic stress, like changes in your cat’s appetite or sleeping patterns, a drop in energy, or withdrawal. Stress in cats acts much the same way. A pet who is exhibiting such behavior likely already had some propensity for the behavior. The cat is more prone to contract diseases such as feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). It can affect our ability to process thought, our daily routines and sometimes even result in serious health conditions. Very odd. So we know that our cats help us be less stressed. Cats are … By the time we arrived home with hubby’s shiny new truck, my mind wasn’t even excited about it. It can raise your blood pressure. Stomach pain can also increase when women suffer from stress. This additional noise and activity may affect your cat. At least that’s what we honestly believe. No person can “give” their pet anxiety or depression. Dr. Fern Crist, of The Cat Hospital of Fairfax, Virginia: "As a veterinarian, I frequently see cats that are urinating outside the litterbox. 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. Designed by Shape5.com, A Diet for Your Cat's Urinary and Kidney Health, Buckley's Story, Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher, Cardiovascular Reactivity and the Presence of Pets, Friends, and Spouses: The Truth About Cats and Dogs, A Pilot Study Using Synthetic Feline Facial Pheromone for the Management of Feline Idiopathic Cystitis. And on the flip side, a health issue can be the primary cause of your cat’s stress. When you think of what your cat goes through during the day do you ever thing of the possibility that she could also be affected by stress? While this undesirable behavior may be caused by a variety of medical problems, it can also be caused or exacerbated by stress. Cat stress can cause unusual feline behavior. Do You Care to Snare the Hair Instead of Wear? Having to stay indoors at the moment is stressful for us. Cats are sensitive by nature. If You're Feeling Stressed, So Is Your Cat, Copyright © 2021. (If a veterinarian or other certified professional is interviewed or submits valuable information, we will state that fact.) By the next day, Jessie was perfectly normal again. So, it was a bit spur of the moment the day hubby planned on making a truck purchase. I swear it was as if someone drugged her! Heat stroke in cats is extremely dangerous and it can lead to multiple organ failure. Any time I feel stressed (which is often), I try to keep it toned down. – Oh…I’m so dedicated!). Strays, Shelters, Adoption…What Can One Person Do? By morning I was starving and she acted much better and loved on me like I might fall off the face of the earth! Stress can cause urinary tract disease and changes in your cat’s pH. 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