Cats are very stoic animals and they hide their physical and emotional pain from us very well. Even the most intuitive cat owners might miss some warning signs from time to time. Sometimes, though, we just don’t know what to look for. Cats display symptoms of stress much differently than humans do, so we might be looking for the wrong signs. Stress can also be caused by many different variables, from anxiety to disease. Identify the symptoms of stress early on will help you start treating your cat’s discomfort as soon as possible. If you notice any of these signs, we recommended seeking veterinary attention right away.
#1 – Excessive Grooming
It’s normal for cats to groom themselves regularly, but sometimes they can get a little out of hand. If you notice your cat is licking and chewing so much that her hair is falling out and her skin is getting irritated, it might be a sign that something else is going on. Grooming is a calming behavior for cats, so the more they do it, the more stress they might be trying to relieve. Grooming to the extent of injury or inflammation will continue to get worse if left untreated, so it’s best to find out what’s bothering your cat.
#2 – Urinating Outside of the Litter Box
Even cats that have never had an accident might urinate outside of their litter box when under stress. If you notice your cat is having accidents, don’t get angry. First, look at what the underlying issue might be. Cats are creatures of habit, so even a small change in routine or location of the litter box might cause stress. Cats are not vindictive – they are not going to urinate anywhere because they are angry with us. They’re just trying to tell us something is upsetting them and showing us that we need to help them.
#3 – Aggression
Sudden aggression is almost always a sign that something is going on. Our cats can’t talk to us in our language, so they have to display stress and discomfort in ways that they know how. Aggression is a way for them to tell us that they are scared or in pain. Aggression can be caused by physical or emotional stress, so if you notice this change in your cat’s behavior it’s recommended to consult a veterinarian.