5 Stress Relief Tips to Calm an Anxious Cat

The unpredictability and unhappiness of an anxious cat is a recipe for disaster, and pet parents that have to deal with a stressed-out cat may find themselves clawing at the walls. To keep your cat calm and under control during stressful situations, try incorporating these easy tips into your treatment routine.

Cover Her Eyes

Cats are driven by sensory input of all kinds - noises, sights, touch. When kitty’s sense of sight is temporarily removed with a blindfold, she is no longer affected by what she sees. Her instinct makes her remain calm to better assess input through her other senses. This technique can be effective for clipping her nails.

Gently Grab Her Scruff

Grabbing your cat by her scruff (the loose patch of skin where her head connects to her neck) is like pressing the kitty pause button. You can thank instinct for this handy trick. When she was young, her mother cat asserted her dominance and carried her baby around by grabbing the scruff of her neck. But make sure to never, ever pick your cat up or carry her around by the scruff of her neck - her weight cannot be supported this way and she can get hurt.

Sing a Song

Human emotion transmits to cats more effectively through our tonal quality when we sing. They will listen closely to determine what we are trying to communicate to them. If you habitually break out in song when giving her love, comforting her when she’s sick, or to calm her freak-outs, she will associate your singing with knowing that everything is all right. Put her name in your song to further reinforce that this is for kitty only.

Give Her a Box

Anxious cats need an escape hatch and a feeling of safety. Small confined spaces like boxes or even her carrier with the door open can make kitty feel like there’s not enough room for anything or anyone to harm her. The bonus of being in a box is that it’s a great place both to hide and keep a lookout. Just like kids, if they can’t see you, they assume that you can’t see them.

Try a Cat Tree

A cat condo is kitty’s special place where she knows that humans and dogs can’t fit. An anxious feline without a cat tree may jump up on a high shelf instead to escape perceived danger and survey her territory. She instinctively knows that gaining significant height helps her see greater distances than when she is on the ground. Kitty can also remain hidden while monitoring her prey or enemies.

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First Published July 25, 2014 12:00 AM