Feline ZenArticle: Is Your Cat Stressed?
Contributor: Pet Herb Store.com

It's important to minimize stress in your cat's environment.

Even though cats may look totally uninterested in their surroundings, they are acutely aware of changes happening around them. Events such as a move, a new baby, a loud family gathering, unusual noises outside, or a new puppy or kitten in the house can wreak havoc on a cat's serenity. For temporary issues, you might not even be aware of your cat's stress. It may not be until your cat's stress symptoms become more severe that you begin to notice signs of anxiety.

Physical signs:

  hiding
  jumpy/skittish reactions to commonplace events
  sleeping more than usual
  little or no interest in play or affection
  litter box avoidance
  aggressiveness
  existing illnesses worsen, or new illness appears
  constant or excessive grooming
  extreme shedding
  behaviour that may be out of character for your cat, such as digging or destructive behaviour

Help Your Cat Relax
Avoid frequent changes to your cat's immediate environment, especially where the cat sleeps. This doesn't mean you can't wash your cat's bedding or clean your cat's litter box, just remember to keep them in the same place. If you have multiple cats, make sure you provide more than one litter box. Some cats may avoid locations used by other cats.

How to Create a Feline Zen Zone
Your cat needs a safe comfortable place to Zen, or relax. This is most important when your cat has had an usually stressful moment, or is recovering from surgery or other medical intervention. Your cat will likely seek out this location on his/her own. They always say the cat knows the most comfortable spot in the house! If possible, make sure you respect the area your cat has chosen. If this is not a convenient spot, you can create a more appealing zone and encourage your cat to use this spot.

Your chosen Zen Zone should have the following:

  The ideal location is quiet, dark, and warm, with little human activity
  comfortable, washable bedding
  food, water, and access to a litter box
  pheromone products such as Feliway plugs are often effective in animal shelters and boarding kennels. They can also be used at home.

Keep to a Schedule
Cats thrive on routine and unanticipated events can be chaos for a cat. Try to feed your cat at the same time every day. This will also discourage your cat from over or under eating during times of stress.
Allow your cat privacy. Cats have different sleep requirements than humans. Don't expect your cat to want to play every time you want to share affection. A general rule is that if a cat is sleeping, don't wake it up The cat will be much happier to play on its own initiative.

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