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The signs of cat anxiety

Look for the signs
Look for the signs
Karla Kirby

Even neutered male cats and spayed females occasionally spray in the house when they're stressed out. Spraying is most frequent in multi-cat households, where overcrowding can be the cause of the cats feeling anxious. Supplying good quality floor-to-ceiling cat trees for perching and tunnels for hiding increase the cats' territory and reduce anxiety. An outdoor cat run also increases the felines’ territory and lessens stress.

Some felines over groom themselves or yank their fur out when feeling anxious. A product called Rescue Remedy can tone down a cat's anxiety and will not make the cat feel groggy. Many health food stores sell Rescue Remedy.

Cats who are fretful from time to time take out their anxiety on shyer feline family members. Playing several times a day with an interactive wand cat toy or going outdoors on a harness and leash will burn up this extra energy and allay boredom and stress.

Cats who are startled by a very piercing noise, loud or talkative overnight guests or a new kitten or puppy often seek solace under a bed or in a closet and may stay there for several days. If your kitty hides for more than a few hours, she/he'll need food, water, a comfort toy and a litter box in or near her/his special hiding place.

Unsuitable elimination is frequently a symptom of illness, but it can also be a signal of angst and panic. Putting a box near the "out of harm's way" location the cat has chosen could encourage the cat to start using the litter box once more.