Cats experience anxiety and stress just like us human employees. Unlike humans, cats don’t have many creative ways to express their feelings. Unfortunately, when cats are suffering from stress and anxiety, they generally communicate it in a very clear way that can really turn people on their head. They usually tell us by not using the litter box.
And since we can’t meow and cats can’t talk, the challenge is figuring out why our cats aren’t feeling right. Usually, when a cat stops using its litter box, it is a medical problem. But if not, stress and anxiety are one of the causes that tops my list.
What do cats get scared of? Here is a partial list:
– Moving to a new home
– Attracting a new household member, animal or human
– You change jobs and start a new schedule
– You bring new furniture into your home
– Kitty’s favorite person is moving out and she misses that person
– Construction and/or conversion of your own home
– Moving your litter box(es)
– Changing the type of cat litter
This list is incomplete. Cats are complicated creatures, and almost anything can excite them.
If your cat suddenly stops using the litter box out of the blue, eliminate any medical causes first. If Kitty gets a clean bill of health, check the list above and think about any recent changes you’ve made to your home. If it seems like a coincidence, it probably isn’t.
This can be a difficult problem to solve, but once you figure out the cause, you can start developing solutions. If the stress-inducing situation is temporary (like the last three items on my list), they can be treated.
However, if the problem seems to be one of the first five, it will take a lot of patience and strategy to fix Kitty.
Once the cat has adjusted to the change, it will often calm down and start using the litter box again. Confining them to one room with food, water, litter box, bedding, and toys can work during their adjustment period. This limits the damage done to your home, and when Kitty realizes that the changes aren’t harming her, she reverts to her good litter box habits.
You can also help the cat calm down by buying synthetic cat hormones. They will reassure her that life is still okay. You can also administer homeopathic remedies that are completely natural and do not cause any side effects.
Many cat owners are given kitten anti-anxiety prescriptions, but if your cat freaks out about the pill, it will increase her stress. If this is the case, rely on the synthetic hormones and homeopathic remedies to solve this problem.
Consult with your veterinarian on the best course of action to help your kitten overcome its stress and anxiety quickly. Soothe your cat with lots of extra attention and love, and that too will pass!
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