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Even though your feline friends may be going through episodes of anxiety and stress, they are masters of disguising their discomfort. Chronic stress makes cats vulnerable to a large number of diseases as it suppresses their immunity. To spot stress in your feline friends, here are five signs that will help you identify the problem.
Even though cats love receiving attention from us, they are extremely particular about when and where they are petted. If they become aggressive towards other people or animals, you may want to get them checked. As cats have no other way of expressing physical and emotional stress, they tend to lash out as a way of communication.
- Excessive grooming
The majority of the cats groom quite often but there can be an increase in this habit when they are under major stress. In order to differentiate between normal and excessive grooming, take a look at the areas they are cleaning. If there are any sore spots or abnormal hair loss, they are under large amounts of stress. The phenomenon is called feline psychogenic alopecia. Basically, cats will continue to groom excessively because of various stress factors in their environment.
- Loss of appetite
Even though some cats are picky eaters, they eat their food when they are hungry. If you have noticed a significant reduction in the appetite of your cats or if they completely stop eating, they are under stress. When your feline friends stop eating, their body pushes the liver to consume fat for energy. This results in hepatic lipidosis, more commonly known as fatty liver. If this disease remains untreated, there are a 90% chances your cats may not make it.
Cats are a strange bunch. Some of them love the attention they get from various people whereas others prefer to keep human contact to a minimum. Regardless of the case, this behavior can change when your feline friends are under stress. Most of the time, cats hide when they are uncomfortable. However, if you notice your cat hiding even when it is their meal time, it is a sure indicator of something is wrong with your cats.
- Urinating outside litter box
When cats urinate outside the litter box, they are trying to inform us about their happiness of the surroundings. Maybe they don’t like the way you set up the furniture, their environment is too loud or their litter box isn’t clean to name a few. Rather than scolding your cats for their mistakes, try to find out why they are doing this. It will not only help in dealing their stress, they will remain calm through the entire ordeal.
With these simple tips, you will be able to tell if your cats are depressed or not. As time goes on, you will find it easier to pick out stress indicators. Remember, a stress-free cat is a healthy cat.