What Counts as Cat Anxiety?
Cats can get stuck with a bad reputation they did nothing to deserve. We’ve all seen cute memes showing them as jittery, yowling biters that will scratch without warning and run away from any sort of petting who then turn into drama queens when dinner isn’t served on time. Your friends at New Haven Pet Hospital know that cat anxiety may be a symptom of an underlying cat ailment.
Attitude vs Anxiety
Anytime we see a new development in our adult pets, it’s important to note what’s going on and any surrounding factors that might be contributing. A new occurrence might be harder to spot in younger pets who are changing all the time, leaving you wondering, “Is this just their personality or maybe a new phase?” Here are general signs of cat anxiety to look out for, no matter the age:
- Aggression or hostility, such as biting or scratching
- Reluctance to be pet
- Frequent vocalizing
- Greasy fur or unkempt appearance (this can signal lack of grooming)
- Overgrooming, which may result raw spots especially around the paws
- Urinating outside the litterbox
- Digestion issues
The main reason it’s still challenging to know if this applies to your cat after reading a list of possible signs is that cats are both predators and prey animals. Sometimes being prey in the past means they evolved to hide any displays of weakness or illness, which would have helped protect them from predators. Because your cat isn’t designed to show pain, we have to look for it in other ways, and anxious behavior can be one. Just imagine if you didn’t feel good. You’d probably be a bit on edge around others.
A Common Thorn in Their Paw
We will rule out any possibility of injury or other underlying medical factors that could be contributing to cat anxiety. If there is nothing physically wrong, there could be a number of things stressing your cat out. Cats rely on routine and predictability to feel safe. Some everyday occurrences that can disrupt that sense of wellbeing are:
- Having someone move into or out of the home
- Having guests over
- Adding a new cat or other pet
- Changing the layout of your home
- Changing schedules
We can help you get to the bottom of your cat’s anxiety and design a comprehensive wellness plan to keep it from coming back. Cats have a delightfully wide range of personalities, and we certainly aren’t looking to “treat” shyness out of any naturally shy kitties! Cat moms and cat dads deserve to know if they have a fur baby who especially likes hiding or if their furry family member is hiding signs of illness or pain.
The New Haven Pet Hospital team knows that plenty of cats go running for cover when it’s time to go to the vet, which is why many of them don’t get to see us for their annual wellness exam. Senior cats, who are older than ten, need semi-annual wellness checks. Reach out to us today at (260) 493-3739 to schedule your next visit!