Stress in cats: Causes, Symptoms and How to Control it

Estrés en gatos: Causas, Síntomas y Cómo Controlarlo

Many of us love our cats and care about their well-being, but are often unaware of how stress can affect their health and behavior. Cats are highly sensitive animals and can become stressed for a variety of reasons, from a change in their environment to a visit to the vet.

Stress in cats can manifest itself in many ways, including a change in appetite, activity, elimination, and behavior. While it's normal for cats to experience some stress from time to time, chronic stress can have a negative impact on their long-term health.

In this article, we'll explore the symptoms and causes of cat stress, as well as some tips and tricks to help reduce stress in our beloved michis.

Why do cats get stressed?

It is important to keep in mind that cats, even if they live at home, can suffer stress due to different factors. And we must not forget that cats are active, territorial felines with a hunting instinct. In addition, stress can pose a problem for their physical and mental well-being. Depending on how each cat reacts to stimuli, the causes of stress in cats can be for different reasons:

  • Little interaction, both with other cats and with the environment that surrounds them. If you are a person who has several pets, including a puppy, and you see that the coexistence between dogs and cats is not comfortable and can even become difficult to bear, we recommend that you read the article how to socialize a cat with a dog from our blog.
  • Lack of maintenance of the sandboxes.
  • recurring penalties.
  • Changes in lifestyle.
  • Bad nutrition.
  • The fear.
  • Conflicting social interactions.
  • The pain.

At this point it is necessary to take into account that, in general terms, the cat can be stressed for more than one reason. Even in most cases the source of stress is not fully found.

Symptoms of a stressed cat

It is important to try to treat stress symptoms as soon as possible to avoid complications. Therefore, you should pay attention to the changes that your cat may experience in its behavior or physical appearance. In case stress in cats lasts a long time, it can cause physical consequences or alterations such as respiratory diseases.

Although the causes of stress in cats can be different depending on the animal, the most common are:

Dietary changes

Loss of appetite, or overeating only to vomit afterwards.

Changes in activity

You may be more active or more inactive than usual.

Removal Changes

He does his needs to urinate or defecate outside the litter tray or in other places that he is not used to.

Aggressive behavior

Shows aggressive behavior, such as biting or scratching, or may even fight with other animals.

Destructive behavior

Begins to bite or scratch furniture or objects in the home.


He could withdraw and hide more often.

Excessive licking

Excessive grooming, almost compulsive, until the skin is irritated and to the point of causing injuries and losing hair.

Chronic stress in cats, how do you know when to see a professional?

Even if our management and environment are adequate, we can find cats that remain stressed. When we cannot resolve the conflict, we must know that there are professionals specialized in feline behavior to whom we can turn. There are behavioral specialist veterinarians and also ethologists and educators who can study our specific case and provide us with solutions.

Consequences of stress in cats

Prolonged stress in cats can have serious consequences for their health and well-being. Some of the more common consequences include:

Skin problems

Excessive licking can cause skin irritation and can trigger bacterial or fungal infections. That is why it is advisable that if you see your pet with dirt or discomfort and it does not stop licking its fur, you help it with grooming and Hygiene for Cats , since a good bath, in addition to leaving it clean, will give it that relaxation and comfort. Maybe for a while he won't preen so much.

Digestive problems

Stress can affect a cat's appetite and digestive tract, which can trigger problems like vomiting and diarrhea.

Urinary problems

It can cause urinary problems, such as cystitis, in cats.

Behavior problems

Destructive behavior, such as biting or scratching furniture or objects in the home and increased


 Prolonged stress can weaken a cat's immune system and increase its risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and respiratory problems.

One of the most common skin diseases in michis is ringworm in cats , a fungal infection that occurs in cases where the animal has a low immune system defenses.

How to relax a stressed cat?

Now that we know how to avoid it, it is normal to ask ourselves how to deal with stress if our michi already presents it. Regardless of the character but, above all, for those more fearful cats, it is essential that we respect their safety distance and, in turn, show ourselves accessible to encourage them to come closer.

We should never force them into contact, since we would achieve the opposite effect. That said, to calm a stressed cat we must follow these tips:

Approach the cat using a soft voice

With slow movements and without caressing him if he does not request it. The cat's trust is gained when it feels that we respect and care for it. Patience is key in the most fearful cats.

Offer him a prize

This will serve to create bonds, and once it is allowed to be touched, we must begin to do it on the head and back, avoiding contact with the belly or feet, since they are usually delicate areas. Likewise, without a doubt, the prizes with CBD of Waggy's will help your michi to reduce his anxiety and be calmer in his day to day. To learn more about dosage, the uses and benefits of CBD in pets, visit our article CBD for Cats Benefits

Use of synthetic pheromones

It will make your stressed cat relax much faster, for the reasons outlined above.

However, none of the above will serve to reduce stress if we do not address the cause that is causing it , since you will feel bad again. Therefore, it is essential to find the reason that has caused this situation and avoid it as much as possible.

How can we prevent stress?

Stress in cats, like other diseases or disorders, can be prevented in different ways, such as:

Safe and stable environment

Providing a safe and stable home can help reduce stress. This includes providing him with a comfortable place to sleep and a clean, accessible litter tray.

Toys and fun activities

Fun toys and activities can help distract a stressed cat and improve their well-being.

Attention and affection

Give him regular attention and affection to strengthen your bond and help him feel safe and loved.

Encourage routine

Maintaining a regular routine of eating, being active, and sleeping can help reduce stress in cats.

Provide you with a hiding place

Providing a safe and quiet place for your cat to hide can help her feel more secure and relaxed.

Consult a vet

If your cat is experiencing chronic or persistent stress, it may need to be treated with medication or behavioral therapy. Talk to a vet to determine the best way to help your cat relax.


In conclusion, stress in cats is more common than we imagine and it is an important problem that must be considered to maintain the health and well-being of our beloved michis. It is important to be aware of the symptoms and causes of stress in cats and take steps to reduce it.

This may include providing a safe and stable environment, paying attention to their attention and play needs, and considering using complementary therapies, such as aromatherapy or music therapy, to help reduce stress.

In short, by caring for our cats with love and patience, we can help our cats live happy, healthy, stress-free lives.




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