Does your cat hide, bite or lick a lot? They may be signs that he is uncomfortable. We present some solutions
Contrary to dogs, cats are much quieter creatures, so their needs are very different from those of furry socials. Proper care will allow this little animal to feel much more relaxed in your home. According to Dr. María Grazia Calore in an interview with Almo Nature, "if the home environment has the right stimuli, the cat will feel as comfortable as it would be in a natural environment," she explains. However, a cat may feel uncomfortable for different reasons.
Leer en español: ¿Cómo saber si tu gato se siente incómodo y qué hacer?
Changing your home or furniture, as well as altering your routine or that of your cat, are some of the situations that create an environment of insecurity and anguish for your kitten. The arrival of a new member to the family as a baby or another animal, loud noises, unknown odors, excessive attention and contact, lack of physical activity and confinement are other examples of this. Therefore, here are some signs you should keep in mind to recognize if your furry friend is uncomfortable in your home:
- Aggressive behaviors such as grunting, snorting, scratching, biting or staring with dilated pupils are signs that your cat is not comfortable. According to Animal Expert, if your cat is aggressive it can be a sign that he is stressed or afraid. The body language of your cat is a good sign to recognize when your minimum does not feel comfortable in any situation. A bristly tail, for example, is a "symbol of fear or attack".
- Does your cat not allow you to pet it? According to the Jacaranda Animal Hospital page, if your cat escapes from you or moves whenever you are near him, he bites you or hides under the bed when you want to touch him, it could mean he does not trust you. However, this may be an indication that your cat simply needs its space and does not want to be touched at that moment.
- If your cat is hiding too, it can be a sign of anguish or fear. "Cats usually have a place where they take refuge when they feel a little stressed and where they wait until they feel safe again," explains Feliway.
- The fact that your cat licks himself a lot, according to the official website of Purina, is a sign that it has parasites, some allergy or is sick. However, it can also be a sign that you are stressed by different "factors related to the environment", such as a move or the arrival of a baby or other animal in the home.
- Does your cat avoid using the sandbox? This is a behavior that, as Almo Nature mentions, expresses that your cat does not feel comfortable. "A state of anxiety can manifest itself in this way, with territorial marking by means of feces or urine. In this case the marking makes the cat feel more protected and safe," explains the website.
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What can you do if your cat is uncomfortable?
- According to The Human Society, making your house more interesting can help reduce stress in your cat. "Boredom can cause stress, so you should give your cat interesting or fun things to do for yourself," such as scratching posts, food hidden around the house, cardboard boxes, aluminum foil balls or cat weeds. "Playing with your cat twice a day for 10 or 15 minutes" also contributes to "both of you feeling more relaxed".
- If you want your cat to not feel uncomfortable in your home, a good idea is to create safe spaces, such as hiding places or high spaces to rest. However, if many cats live in your house it is necessary that you "provide multiple sand boxes and multiple containers for food and water, many high spaces for resting and hiding, as well as individual attention and interactive play time with each cat".
- "A change in your cat's eating, resting or playing routine caused by something like a new work schedule, a vacation or a new baby at home can really make your cat feel nervous and insecure," explains the organization. Among other things, try to maintain a routine or in case of changing it help your cat to adapt slowly to this.
- If your cat is scared and does not want you to touch it, it is necessary to sit "close to him, but far enough away to avoid frightening him. "Avoid eye contact, speak gently for a few minutes at a time, help him get used to you and your voice, and show him that you will not hurt him." Also, never chase your cat or drag him from the place where he is hiding, it is best to let him get close to you and only caress him when he feels comfortable with you.
Although these are behaviors that can be caused by a mental health problem, such as stress or anxiety, always remember to take your kitten to the vet to rule out any disease.
LatinAmerican Post | Diana Rojas Leal
Translated from "¿Cómo saber si tu gato se siente incómodo y qué hacer?"