Can Cats Suffer From Anxiety?

Does your cat seem restless or is it becoming overly vocal? If you have experienced these behaviors with your cat and others listed below, it may have an issue with anxiety. It  can be a real problem as animals areanxiety cat also known to suffer from the pressures of daily life. We have only to look at zoo animals to understand the issues of anxiety in non-human species. It is something to be taken seriously for the health of your animal family member.

What Are the Signs ?

Below is a list of behaviors that your feline can exhibit if it has anxiety.

  • Hiding
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Excessive vocalizing
  • Changes in elimination habits
  • Compulsive behaviors or Excessive grooming
  • Aggression
  • Health changes
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • New destructive behaviors
  • Trembling
  • Restlessness

If you have ever had an anxious attack, you know how unpleasant it can be. Relating that scenario to you cat is helpful in trying to find the best way to treat the anxiety. Eliminating the cause of the anxiety is the key to helping your cat, and preventing more severe trauma. It can manifest as severe depression, and it can develop into behavioral problems.

What Are the Causes?

cat hidingSince your cat cannot communicate the problem, begin to investigate by making a list of what triggers anxiety in humans. The same things that stress you out could be the same for your feline. Like you, a cat can be prone to stress from changes in routine, uprooted situations, being left alone too long, or with the addition of a new animal family member, or the loss of one.

Although, it can be a long process to find out the root cause of the stress for your cat, your feline family member’s health should be a high priority. Some approaches to try include, using different toys for stimulation, and different diets for better nutrition. Maybe altering your activity schedule away from home is necessary as well. The following is a partial list of what the causes could be.

  • Separation from family members
  • No activity stimulation
  • Lack of exercise or play
  • Phobias
  • Inadequate diet
  • A hidden health problem
  • Inadequate living environment
  • Changes to the daily routine
  • Stress from another pet
  • Loss or addition of family member or cat

Ultimately, your cat’s well being rests in your ability to help it through its anxiety. Persistence is key to rule out any underlying cause. Medical intervention through your veterinarian may be needed such as a calming medication. However there are other products on the market that can be used to help calm your cat such as calming collars, calming mists, anti-anxiety supplements, calming cat chews, stress-relief coats, and natural remedies, such as catnip.

Like humans, some animals are naturally prone to stress and some have serious struggles with past traumas. These cats may need the assistance of a veterinary behaviorist or anti-anxiety medications prescribed by a veterinarian.

Be aware of behavioral changes in your feline to ensure that it is happy and healthy.



9 thoughts to “Can Cats Suffer From Anxiety?”

    1. Sandra, thank you for your comment. I am relieved to know that you think my blog is easy to read to gather some information on cats suffering from anxiety. Yes, each cat is so very different. I have one of those “high anxiety cats”. Everything is new is frightening and she runs and hides so much of the time. My other cats adjust fine, to knew experiences. Thanks for the praise on my logo. I appreciate it! Lainey

  1. Hi Lainey, great information. My wife and I have an indoors cat ( we live in a 9th floor apartment)that when ever she hears the door opening she scampers under our bed to hide. Even when we have visitors stay with us she won’t come out until everyone is in bed to go and eat and do her business. My saved her from a cat refuge and we think she have been mishandled or hurt with many people around her. I will try some of your tips and see how we go.

    She does love us though and will stay with us all day when we are home. We can touch play and play fight with her no problem but new people can’t get any where near her. She won’t let them.

    Thanks John

    1. Thanks for your story, John. Your cat must have suffered some trauma in its life, like you mentioned. Poor thing. But being in such a loving home has been key to her healing and her good health. I applaud you and your wife for giving her a good life. I hope the tips here help guide you concerning her anxiety with strangers. But you are her safety, and that’s really what matters most. Lainey

  2. Hey Lainey,

    I personally agree with your cat-stress insights. Intuitively, i see a few things too sometimes in my cat. I can relate this to how humans also react under pressure or stress. Will always be on a look out. Thanks.

    1. Hi Daniel. Thanks for your comment and realizing the issues concerning stress and trauma habits your cat can demonstrate. It shows you really care about your feline, with being aware. Lainey

  3. I really like this site and your Theme looks great. The info is first class. Can I ask….sometimes for no apparent reason my cat starts to bite even if all is calm…He just “goes off on one” and bites…any ideas why? Regards Gary.

    1. Hi Gary. Yes, I too have encountered such behavior with my cats. Apparently cats act out due to increased restlessness, over-stimulation or induced aggression. They can get bothered because they are not really a contact type of animal. Too much petting can actually be painful for the cat and you can tell if it is getting irritated by its tail or skin twitching and its ears are backward. So get ready and move out of the way when you see the signs! LOL You can give it a chewing, scratching toy to divert its biting, “bunny kicking” aggression.

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