How cats show they're stressed: how to help your pets

Yulia LoseynkoLife
Simple steps to help relieve a cat's stress

We love house cats because they relieve our daily stress with their affection and their ability to purr. But do we pay enough attention to make sure our furriest animal doesn't suffer from stress?

According to the BBC Earth, animal behaviorists led by Lydia Reinberg from Australia's La Trobe University in Melbourne, decided to study how cats become stressed, what causes it and how to combat it. For this purpose they decided to observe the fluffy animals in the shelter. And they took into account only those who found themselves in such an institution for the first time.

How to spot stress in a cat

The subjects were 20 cats and felines that had become pets when they were children and then entered a shelter. At the beginning of the experiment, the researchers determined the amount of stress they were under and rated it on a scale from mild to severe. Researchers then tracked each animal's behavior after it ended up in the shelter.

Reinbregg said that the cats' stress levels in these environments often depended on the actions of the workers. Those test cats that suffered from mental pressure despite being in a very spacious enclosure tried to hide in houses and other secluded corners. Those that felt calm preferred different raises.

Scientists established a clear pattern: the more stressed the animal was, the more time it spent in the hiding place. "It turned out that cats in a highly stressed state wanted nothing more than to hide from everyone. And calm animals are happy to climb up and watch what's going on around them," explained the scientist.

Another result of the study was the conclusion that cats, under the influence of strong stress, are more passive. Most often they just lie there and do nothing. According to Reinberg, stress causes a furry cat to suppress his behavioral instincts and lie curled up for hours. A calm cat, on the other hand, will happily explore his surroundings, look for games and activities, and make contact with people and other cats.

Vocalization can also be a sign of stress response. It turned out that cats who meowed loudly or scratched the scratching post noisily felt relatively well. That is, what people take for nervous behavior was in fact the norm. Quiet cats, on the other hand, suffered from stress.

How to help the cat to cope with stress

The researchers also studied how you can help a cat to cope with stress. To do this, they divided their test fluffy cats into two groups. The first group was given a lot of attention by the shelter workers, who took care of them. Already on the second day of their stay in cages, the stress level of these cats began to decrease.

Thus, scientists suggested that people can alleviate the emotional pressure on the cat with their rather simple actions. To do this, you need to slowly approach the animal and crouch down to its level. After that you should give her time to get used to your scent and only after that you should touch her. You should speak to the cat in a calm voice and friendly tone. "It may seem trivial, but cats are sensitive creatures, they react to any little thing around them," Reinberg explained.

Previously, OBOZREVATEL told you how to understand that the cat feels happy.

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