cat sitting on table looking angry signs cat stressed

6 Signs Your Cat is Stressed

[First published, 8 Sep 2019, Last updated: 11 Dec 2019]

Has your cat been tired, agitated or just too upset lately? Suddenly it isn’t eating, playing around, or may not even want to be around you! If your cat starts to exhibit behaviours that it would normally never express, there might be too much pressure on your cat

This article will help you to identify the signs that indicate that your cat is stressed!


1. Isolation

cat in a box signs of stressed cat

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You may notice that your cat has started to actively isolate itself from you or the people around it. Your cat might start to not want to come out of its room, and would not want to participate in activities any more. In this case, your cat might be under pressure, thus not having the energy to move around (and not just because it’s lazy!)

2. Excessive scratching

cat scratching signs of stressed cat

Image Source: Giphy

If your cat starts to compulsively lick or scratch itself, this could be an indication that your cat is stressed! This tends to start when there are drastic changes in a cat’s environment, including new furniture, new people or even a change in your mood! Did you know cats are able to sense when their owners are stressed? Remember, a cat can only be happy if you are! Start smiling more! It’ll cheer your cat up too!

3. Decreased appetite

grumpy cat signs of stressed cat

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Your cat might stop eating the food that it usually enjoys, and even during feeding time it might refuse the food. This issue could also be caused by dental problems, pain and internal obstructions. This may also be because your cat is stressed due to the other factors above.

Further Reading: Why Is My Cat Not Eating?

4. Over-grooming (sometimes to the point of creating bald spots)

cat getting groomed signs of stressed cat

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Cats are known for their intense grooming (being the lookers that they are), but licking themselves bald is a very clear sign of distress. This is also known as ‘psychogenic alopecia’, which will occur when the normal licking activity of your pet becomes excessive. The constant licking or grooming of itself is actually a coping mechanism for stress, as it releases endorphins when the cat is under pressure!

5. Excessive meowing

kitten meowing signs of stressed cat

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Most people find the soft ‘meow’ from a cat calming and even soothing. However, when the meows start to get unusually long or constantly repeating and recurring (especially if your cat is usually not a talker) and is constantly in panic, then it is a huge sign that your cat may be stressed!

6. Overall aggression

black cat tackling cream cat signs of stressed cat

Image Source: Giphy

If your cat is usually a pacifist, but has started to fight constantly, or carry out aggressive actions toward both other household pets or people, it is a sign that your cat is stressed or sick, as they feel uncomfortable and have the urge to take it out on others. If you have noticed this in your cat, try to identify the reason what is causing your cat this stress!

If your cat shows these signs or more…

It’s best to consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviourist immediately, as if this constant stress on the cat is not addressed, it could cause severe illness and irreversible conditions. Make sure that the conditions around your cat is appropriate for them too! We as pet owners always want the best for our pets, and we want to make sure they are in top condition. Spend more time with your cat, and give it all the attention it needs!


We hope this article has helped you to identify any signs of stress in your beloved cat. To take better care of your cat’s health as well, check out our our article on How to Get Your Cat to Drink More Water!

References:

Pets, WebMD, https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/cats-and-compulsive-scratching-licking-and-chewing#1

PetMD, https://www.petmd.com/cat/centers/nutrition/slideshows/signs-your-cat-might-be-stressed

Healthy Pets, https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/09/10/cats-excessive-grooming.aspx

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