No two cats are the same. Some may be highly sensitive, and prone to feeling stress easily; others may appear unflappable, seemingly unperturbed by the pressures of feline life.
Likewise, what worries one cat, may be water off a duck’s back for another.
There are a number of reasons your cat may be experiencing stress, and some of those reasons may be linked.
One of the most common causes of cat anxiety is moving home. Cats feel safe and secure when in familiar surroundings, so if they suddenly find themselves on the move, the upheaval can prove hugely upsetting. Similarly, too many animals in one household has the potential to be another big stressor, so think carefully before bringing home a new pet. Living in a neighbourhood with a lot of cats can also have an adverse effect on more fragile felines. Always try and keep intruder cats out of your home.
A rapid change in environment can lead to a rapid change of routine. Cats are not big fans of unpredictability, so if their schedule is suddenly turned upside down – whether it be their feeding time or even the time you get up in a morning – anxiety can arise.
Deterioration in health is another big factor when considering a cat’s stress levels. A recent physical trauma or surgery could leave mental scars as well as visible ones. This could also be exacerbated by continued trips to the vets, a frightening experience for many cats.
At the other end of the scale, boredom brought on by a lack of stimulation, can also trigger anxiety.
Lack of resources such as food, water and litter boxes will have a detrimental effect on any cat’s mental state, as well as their physical wellbeing, so ensure they have access to these basic necessities.