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causes of cat stress

Our modern lifestyles can often conflict with our cats’ natural needs. To create an environment for healthy, happy and calm cats, it’s important to understand those needs and potential causes of stress and anxiety.  


Your cat’s environment plays a huge role in their stress level. Fortunately, once you identify an environmental problem, you have an opportunity to make changes to relieve or lessen the stress.

Take a look at the list below and think about whether your cat has experienced any of the following:

• Moving to a new home
• Multiple animals in the same home
• Forced socialization with people or animals
• Being confined to one area
• Lack of fresh air and sunshine
• Disturbances in routine or lack of routine


Just as in humans, emotional stress can cause physical symptoms for your cat.

For cats, these emotional triggers include:

• Loneliness
• Boredom
• Loss of a family member
(human or animal)
• Generalized fear
• Rivalry with other pets
• Jealousy of other pets
• Addition of new family members
(human or animal)
• Being picked up or handled inappropriately
 • Lack of freedom to make choices


If your cat is experiencing stress from a physical cause, it’s important to follow the recommendations provided by your veterinarian. Illness or pain can cause your cat to display signs of anxiety or stress.

Possible physical stressors include:

• Obesity
• Trauma to the body
• Surgery
• Parasites, such as fleas or worms
• Any chronic or acute illness