Natural Remedies For Anxiety In Dogs & Cats
What actually works for your pets symptoms will depend on the root cause and their specific reaction to stress. Youll probably have to try more than one natural remedy until you find out which one works best.
Notes of Caution:
- Cats can be extra sensitive to herbs and essential oils. Use them with extreme caution or refrain from using them entirely.
- Essential oils are too potent for pets and should be heavily diluted. Many should be avoided altogether.
- Consult with a veterinarian before introducing herbs to your pet to avoid drug interactions, problems with pre-existing conditions, etc.
When Do Cats Need Sedation
In some short-term situations such as during a veterinary visit, while trying to trim mats out of the fur, or loud fireworks a reasonable amount of anxiety is expected. But if a kittys stress is severe, they may try to escape the situation and end up becoming lost or injured in their panic. Or, they may bite, scratch, or injure a human.
Sedation or anxiety-reducing medications can help prevent both of these scenarios. They can also keep a cat happier by making a potentially stressful situation much more comfortable for a feline.
There are also some pets who struggle with long-term anxiety. For example, maybe an older cat is unhappy about a new kitten housemate. Or, a cat may have general anxiety due to their personality type or a previous trauma.
Kitties who fall into this chronic stress category may benefit from long-term medications.
This is especially true for cats whose stress manifests in physical symptoms. A common example is cats with interstitial cystitis, an inflammatory condition of the urinary bladder. In cats prone to this condition, stress can bring on a flare up that requires veterinary treatment.
Cbd Oil For Cats: What Are The Possible Benefits
CBD has many benefits for humans and cats alike. As the compound interacts with the bodys endocannabinoid system, it helps the bodys process of homeostasis. Homeostasis is the mechanism that keeps the body in a natural balanced state. The following includes some of the well-known therapeutic effects of CBD separation anxiety cats treatment.
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Increased Aggression Or Submission
Any cat owner will testify that sometimes their furry friend can act a little odd. Because of their predator-prey roots, cats will oscillate between acting aggressive and acting submissive, especially if they have a playmate. While this behavior is normal, any major changes could be a sign of cat anxiety. For example, if a normally playful cat spends all day under the bed, they may be anxious about something.
These are just a few signs that your kitty might be experiencing some anxiety. If you notice any major changes in your cats behavior, eating, or litter box habits, speak with your vet about possible feline anxiety.
Now that you understand some of the common symptoms of cat anxiety, its important to understand what may be causing them.
How To Prevent Anxiety In Cats
One of the best ways to help your cat grow up to be well-adjusted and anxiety-free is to ensure theyre well socialized as a kitten.
Expose your cat to a variety of social situations and experiences while they are young to decrease the likelihood of them developing anxiety in the future. This could include being petted by strangers, human visitors coming and going, meeting other cats and dogs, travelling in a car, and hearing a variety of loud noises.
When introducing a new pet to the home, take things slow. If you notice any signs of anxiety or territorial behavior in either pet, separate them and let them live in separate rooms for a while. Reintroduce them slowly, starting with their scents use a common towel, brush, or other item between your pets to help them recognize and get used to each others scents. Next, slowly allow them to spend time together. Gradually increase the duration of their interactions until they have adapted to living in the same space. Continue to introduce and separate your pets until they are coexisting safely.
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Homeopet Anxiety Relief Animal Supplement Best Value
If you want fast results without paying an arm and a leg, consider HomeoPet Anxiety Relief Dog, Cat, Bird & Small Animal Supplement. Its the best cat supplement for anxiety you can get for your money. These drops are made in the USA by trusted manufacturers.
You can give your cat this oral homeopathic treatment daily for general anxiety up to 3 times daily. There are 450 drops in all, so that it can get you by a lot longer than some. It really helps to stretch your dollar.
Each ingredient is researched and proven, so you know each ingredient is supposed to alleviate stress and anxiety. This formula is best suited for mild anxiety cases to provide temporary relief. So, if you need something a bit more substantial for your kitty, it might not work as well.
If you dont mind spending a little extra for ultimate effectiveness, Vetoquinol Zylkene Behavior Support Capsules Small Dog & Cat Supplement may work wonders. Unlike drops, the capsules give a bigger kick, so it works for a little more complicated anxiety issues.
Thirty tablets come in each bottle, and you can get an auto-ship option, so you dont have to go through the hassle of reordering. This formula is non-drowsy, so you wont have to worry about making your pet sleepy or throwing off their schedule.
- Some cats may be sensitive to ingredients
Herbs And Herbal Extracts For Pet Anxiety
Herbs and herbal extracts that help calm nervousness include Catnip, German Chamomile, Hops, Passionflower, Skullcap, St. Johns Wort, Astragalus, and Lemon Balm. The easiest way to administer these herbs is with an extract that contains a combination of them, such as Stress Gold for Dogs or Calming Care for Cat Anxiety.
Natural sedatives may be used for temporary relief of symptoms when necessary, but they shouldnt become a way of life.
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Specialist Help For Cats
For particularly severe anxiety or issues that are not resolving, you should speak to your veterinarian. They can organize a referral to a board certified veterinary behaviorist to get you additional help. Keep in mind that if your cats anxiety goes untreated, the symptoms can become more severe over time, even resulting in health conditions.
Prescription Anxiety Meds For Cats
If your cat isnt responding to other methods of treatment, or if her anxiety is severe, a veterinarian might prescribe her with an anti-anxiety medication.
Veterinarians have multiple medications that can be prescribed to help with anxiety and may be used in combination, Dr. Burch said.
Some of the most common prescription anti-anxiety meds for cats are:
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Help Your Furry Friend Feel Less Anxious
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The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang
Just like people, cats can get stressed out from time to time. Boredom, overstimulation , and changes in their environment can easily set them off. While the best thing to do is keep your cats environment as stress-free as possible, calming aids for cats can also help when unavoidable changes are happening in their environment.
According to Dr. Zay Satchu, DVM, co-founder and Chief Veterinary Officer of Bond Vet, there are several different types of products marketed to help relieve stress and anxiety in cats, including treats, collars, sprays and plug-ins. Sprays and plug-ins work by releasing calming pheromones into the air that are calming and help kitty relax, explains Satchu. Treats use a blend of calming and relaxing herbs, similar to how some teas work for people.
So, what should you look for? The best calming aids contain pheromones, rosemary, chamomile, and/or tryptophan, says Satchu. Shes partial to Feliway products, but there are other options that cat parents have also used with some success. Keep in mind that no product is effective with 100 percent of cats, so it may take trying out a few different options to help your cat feel more relaxed.
Below, you’ll find the best calming aids for cats.
Watch Your Cats Behavior
Seeing one or more of these signs may indicate that your cat is in pain. It is useful to remember that cats do feel pain, but because they are both predators and prey, they will not readily show signs that they are in a state of pain and distress. Therefore, it is important to keep a close eye on them.
It pays to observe your cats behavior. Most owners are familiar with their cats behavioral patterns and can quickly tell if there is a problem. If something is wrong, then you should take your cat to a veterinarian especially if the condition is persistent or gets worse. At this point, you may want to seek out natural pain relief for cats.
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Can Homeopathic Medicines Be Combined With Conventional Medicines
The best way of using homeopathic medicines is always to use them alone as this shows their efficiency very clearly. Thus said, it is very well possible to give the patient a combined treatment with conventional drugs that are supported by homeopathic remedies. This kind of combined treatment can lead to good results, too.
Situational Anxiety In Cats
Some kitties may be fine on an ordinary day until something tips the balance of things around the house. The good news is, environmental factors are sometimes the easiest to treat because you can accommodate your cat to make them most comfortable.
Many times, you can pinpoint the root cause of anxiety or stress. A majority of the time, it spikes from noticeable changes that you are well aware of.
- Loud Noises
Your cat may be particularly sensitive to loud noises, which can be perfectly normal. Your cat may dart under the bed when they hear a thunderstorm, fireworks, alarms, or other obnoxious noises that they cant place.
- New Home Changes
Cats are often creatures of habit. They might get bent out of shape if you move to a new home or even bring home a new appliance or piece of furniture. These changes are temporary and your cat can certainly adapt, but they might need a little help while theyre in transition.
- Vet Visits
Lets face itvet visits are rightfully scary for a lot of pets. Its full of unfamiliar animals, smells, and people. Plus, your cat may correlate the vet with bad experiences involving surgery, shots, and other not-so-good memories. Its natural for them to be apprehensive about the whole situation.
- Grooming Trips
- Family Additions
- New Pets
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What Are Some Of The Common Causes Of Anxiety In Cats
A number of different things can trigger anxiety:
Changes in your cats environment
Illness or physical pain
Improper socialization during kittenhood
Its important to determine the precise cause of your cats anxiety, so you can remove the stressor from their environment or mitigate its effects as much as possible. Think back to any recent changes that have occurred in your home that may be to blame. You should also pay close attention to your cats behavior throughout the day and note when and where they display the most symptoms of anxiety. Taking video footage of their behaviors and keeping a log of their activities may help you and your veterinarian to pinpoint the cause.
Calming Herbs For Our Cats
Did you know that there are other herbs aside from catnip that are calming for cats? There are also herbs that can be used to excite our feline friends to help inspire them to get their exercise. And there are even herbs meant to stimulate a playful mood in our cat companions so they engage and will be more friendly. Of course, natural remedies for kittys stress and anxiety are preferable to medications. Not only are they effective, but theyre a safer alternative to prescription and carry little to no side effects.
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How To Treat And Manage Your Cats Anxiety
The best way to treat most cases of anxiety is a multi-modal approach that combines behavioral modification techniques, making changes to your cats environment, natural calming aids, and potentially anti-anxiety medication, depending on the severity of your cats anxiety. Any underlying or linked medical conditions will need to be treated as well.
Successful treatment plans require consistency and commitment, as it may take several months for your cat to overcome their anxiety, or to reduce it to a manageable level. Be patient and remember that even small changes in their behavior and symptoms will have a meaningful and cumulative impact on their wellbeing and quality of life.
What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety In Cats
There are a number of different ways that anxiety can manifest, and symptoms may not always be obvious. In general, you should watch out for any changes in behavior, particularly following any changes in your cats environment.
Common cat anxiety symptoms
Physical signs of anxiety, such as holding their tail tight against their body, holding their ears back and hair standing up
Anxiety can also trigger a number of medical conditions, particularly Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease and Upper Respiratory Infections , so you may also notice related symptoms, such as difficulty urinating and increased frequency of urination for FLUTD, and sneezing, congestion and discharge for URIs.
If your cat frequently suffers from recurrent medical issues, you and your veterinarian should consider the possibility that they are being caused by underlying anxiety.
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Check For Health And Behavior Causes
Cats that do not feel good can react with anxious behavior. Kitties have evolved to be great pretenders and never let on that they feel bad. Stoic cats with hidden aches show only subtle signs, if at all. A hurt paw may not cause a limp but instead prompts the cat to hide or become clingy, for example. Resolving an underlying health issue often relieves anxious behaviors.
For a cat, the unknown equals danger. Wild kitties that failed to honor this truth were taken out of the gene pool, while properly cautious cats survived to breed and passed on this caution gene to future generations. Being cautious and hiding are survival instincts, so your cat may naturally be a little more anxious than others.
Best Treat: Vetriscience Composure Calming Formula For Cats
Delivery Method: Treat | Key Ingredients: Colostrum calming complex biopeptide blend, L-theanine, thiamine
Starts working in 20 to 30 minutes
Can increase dosage for desired results
Can be broken into smaller pieces
Some cats might not eat them
Can be difficult to chew
These treats, which combine colostrum, L-theanine, and thiamine can start to calm your cat down in as little as 30 minutes. In addition to soothing the nervous system, these ingredients support cognitive function and improve brain health. The dosage, or amount of chews you give, depends on your cats weight but if youre not getting the results you want, you can double or triple the amount with no adverse effects. You can also break a treat into pieces if a smaller bite is more appealing to your cat or you want to offer them a smaller dose. If you have a cat with an anxious personality, you can give these daily or you can administer them just as needed during particularly stressful times.
My cat is generally very nervous, so we wanted to find something to help her during car rides. It took several tries to get her to eat the VetriScience Composure treats, but we eventually had success by adding them to her regular breakfast. They do seem to help her chill out., Senior Editor
Delivery Method: Diffusion | Key Ingredients: Natural nursing pheromones
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How To Tell If Your Cat Is In Pain
It can be extremely difficult to tell if your cat is in pain. They tend to hide that fact from their owners. This may cause you to overlook certain telltale signs. Additionally, there are many different types of pain states, broadly divided into acute and chronic. An example of acute pain would be an injury or bite wound your cat suffers. An example of chronic pain would be arthritis, which is extremely common in cats.
Tips And Tricks For Happy Cats
If your cat regularly gets stressed or anxious, there are some tips and tricks you can do to make sure your kitty is as happy and calm as possible. Some vet favorites are:
- Always provide a safe space for your cat. Cats usually like to rest in high places, such as on a cat tower or window perch, because they feel like they are out of danger. If possible, provide multiple levels for your cat, as well as an enclosed bed or box that they can find solace in.
- If introducing a new animal into the house, do so slowly and patiently. One of the worst things you can do to your resident cat is introduce a new intruder right away and let them work it out on their own. This approach will lead to increased stress for both the resident cat and the newcomer. Instead, section off the new friend in their own room and let them adjust, while your older cat smells and investigates the new animal. Cats learn with their senses, so by limiting their interactions, your cat will be able to learn about this new playmate slowly and more confidently.
- Set a routine and stick with it. Usually cats like their food and litter to be in the same spot and to be fed at similar times every day. This regularity will also help their digestive systems.
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