We know that cats can be incredibly finicky and mysterious creatures, so it's not always easy to tell when they're feeling stressed. Stress can be a major issue for cats if it isn't managed properly. Thankfully, there are some telltale signs you can look out for to help identify when your cat is feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Let's take a look at what these signs might be.
1: Changes in Appetite & Weight: One of the first signs that your cat may be experiencing stress is changes in appetite or weight. If your cat suddenly stops eating, this could be an indication that they're dealing with something stressful in their environment. Conversely, overeating could also be a sign of stress as cats try to cope with their emotions by turning to food. If you notice any of these changes in your cat's eating habits, it's important to pay attention and try to figure out what might have caused the shift.
2: Changes in Behavior: It may seem obvious, but changes in behavior can be another sign that your cat is dealing with stress. If your typically playful kitty has become withdrawn or uninterested in activities they used to love, this could be an indicator that something is going on emotionally for them. Other behavioral changes such as aggression towards humans or other animals, destructive scratching or urinating outside the litter box could all signal underlying anxiety or distress.
3: Excessive Grooming: Some cats groom themselves more than usual when they're feeling anxious or overwhelmed as a way of trying to de-stress and relax themselves. This kind of excessive grooming can manifest itself either physically (for example patches of missing fur) or through vocalization (constant meowing or purring). Pay attention if you notice either one—it could mean your pet is struggling with something emotionally.
Stress is a very real issue for cats just like it is for humans, but thankfully there are ways we can spot the signs and intervene before things get too serious. Paying close attention to changes in appetite, behavior and grooming patterns can help provide insight into how our feline friends are feeling on any given day—and from there we can work together towards finding solutions that keep them happy and healthy! With the right care and understanding we can ensure our cats live long and stress-free lives!