In the first part of this article we talked about the problems of having a cat who, just like us, can suffer from stress. What should we do? No, a visit to the hot springs is not the answer… but some tips may help to relieve his – and our – agony. Let’s see how!
We saw how stressed cats can become a problem for home life and, above all, for their health and happiness. We all know how hard it is to fight stress. Dinner out with friends, excursions to the lake, yoga classes… there are times when none of these solutions really resolve the problem even for us, and the same is true for the cat, who has just as hard a time getting completely rid of the anxiety he finds himself suffering from.
But don’t despair. There are actually ways to reduce the levels of stress in our cats, like making the space he lives in more fun and stimulating. The first thing to do is to consider the food and litter box situation, two highly important aspects of daily living. When there are several animals in the house, the number of bowls and boxes should match the number of pets, plus one. Cats are very competitive animals, especially when it comes to food. So keep the bowls distant from one another, in different rooms if possible. Feeding time is always a sort of “battle for survival”, even though our pets are pampered and revered: for as much as they can be friends as the day progresses, a competition for food is not out of the question and can include, for example, gorging so that he can go finish his rival’s food too.
Toys and space are also hot topics. In order to prevent your furniture from being shredded by your cat’s claws, we suggest you get him a padded post he can scratch to his heart’s content (and it seems that cats prefer material that shreds easily). And you can increase the amount of space he has at his disposal by getting him a cat tree to climb into and hide (if you don’t mind, then bookcases, shelves and stairs often do the trick here). Remember, cats are territorial and they love to look down upon their domain from above. And, finally, to relieve stress, there are toys that stimulate his intelligence and keep him busy. You can use old handbags and boxes, but you can also buy specialised toys for them, like any of the many items of the Clever&Happy line by Ferplast. We’ll talk more about the topic of toys and playing soon, and hopefully that will inspire you some more!
You can always reduce anxiety levels through pheromones. These substances (which come in spray form or can be released into the air with a special diffuser) cannot be smelled by humans but can relax our pets. Synthetic pheromones mime the action of the pheromones the cat naturally produces when he rubs noses with people or objects. They help him to distinguish familiar spaces and make him feel more secure in his own territory.
If you notice signs of stress from your cat, don’t hesitate to take some simple precautions: a happy kitty is at peace with himself, with us and with our furniture!
We would like to thank the veterinarian Chiara Pellizzari for helping.