Safe & Natural Methods to Calm Cat Anxiety
Cats, just like us humans, can suffer from some pretty severe anxiety. It is no less debilitating for them than it is for us, either.
Understanding how to calm cat anxiety can change their life and yours.
Why Is My Cat Anxious?
You may be wondering if you’re doing something wrong to make your kitty upset. The truth is, anxiety in cats can result from a plethora of reasons. Some of these reasons are completely outside of your control.
If you and I both went to the doctor for anxiety, the triggers for us will likely be entirely different. So it is with our felines.
Here are some of the most common reasons cats suffer from anxiety:
- Pain or illness resulting in stress that triggers anxiety
- Biological imbalances
- Changes in your home environment (moving, relocating furniture, new furniture, etc.)
- New pet or baby
- Separation anxiety when you leave for work or errands (common with cats who have been abandoned)
- Animals outside seen through the window (territorial anxiety)
- Past trauma as a kitten or adult
- Age related anxiety. Older cats are more prone to suffer with fear/anxiety
- Environmental: toxic plants in the home being chewed on, loud noises, reactions to chemicals in food, litter, etc.
It is critically important to have your cat examined by a qualified Veterinarian to rule out illness or other potential problems.
The risk factors listed above may be able to explain much of your cat’s behavior, but ruling out disease is a huge piece of the puzzle.
Signs & Symptoms of Anxiety in Cats
Please remember to bear in mind that each case is unique. Cats are masters at masking pain and other weakness from their survival instincts in the wild.
For this reason, while these signs and symptoms may be seen in your cat, others may not show. You may also notice odd behaviors that have no apparent cause.
Monitoring patterns with your cat will help you get a better understanding of what’s bothering him/her and their individual triggers.
These are all ways cat anxiety can manifest:
- Destructive behaviors in your home
- Getting out of sight
- Obsessive grooming
- Refusal to use the litter box
- Yowling and excessive vocalizations
- Changes in weight and/or eating patterns
- Changes in sleeping patterns – less energy and activity
- Aggression with other cats or humans in the home
- Sudden mood swings and unpredictable reactions
Stress Is Serious
Have you ever had someone tell you that you need to stress or worry less? It’s no secret that stress is nothing to really laugh about. The toll it takes on our bodies adds up over time and creates sickness in our bodies.
Our cats have the same reaction. If your feline is chronically stressed and anxious, medical problems will result at some point.
For the safety, well-being and peace in your home, treating your cat’s anxiety is a necessary part of being a pet parent.
Treat Cat Anxiety Without Medicine
Is it even possible to treat cat anxiety without medicine? Yes! It sure is 🙂
Sometimes the answer we need is the most simple one. You may have already tried these ideas out (that’s okay!) but here are some suggestions of ways to calm cat anxiety without drugs…
Good ol’ fashioned love! Ever noticed how when someone you love and trust gently hugs you or rubs your back, you instantly feel soothed? Your cat loves it too!
Each of our cats have different requirements when it comes to physical touch, of course. I’m sure by now you are aware what type of kitty you have.
If your cat is all about hanging out with you and loves love – spend some real quality time doing just that with them. Petting your cat makes them feel safe and secure with you and helps naturally calm their nervous system.
Even if your feline isn’t the touchy-feely type, they might still enjoy a scratch here and there! Acknowledge them when they walk into the room and see how they respond. Paying close attention to their needs may give you some clues as to what’s missing for your cat.
Cats scratch to stretch their bodies, to shed the dead outer layer of their claws and to leave their scent on their surroundings. Scratching is an instinctual need they have and it shouldn’t be disallowed in your home!
Instead, providing a safe spot for them to hide and scratch too will help them feel happier and safer in their space. Redirecting their need to claw, scratch and stretch to appropriate items will relieve your frustration and theirs!
I absolutely love this cat tree from Go Pet Club on Amazon because it is sturdy and safe, has places to hide, satisfies your kitty’s need to scratch, stretch and de-stress without damaging your home.
Try and create a calming environment for your kitty. Do your best to limit changes that create stress for them.
Redecorating, vacuuming, loud music and other changes to their world impact them more than we realize.
It’s not possible to avoid everything that can upset your cat, but do try to keep their space as predictable as possible.
It’s important to have items around that your cat knows as familiar. Their favorite toys, scratching posts, furniture and other creature comforts can provide them with a feeling of security in their home.
Creating a space that makes your cat feel safer limits stress-inducing behaviors that make both you and kitty very unhappy. Do what you can to improve their quality of life and you’ll be greatly rewarded with a happy cat.
Natural Remedies That Work
I don’t know about you, but in my own life, I opt for the natural cures as often as possible. I find that God designed this earth with some incredible healing abilities.
Herbs, spices and other natural remedies are powerful. What I love most about them is their safety. You still have to be careful, of course. But side effects from natural remedies are so much less common.
With that in mind, here are some product options that I know from personal experience work for reducing cat anxiety.
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through my link, I will earn a small commission. Zero cost is added for you. I never ever recommend what I don’t absolutely love, trust and believe in. Integrity matters to me. I want you to be happy.
Our cat, Dizzy, has severe anxiety. She was badly traumatized as a kitten when some idiot abandoned her in the middle of the woods as a barely weened kitten.
Her behavior has been wild! 🙂 She’s precious and can be incredibly affectionate. She can also be unpredictable and just flip out with no real warning.
We began noticing a pattern. Certain things frustrated her and she would then take that out on us.
Biggest trigger? The stray cats outdoors. She used to go out whenever she wanted for short periods of time. Then they showed up and it really upsets her, terribly.
The more she would see them outside in her territory, the more frustrated she would become. Their presence makes her feel unsafe and really ticked off, to be frank.
I began doing some research and found Jackson Galaxy Safe Space for cats drops. To be honest, I was hoping it would work but didn’t put too much expectancy into it.
Wow, we were pleasantly surprised! After the first couple of days, she became much calmer! Her sudden outbursts had diminished dramatically. Seeing the outdoor cats didn’t seem to threaten her nearly like it did previously.
Her overall body language became much more relaxed and simply happier. We could tell that she was feeling more confident and better in general. What a blessing for us both!
One of the biggest bonuses? She loves the taste in her food! Even food that she isn’t wild about, she’ll eat easily with these drops on it.
You don’t have to put these drops in your cat’s food if you’d rather not. There are several ways you can administer them.
- Apply 3-5 drops directly to the fur on the upper back, OR
- Apply drops to the palms of your hands and pet your cat
- Use 3-5 drops in food or water.
It’s easy to find the method that works best for you and your cat. Since Dizzy loves the taste so much, we continue to put it on her canned food.
The smell is wonderful. To me, it smells a bit like vanilla extract. Maybe my nose is just weird 🙂 Either way, it is a very nice and soothing scent.
Jackson Galaxy has a large product line of drops for different situations. We have tried several of them and are completely satisfied with each one.
The only downside to this treatment could possibly be the cost. It’s in the ballpark of $25 or so for 1 bottle. However, that bottle lasts long enough (about a month or so with one cat) that it’s entirely worth that price to see a relaxed, happier Dizzy.
I recommend Safe Space for Cats if your feline kiddo is stressed out, feeling territorial and just plain unhappy. It is my hope that you will have the same results as us, and I pray you do!
Let me know if you try it and love it, okay?
Have a look at this video from Jackson Galaxy for more information on how to use Safe Space for Cats drops:
Feliway has been around quite some time in the world of cat calming and has been a trusted brand.
This was the first calming agent that we tried with Dizzy. I purchased a bottle from our local Vet and tried it later that evening.
First, we sprayed the furniture with this Feliway spray. What effect did I notice? She stopped scratching the furniture!
Anywhere Feliway had been sprayed, she was calm and relaxed. Her behavior did a complete change. It really did work!
Feliway works by using feline facial pheromones to mimic the chemical cats emit from their faces when they are feeling calm.
When you see a cat rubbing their face on you or the furniture, that’s what they are doing. Their scent brings calmness to them and other cats in the home.
Pheromones used in this way tells kitty’s brain that all is well and they can relax.
If unwanted spraying, scratching or aggression is what you’re struggling with, try Feliway spray.
One of the most effective ways I’ve seen it work is when we needed to travel to the Vet’s office. Instead of stressing Dizzy out, I sprayed her cat carrier 1 hour in advance of her needing to be placed inside.
The pheromones worked beautifully. There was nearly no struggle getting her inside the carrier and she was perfectly calm lying down in there!
I marveled to the Vet about how well this worked and he said they recommend all of their clients to do the exact same.
Feliway spray really does work. I can 100% recommend it to you if what you just read fits your situation.
The small bottle I purchased from the Vet’s office was terribly expensive and didn’t last a very long time. Online is a much more reasonable deal.
Finding Sweet Relief
Both options listed above are tried and true. Obviously it’s incorrect to say that it works in 100% of cases. What I can say is that it worked well in ours and many others.
Many natural options for cat anxiety relief are available today. As time goes on, I will review many of those options. You and your cat don’t have to live with stress, fear and anxiety. Help is out there!
Do you have a product that works miracles for your cat? I’d love to hear about it.
If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you! Leave your comment in the reply box below. Until then, much love and many hugs to you and your furbaby!
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I'm Holly. Devoted wife to my amazing husband, Bill. Faithful woman of God. Introverted and Introspective INFJ (MBTI). Lover of nature and animals (especially cats). I love writing and research, especially on topics of nature, plants, faith, and cats! My hope is that people feel encouraged, comforted and supported after interacting with me. Especially fond of who society deem the "underdogs," I love helping people see their God-given beauty and celebrating it!