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Handling feline anxiety

Why do I feel this way?
Why do I feel this way?
Karla Kirby

Managing feline anxiety can become a serious matter for cat owners. The most common occurrence of anxiety in cats is called separation anxiety, in which indicators take place right before, for the duration of and directly after the owner’s absence. Nevertheless, anxiety also can be caused by alterations in schedule, such as moving to a new home, the owner changing from first to second shift, bringing in a dog or cat or the loss of a beloved family member.

Most cat owners will notice an alteration in their feline companion’s behavior as the first signal of a concern. For instance, an as a rule active bird watcher may no longer show interest in sitting in his/her favorite hangout. Other samples of behavioral changes are lack of interest in much loved toys, bashfulness, antagonism, loss of affection and following the owner around the house.

Felines, when stressed, may drastically alter their eating habits. For case in point, a cat suffering from separation anxiety—possibly due to the absence or entire loss of an owner—may have need of someone at her/his side during feeding time, or the cat may quit eating completely.

Anxiety also may be the root reason a cat may be vomiting. In most cases, vomiting usually takes place when the owner has left the home. Conversely, it can also be due to adjustments in meal time, guests in the dwelling or even to get some much needed attention. The vomit can differ and may be clear, yellow in color, or contain food bits or even blood—chiefly in a stressed cat.

Changes in grooming habits are also a giant indication of anxiety in cats. Some cats may discontinue grooming all together, while others may start to groom themselves in excess... Each change can lead to red and irritated skin, dry skin, hair loss, itching and dandruff. In acute cases, the cat may severely damage the skin by chewing, causing secondary infections.

In atypical cases, the affected cat may take on forms of unwanted, destructive behavior. For illustration, destructive behavior would include scratching at doors or windows in an attempt to escape or be back together with an owner. Some cats may scratch so markedly that their claws wear down until they bleed or become infected. They also may urinate on personal items such as the bed or area rugs.

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