Cats may not be able to tell us when they’re stressed, but they do show signs of stress. It’s important to observe your cat and look for any changes in behavior that could indicate a problem. Here are some common signs of stress in cats and what to look for.
Vocalization – Cats can be quite vocal, whether it’s meowing or purring. But if you notice your cat is meowing more than usual, that could be a sign of distress. The same goes for loud yowling or hissing sounds. If your cat seems anxious or agitated, that could also be an indication of stress.
Hiding – Most cats like to hide away from time to time, but if your cat is hiding more than usual, it could be a sign that something is wrong. This behavior usually signals fear or insecurity and can be caused by anything from a new pet in the home to a noise outside.
Aggression - Cats can become aggressive when they feel threatened or scared. This can manifest itself as growling, swatting at people or other animals, biting, or scratching furniture/people/other animals. If your cat is exhibiting aggressive behaviors out of nowhere (especially towards you), it may be due to stress or fear.
Elimination Issues - When cats experience a lot of anxiety and stress, they may have elimination issues such as urinating outside the litter box or having frequent diarrhea/constipation issues. This behavior should never go unchecked as it can lead to bigger problems down the road if left untreated.
Cat owners should keep an eye on their beloved feline companions for any changes in behavior that might suggest stress and take steps accordingly to help reduce the source of their anxiety. If worse comes to worst and you cannot figure out what’s causing your kitty distress, it’s best to consult with your vet before things worsen so they can provide appropriate treatment plans tailored specifically for your cat's needs!