|I do suffer from anxiety at times you know!|
Now that firework nights are over (I hope) and we can go back to normality (for at least a little while till Xmas or Meowmas arrives and humits go bonkers again) I thought that it is about time to remind all you humits out there a few truths about us kitties ...For example that us, kitties, too we also suffer for stress and extreme anxiety at times....
For example appetite along with weight changes, depression, digestive problems, nervous behaviour, and loss of sleep are not only symptoms of human anxiety but also cat anxiety too as kitties can suffer from anxiety in many ways like humans do, and which anxiety in many cases can be prevented (and I even speak from experience here).
As we kitties also experience anxiety too, it is then their humit's responsibility to be in tune to their kitties behaviour and mental state and pick up on changes that might indicate their kitty is suffering from stress. Us, kitties, experience anxiety because of psychological, physical, and environmental factors and without intervention, the results of a kitty's stress may become harmful to her health by comprising her immune system and making it susceptible as a result to many illnesses.
As everybody knows every kitty is an individual and as a result it will show signs of anxiety in her own way. This is why it is important that any change in your kitty's behaviour is noticed as soon as possible by the humit carer. Signs of anxiety can be things like:
Changes in appetite or weight, excessive vocaliisation, changes in toilet habits (such as urinating outside of the litter tray), some compulsive behaviours such as excessive grooming or even fur pulling and self-mutilation, aggression, lethargy or depression, the onset of sudden destructive behaviours (such as furniture scratching), restlessness, etc.
So if your kitty is showing any signs of stress and anxiety, it is very important that you talk with your vet first to rule out any possible medical problems that might cause such behaviour and if the kitty is physically healthy, then ideally to try and at least speak to a kitty behaviour specialist for advice on how to deal with their kitty's anxiety
The humit also should try and and determine the cause of the kitty's anxiety: For example could any of the following be the cause of the such an anxiety?
When there have being long periods of separation from family (because of holidays perhaps) , perhaps because of boredom or even lack of exercise or interactive play (nope, no problems here for certain)...or even some form of fear such as loud noises, other cats, certain people or objects, etc. (especially if the cat is very timid and nervous by nature), inadequate nutrition (my favourite one) or health problem / pain or some form of discomfort , even insufficent space (when more than one cats are sharing the same environment), sudden changes to daily routine and of course loss or addition of a family member (a new baby or kitty or any other pet).
Along with talking with a cat behaviour expert to establish cause and possible treatment there are also several things that a humit can do to try to minimize stress and anxiety in the their kitty's life (such as making first of all the cat's well-being a priority of course). For example the humit should try and enrich their kitty's environment with sufficient toys and games and also by trying to play with their kitty with interactive toys such as a laser pointer or a mouse/bird/snake like toy or even feathers at the end of wand or hanging from a small fishing pole and then move it around like a small prey so to give the cat the opportunity to stalk and eventually catch her prey. By also providing some catnip or kitty grass or even by adding a couple of new scratching areas around the house. Providing also high-quality, nutritious cat food, fresh water, and sufficient attention could also help.
Treating anxiety can be a long and tedious process so the humit carer would need to be persistent if he/she wants to help her/his kitty to overcome her anxiety.
You see, us, kitties, like humans, we also experience emotional stress, and it is something that it needs to be taken seriously and treated accordingly by you all humits!