How to Treat a Stressed Cat

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Treat a Stressed Cat

Most humans picture of cats as a relaxed pet, always lying on a cushion, bed or sofa, vague and quiet. However, cats are one of the animals that get most easily stressed out. Cats are particularly sensitive to changes in routine and when they feel overwhelmed, the animal may suffer greatly. At we teach you how to treat a stressed cat.

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Steps to follow:

The first thing you should know is how to identify a stressed cat and though you may not believe it, there are some very common manifestations that will guide us about the health of our cat and give us some signs. If you think your cat may suffer from stress, do not hesitate to ask for help from your veterinarian.


Common symptoms of cats under stress include:

  • Territorial marking, both urine and scratches, sometimes despite being castrated.
  • Changes in appetite, from anorexia to binge eating.
  • Aggressiveness.
  • Changes in the fur such as excessive hair loss, balding or even pulling out their fur themselves.
  • Elusive character, hiding away and shying away from contact.
  • Constant meowing.
  • Hyperactivity and nervousness.
  • Doing their business outside the litter tray.

Other physical manifestations of stressed cats are various health problems:

  • Frequent diarrhea.
  • Tremors.
  • Vomiting.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Idiopathic interstitial cystitis.
  • Recurrent infections.
  • Skin problems.
  • Asthma.

Stressed cats also often look different to a healthy cat. Generally their ears droop, they have a sad and haggard expression, their tail is down and they seem scared. Precisely because these symptoms may be typical of other diseases it is very important to consult your veterinarian to rule out other conditions.


The best way to prevent stress in cats is to get them used to socialize as kittens, this way they'll become accustomed to the presence of other humans and animals. Remember that just the presence of other cats and rivalries that occur between them is one of the main reasons for cats to become stressed.


It is essential to avoid sudden changes in routine such as travel, many cats in the same house or too many visitors. Cats are very stuck in their ways and varying their routine will end up making them anxious. Therefore it is necessary that you respect their times and their habits, and if they are of a negative nature, they can be altered with patience and education.


Giving them an adequate space that is as spacious and as comfortable as possible, which can be isolated when needed will give your pet room to breathe and relax for a while. As a cat owner you should put yourself in their shoes and think like a cat because cats need their moments, and even if they are loving, we must also respect when the animal wants to be alone and out of sight.


To treat a stressed cat, you can also provide your friend with toys that can entertain it and cat scratching posts to help them release tension and mark on an appropriate object. Do not leave them alone for long periods, because they are animals who yearn for their owners. If despite all these practices, your pet does not improve, you should consult your veterinarian about the possibility of a drug treatment.

How to Treat a Stressed Cat - Step 8

If you want to read similar articles to How to Treat a Stressed Cat, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

Write a comment

What did you think of this article?
El-yakub Muhammad
what are the nagative side of keeping cats as pet in the house with kids.
OneHowTo Editor
Kids can be great for kids as both a pet and a lesson about responsibility. However, if the kids are young, they may not know boundaries and can end up accidentally hurting the cat. The cat may hurt the child if they feel threatened or are generally stressed. Also, cats may be a vector for bacteria, especially since young kids don't always have the best hygiene.
Lila Scott
We have (had) nine cats in the house, but one got ibs and I had to take her to the vet. She evidently caught an upper respiratory infection. Took her back and the shot stopped hers but she passed it on to some of the others. One (my favorite) had other issues and we spent a lot of money trying to save him but he was just too sick. All the others seem to be adjusting ok but I have one that although his infection seems much better he won't eat. He has been in the hospital a couple of days giving him fluid and getting his temp down. The vet doesn't understand what is going on with him. His color is good, he just lies around and will not eat. If you try to make him he will just go and hide because it stresses him even more. He is still not completely well (much better though) and is still being treated with Orbax which that really stresses him out when it is time for that. Do you have any idea what can be done. If he is still not eating I will have to take him back Monday for test, but I really think it is stress. I have just been loving him and talking to him and brushing him. I get a very small tail wag and that is it.
OneHowTo Editor
You should make sure he stays well hydrated if he refuses to eat. You can give your cat water through a syringe if he won't drink by himself. Try feeding him wet food which is usually more appetizing for them. If he hasn't improved by today, take him to the doctor.
Hope he gets better,
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