Guidelines for De-Stressing Your Cat

Guidelines for De-Stressing Your Cat

Your brand-new adopted cat Samantha has taken over the house. She has already sniffed out every corner and claimed her favorite sleeping spot. Tomorrow, she’ll meet your Chico vet for a new patient exam. While he gives her a thorough health review, and prescribes a nutritionally sound diet, you’ll get advice on giving your feline housemate a low-stress life.

Abundant Clean Water

Although Samantha’s quality diet provides a good foundation, she also needs lots of clean, fresh water each day. If her body lacks sufficient water, she can experience dehydration, which can increase her stress level. Even low-level dehydration can contribute to certain medical conditions.

While your little princess has a new ceramic water bowl, she might also enjoy drinking from a flowing water source, such as a dripping faucet. Although canned cat food contains water, check with your vet before changing your cat’s diet.

Superior Vantage Point

When a diverse group of cats was surveyed, they all wanted to view their empire from a comfortable elevated perch. Samantha’s three-level carpeted cat tree is ideal, since it includes a lofty observation platform and a super-plush sleeping cubby. If your cat is a devoted indoor birdwatcher, position the cat tree near the best viewing window.

Pleasing Scratching Spots

Cats also like to exercise their claws and mark their territories. Give your industrious cat an individual scratching post or other similarly textured surface. If you have space for horizontal and vertical scratching surfaces, even better. If you have several cats, each one would appreciate their own scratching spot.

If you don’t indulge your cat’s scratching spot wishes, she’ll probably become stressed out, and she has to eliminate that frustration somehow. Your furniture, curtains, or carpet might be fair game.

Plenty of Playtime and Relaxation

More playtime will also help to lower your cat’s stress level. Aim for twice-daily sessions of 20-30 minutes each, adding more if possible. When she’s had enough commotion, give her a welcome break by placing a cardboard “hide box” in an out-of-the-way corner. Give Samantha lots of cuddling time, too. Be alert for small physical or behavioral changes that can indicate an emerging medical problem.

Minimize your cat’s lifestyle disruptions, and contact your Chico vet if she suddenly becomes anxious. If you’d like your cat to become a calmer feline family member, call us for expert advice.

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