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There may come a time when pet parents notice changes in their cats’ behaviors. Perhaps their once calm and playful cat is now starting to growl more often at other animals or people and may have withdrawn from their regular activities.
Cat anxiety does happen, and pet parents might not immediately identify it as the cause of behavioral changes. Determining when to consider a cat anxiety supplement requires pet parents to understand why cats develop anxiety, the signs to look out for, and the essential information about supplements that are specific to cats.
There are several reasons why cats develop anxiety, which can include:
New living environments
Fights with other animals
Losing a loved one
Not enough stimulation
Addition of new pets or furniture
Changes in feeding or play schedules
Pet parents would do well to keep an eye on anxiety signs that their cats might display if one or more of these reasons come about.
It’s not uncommon for cats to display typical signs of anxiety when they experience changes from their usual routines. Anxiety signs include:
Urinating in places outside of their litter box
Unprovoked aggressive behavior, such as growling or hissing
Overattachment to their pet parents
Changes in weight
Unusual amount of hiding or antisocial behavior
start waking their parents early, growl at others in the household, or change their sleeping habits.
Pet parents may notice their cats overgrooming themselves as if they were trying to self-soothe. However, other cats may do the exact opposite and begin to shed a lot more than usual —they may stop grooming themselves altogether.
There are initial steps pet parents can take when trying to reduce their cats’ anxiety:
Providing extra comforting
Not punishing anxious behaviors
Avoiding the cat carrier or other confined spaces during anxious behavior
Using food as a motivator to calm when cats need to enter their carriers and travel
However, these methods might not be enough to help, depending on the severity of the cat’s anxiety.
A cat’s response is related to their personality, and pet parents need to determine when it’s time to step up the level of treatment. A veterinarian can help assess the severity of anxiety and recommend appropriate treatment options, such as cat anxiety supplements and cat-calming products, if the cat is healthy enough to take them.
Pet parents should further research information about cat anxiety supplements before administering, such as ingredients, cat anxiety supplement specifics, and when to consider a stronger medication.
Cat anxiety medicine often contains pheromones, which are scents that all cats release from their glands to interact with their environment. Supplements containing pheromones tend to create a sense of relaxation and reassurance in cats.
Additionally, over-the-counter cat anxiety supplements usually contain one or more of the following ingredients for their anti-anxiety properties:
Pet parents should never administer anxiety medications that are designed for people. Cat anxiety supplements contain the correct ingredient dosages specific to cats.
There are differences between anxiety supplements for dogs versus cats. Therefore, pet parents should avoid giving their cats supplements meant for dogs, as some medication will have the opposite effect on cats.
Additionally, pet parents should assess the best time to give supplements to outdoor and indoor cats. Outdoor cats need to be much more alert to their environment and predators. Since anti-anxiety products lead to sedation, it’s wise to make sure outdoor cats stay in while they are receiving the treatments.
Cat calming supplements may not work for all anxious cats. If pet parents do not see the calming benefits for their cat when using over-the-counter products, a veterinarian can provide a prescription anxiety medication for cats that will be more potent. Gabapentin is an often-prescribed medicine to induce a stronger state of relaxation.
Fuzzy members and pet parents want only the best quality of life for their cats. There are several easy-to-manage options to try first when looking to calm a cat’s anxiety. Fortunately, additional help is available when those initial methods don’t seem to work.
Fuzzy members can call upon the 24/7 Live Vet Chat for further advice on easing their cat’s anxiety, including more answers to questions about cat anxiety supplements.