If you're like everybody else in the world, you know what stress is. You come home from a long day of work which you need those small vices to decompress and unwind, ready for whatever the next day throws at you.
What about your cat? Many people believe our pets have stress free lives, ready to be given any and all luxuries you can muster. And you wish you could have such an easy life just for a week!
But it's not like that at all!
Animals, as well as our own, are prone to stress.
Anything can be a stressor for our animals, whether it's fireworks, a change in environment, or even a new family member. Many things can trigger stress in your cats.
So what can we do?
Well, only you know what calms your friend down (if you think that's a cop-out, you are right on the money) so whatever we suggest is literally that; a suggestion.
When it comes to cats, some do really allow everything just to wash over them, but if you've got a cat-like Mr Bump, then most things set him off.
Usually, when he gets highly stressed, he will stop peeing as the stress causes struvite stones to form in his bladder. Struvite stones are small mineral build-ups that cause blockages within the urethra that in turn makes the bladder struggle to empty causing a literal backup. This is incredibly painful for cats as they have no way of expelling the urine and can be fatal if ignored.
Mr Bumps dance with a UTI.
So when this happened to Mr Bump, we had to look at what we needed to do to get Bump back to his usual grumpy self. We first spoke with our vet about changing his diet to a urinary specific diet (Royal Canin Urinary S/O wet and dry food), gave him a larger litter tray, and offered more scratch posts and catnip.
The Royal Canin S/O food is specifically designed for urinary tract infections. The moisture content is much higher, and the mineral content is much lower. Perfect for getting the urine more balanced.
We use this food for all of Bumps meals, and he will be on them for the rest of his days.
When it came time to change Bumps litter tray to a larger tray, we had to improvise a little bit. Bump is a large cat, and most trays are too small for his big ol' butt, so finding a tray perfect for him, we bought a low wall storage container, big enough to fit him in comfortably and for easy access.
This paid dividends to Bumps visits to the little kitty room, as he is able to move freely in the tray and get a more comfortable position as he was spending more time there than usual.
The following approach was scratching posts! Having multiple scratch posts seems like a no brainer but seeing as how vital scratching is to cats, adding more was the right move to go.
You see, allowing cats to use scratching posts really is one of the best ways to reduce stress. It stretches them out, allows them to sharpen their claws and generally relieves any tension they might be feeling.
And lastly catnip, I don't think I need to go too much into detail about this as I'll probably write something more detailed about catnip in the future. But as you undoubtedly know, cats go crazy for catnip.
The Other Signs!
The very brief detail I went into with Bump and his brush with a UTI is just one of the instances that cats can face when dealing with stress.
There is a plethora of other ailments and complications that can arise from stress. Some of these being
- Heart conditions
- Poor Coat Quality
- Other UTIs
Cats really are some of the most empathetic creatures on the planet. So stress can be a real problem they deal with. Which can make it difficult coping yourself when helping a cat with stress.
Giving cats multiple options when it comes to enrichment is a sure-fire way of reducing stress. Being fully mindful of what your cat could be going through not only will better your relationship with them but will help you identify anything wrong with little Whiskers.
What Products will help calm the purr machine
Well, we have a range of products designed to reduce stress and improve the quality of life in your cats.
That small list will instantly improve your cat's happiness and reduce any stress they are feeling.
So you've read some ways on what can cause stress and how to relieve it. Stress is an important issue when it comes to keeping any animal and, being ready for the eventuality of helping a stressed-out cat is vital. We hope you've gained some insight on this and maybe learned some things as well. Keep an eye out for some of our other posts about stress in future.