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Calm down kitty - Helping to calm your anxious cat

by Loan Martin

If you have a cat that is very sensitive and tends to react badly to any changes in your environment, it can be a huge load on you as pet owner. If you are looking for ways to help your cat feel calmer, here are some tips.

Give them a safe space

Cats are naturally hunters and as such have a strong fight or flight response. They can often be worried that they might be attacked, and this can be exacerbated by having multiple cats or other pets in a single home. You can manage this by ensuring that each cat has a place that they can feel safe, including a comfy box, basket or a drawer that they can snuggle into and be able to clearly see around them. This means they can get enough sleep, which then helps them to feel more at ease when awake.

Give them plenty of attention

If your cat is feeling unloved and lacking in attention, it can help to set aside some special time for one-on-one attention. If your cat is nervous, it can help to do this in a low light environment where you are also laying down. This make you seem less intimidating. Make sure your cat is well fed beforehand, as a feeling of fullness can make cats feel safe and relaxed and more open to interaction.

Make the house smell calm

Many vets recommend synthetic pet pheromones that help cats to feel that the area is safe and calm. These pheromones are part of the way that cats naturally mark territory as safe, using scent, and many cats find this makes their home feel reassuring and calming. These sprays are available from vet clinics and pet stores, and can be found as room sprays or diffusers. The pheromones are odourless to humans.

Take them to the vet clinic

If these solutions don't work, you should take your cat to the vet clinic. Several medical issues can cause similar symptoms to anxiety, including hyperthyroidism, which can be diagnosed by a simple blood test. Vets can also prescribe some mild antidepressants if there isn't another underlying medical issue, which can be extremely useful for cats that don't respond to lifestyle changes.

Having an anxious cat doesn't need to be a life sentence. Trying a range of solutions from lifestyle changes to medications can help your cat no matter how severe their anxiety.