Treatment Of Separation Anxiety In Cats
Treatment for separation anxiety in cats falls into two main categories, behavioral modification and medication. Many cats can have their seperation anxiety addressed with behavioral modification. Your vet can help you with these techniques. In cats with biological factors contributing to their anxiety, medication may be required if behavior modification techniques do not adequately address their symptoms.
Behavioral therapy to reduce separation anxiety includes not reinforcing unwanted, needy, attention-seeking behaviour. Your cat should be rewarded when they exhibit, quiet, calm, independent activity. Stimulation in the environment to thwart boredom and distract your cat from separation issues include providing toys, cat trees, access to windows, puzzle feeders, and music or DVDs designed to stimulate cats. Exercise and playtime are also important in reducing anxiety in your cat.
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Cat Has Diarrhea When To Talk To A Vet
âWhen managing a cat with diarrhea, the pet owner must first decide if the diarrhea requires immediate treatment,â explains Bonnie Bragdon, DVM, MS and co-founder of Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association.
Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which in itself presents a whole bunch of health risks to the cat. Dehydration ârequires fluid therapy and if not treated could cause organ damage and even death,â warns Dr. Bragdon.
Solutions For Your Cats Stress And Anxiety
There is no one specific solution when a cat shows signs of stress. Removing the source of stress is ideal, but it may be hard for the owner to identify.
For the neighbor’s cat that likes to hang out on your front porch, keep the blinds closed in that room to prevent your cat from seeing it. Consider your cat’s relationship with other pets in the house, and minimize competition with extra feeding bowls and litter boxes in the house. Keep things familiar to your cat if you bought a different brand of litter, and she suddenly won’t use the litter box, go back to what your cat knew and liked.
Environmental enrichment also helps many cats. A cat’s natural behaviors are hunting, exploring, and socializing. When prevented from performing their natural behaviors, a cat’s only options are sleeping, eating, and grooming. Evaluate your cat’s living areas and make sure there are areas for hiding, climbing, scratching, and sleeping. Toys , catnip, kitty grass, and water fountains are all sources of pleasure for many cats and can provide entertainment and distraction from potential stress.
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Warning Signs For Cat Stress & Anxiety
According to PetMD.com the following 9 signs are indicative of anxiety and/or stress in cats.
- Urinating outside the litter box
This indicates a behavioral problem or potentially something more serious medically. You should take your cat to the vet to get checked out.
- Bowel issues
Your cat has trouble going to the bathroom or has loose and runny stools. This could be stress induced, due to diet or indicates a potential medical issue so you should see your veterinarian.
- Excessive Grooming
Grooming in excess to the point of being raw or bald is a sign somethings wrong and your cat is in distress
Can be an indication of health or behavioral issues
Cats are known to have a more independent and aloof nature however if they are avoiding you, take them to the vet to get checked out. Something is wrong.
- Excessive vocalization
If your cat is vocalizing more than normal, they are probably trying to tell you something and get your attention.
- Increased sleeping
Cats are known to sleep most of the day however as a pet parent, you are used to knowing your cats normal routine. So, if they are acting out of the ordinary, dont dismiss your instincts. Take them to the vet. Cats are often the master of disguising their issues, so best to rule out if anything is wrong and take them to the vet in case.
- Aggression towards other people or other animals
This can be a sign of a sick or stressed cat.
Why You Should Use Extreme Caution With Imodium
Imodium is a synthetic opioid. All opioids are known to cause constipation. They work by slowing down gut motility which allows for more fluid and salts to be drawn back into the body system.
It should only be given under the guidance of a veterinarian. The use in cats is extremely controversial and should only be used with extreme caution.
Imodium, when administered at safe levels, is not helpful for pain and, therefore, will not relieve any abdominal discomfort your cat may have.
In some cases, it can cause extreme excitement in some cats. Additionally, it can cause respiratory suppression in some cats.
You should never give Imodium to your cat if:
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Eating Something They Shouldn’t Have
And a cat who has gotten into the trash or eaten rich âpeople foodâ can experience diarrhea. âIf the stool is soft but formed, the cat is not vomiting and is eating normally, a trip to the veterinary office can be delayed a day or two to see if the stool returns to normal on its own,â continues Dr. Bragdon.
The Bottom Line On What To Do About Cat Diarrhea
In short, if your cat seems to be having any distress in passing urine or feces, then book an immediate vet visit.
However, some cats intermittently pass normal bowel movements outside of the litter box. Most of the time this is a behavioral issue. The first step in such cases is to see the vet to be sure there is no medical problem. After getting a clean bill of health, the next step is to implement a behavioral modification plan . And take comfort from one fact: Finding cat poop outside of the box may be unpleasant, but its better than finding urine.
Wondering how to stop diarrhea yourself? Check out some diarrhea remedies for humans right here > >
Thumbnail: Photography by Africa Studio / Shutterstock.
This piece was originally published in 2017.
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A Food Sensitivity Or Allergy
It can also be something in the food that the cat is specifically sensitive to. âIf the diarrhea persists and if your catâs diarrhea seems to be linked to food, your cat may be intolerant to certain types of protein or other ingredients,â explains Dr. Bragdon. A veterinarian will work with you to determine which foods to try to resolve the diarrhea.
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When To See A Veterinarian
In an adult cat, a loose stool from time to time isnt cause for concern. And if your cat is otherwise behaving normally and seems to feel fine, its reasonable to wait a day or two to see if the diarrhea will resolve on its own.
But if your cats diarrhea lasts longer than two days or is accompanied by additional clinical signssuch as vomiting, poor appetite, or lethargyit could indicate a serious health issue. And if you think your cat might have ingested something poisonous or swallowed a foreign object, you should see your veterinarian immediately.
Your veterinarian may use a number of diagnostic approaches in investigating the cause of your cats diarrhea, including a physical exam, fecal parasite test, blood work, urinalysis, and imaging .
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Reducing Stress At The Vet
One of the most stressful times for your cat is when its time to go to the vet. It all starts with getting them in the carrier. Then its time for the car ride. And then finally, your cat has to actually get through his exam. Luckily, there are many things you can do to make the trip to the vet a little easier on your cat.
- Carrier training can make a big difference in your cats comfort. Imagine how much easier it would be on both of you if you could train your cat to walk right in when its time to go! Well, its possible. Start by leaving out the carrier in plain sight all the time, adding treats, catnip, and comfy bedding inside to make it attractive and appealing to investigate. Once your cat starts to see the carrier as a good thing, you can introduce the cue to go inside and reward them with lots of treats!
- Car rides can be stressful for your cat as well. Ask your vet about a mild sedative prior to travel if your cat gets carsick, meows excessively in the car, or cowers in fear while in the car. You can consider playing calming music, spraying pheromones, and covering the carrier with a blanket or towel to reduce stress as well.
- Choose a vet that treats your cat kindly. Consider a cat-friendly or cat-only practice. A good vet will be gentle, patient, and calm and go at your cats pace.
Monitoring Your Cats Condition
If your cats diarrhea fails to resolve after a few days of home treatment or his overall condition gets worse rather than better, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
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What You Can Do
- Closely monitor your cat for the frequency and amount of diarrhea, and whether or not it is bloody or watery.
- Observe your cat for other signs of illness.
- Save a fresh stool sample to take to your veterinarian.
- Give your cat a probiotic such as Fortiflora®, Proviable®, or Benebac®. If you do not have one of these, giving ¼ teaspoon of plain yogurt twice daily is a less ideal alternative.
- Add 1 tablespoon of canned pumpkin to your cat’s food twice a day. Be sure to use real canned pumpkin and not spiced pumpkin pie mix.
- Encourage your cat to drink more water by using water fountains, running water from faucets, and placing more bowls of fresh water around the house.
- Feed canned food, which has more water in it, or add tuna juice to your cat’s food.
- If your cat is new to your home, minimize stress by providing hiding places where your cat can retreat without being bothered by people or other pets.
How To Reduce Stress For Cats
One of the ways to help your cat lower the levels of stress is by providing it with scratching opportunities.
There are a couple of main points when it comes to reducing stress in cats:
- Establish a routine and stick to it. Avoid sudden changes in your cats life, instead, make changes gradually.
- Remove or reduce stressors as possible.
- Provide environmental enrichment through increased climbing and vertical space opportunities, food puzzles, scratching opportunities, and daily play sessions.
- Maintain daily excellent litterbox hygiene, use basic boxes, get rid of liners and hoods and dont use harsh chemicals that irritate your cats boopable snoot.
- Provide resources for every cat . Experts recommend having one more litterbox than the number of cats.
- Avoid using heavy scents in the home
- Make sure you have adequate space for the number of cats you have: ASPCA recommends 18 square feet per cat.
- Provide adequate socialization to kittens: San Diego Humane has a great checklist on how to do this.
- Utilize calming aids as necessary. This includings pheromone sprays, thundershirt, anxiety medication, calming treats, Assisi loop, etc.
- Partner with your veterinarian to make sure your cat is in good health and free of pain.
- Visit Fear Free Happy Homes for tips on how to make veterinary visits less stressful, and more tips on reducing fear and anxiety in cats.
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What Causes Separation Anxiety In Cats
Some factors could predispose a cat to developing separation anxiety, while other causes are environmental:
Being a female cat. Female cats are diagnosed with separation anxiety more often than male cats.
Living strictly indoors. Most separation anxiety cases are seen in cats that live strictly indoors and come from a home with only one adult caregiver.
Not having other pets in the home.
Being orphaned, weaned early, or bottle-raised.
Experiencing a change in routine often prompts separation anxiety or causes it to get worse.
When Should I Be Concerned About My Cats Diarrhea
If your cat’s diarrhea doesn’t go away quickly , it might be the result of a serious underlying problem that requires medical attention.
If your cat has additional symptoms such as pain or discomfort in addition to diarrhea, this might indicate that something more severe is occurring. It’s always a good idea to contact your veterinarian if you’re unsure. Getting a professional evaluation is always beneficial, even if the cause appears minor, such as consuming old food.
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She Doesnt Like Sharing Resources
Your cat just might not be a sharer. Some cats just dont like to share their resources, which can include food, water and space, Dr. Bonk said.
This means that if you have two cats in one household and are expecting them to share a bed or even eat close together, one cat might hate the idea and get totally stressed about it.
Signs That Your Cat Is Stressed
Most of us experience stress and anxiety at times. It certainly isnt fun! Just like us, cats can also feel stressed. Fluffy may not have to worry about her job or paying bills, but she can still suffer from anxiety. Some of the things that make our feline friends nervous include loud noises, strangers, changes in ownership, and moving. New roommates, whether human or animal, can also make kitties uneasy. Your furry pal cant tell you if shes feeling stressed, but her behavior may clue you in. Read on to learn about some of the most common signs of feline stress in this article from Fairfield Animal Hospital, your local Cy-Fair veterinary clinic.
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How To Stop Cat Diarrhea From Happening
One great first step in keeping your cat healthy , is ensuring your cat is up to date on vaccines, deworming, and current preventions says Dr. Michelle Burch DVM from Safe Hounds Pet Insurance. âPreventative care will help to prevent intestinal parasite infections and some viral infections,â explains Dr. Burch.
If your cat is prescribed to take an antibiotic, Dr. Burch recommends supplementing with a probiotic. âYou can speak with your veterinarian about a probiotic they carry in the hospital, or you can find one at your local pet store,â says Dr. Burch.
Causes Of Cat Diarrhea
Diarrhea in cats is defined as significant amounts of soft or watery feces generated more often than healthy, firm stool. Diarrhea is caused by an increase in fecal material movement in the intestines , as well as a decrease in water, nutrient, and electrolyte absorption. It’s frequently a symptom of a more serious underlying ailment, such as the ones listed below.
Diarrhea may be an issue for cats because it reduces their ability to absorb nutrition and can lead to dehydration. It might also indicate the presence of other, perhaps more significant underlying problems.
If you notice that your cat has consistent diarrhea over a few days, along with other noticeable symptoms, it could be a sign of one of the following ailments.
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When Should I Be Concerned About My Cat’s Diarrhea
Most cats with acute diarrhea usually only have one episode of diarrhea, are fine afterwards and require no treatment. Causes for concern include chronic diarrhea that doesn’t resolve with treatment, bloody diarrhea, worms in stool, weight loss, loss of appetite for more than one day, or if your cat is lethargic or looks dehydrated .
Old Cat Diarrhea: Causes And Treatment For Diarrhea In Senior Cats
After practicing as a veterinarian for more than 20 years and being chief of staff at Animal House of Chicago, I have treated my fair share of old cat diarrhea. These cases have ranged from something simple, like a cat eating too many cat treats, to something more complex, like a senior cat with an overactive thyroid condition. I dont like to see any cat suffering from diarrhea, but it can be especially difficult for senior cats to handle.
When a senior cat has diarrhea, its most likely a sign of another ailment, such as pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism or stress. Stress can be triggered by a recent move, new pets in the house, the loss of a pet and many other things. Think about anything that might have changed recently in your cats life. You and your veterinarian might have to play detective to determine the cause of your elderly cats diarrhea.
Knowing the cause of the diarrhea is the first step to preventing any recurrence. Overactive thyroid, food allergies, kidney failure, cancer, poisoning , can all result in diarrhea. Obtain veterinary assistance if the cause isnt apparent or it is an ongoing problem. A cat food with fewer allergens or treatments for a disease might reduce or eliminate the diarrhea.
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