Managing stress and urinary health in cats
It is a little-known fact that stress can play a role in many changes to your cat’s toilet habits. It can also be a significant contributing factor to them developing urinary tract problems. When there is no apparent explanation for why your cat has developed a urinary issue, a lot of the time the cause can be stress related inflammation of the bladder. Learning the stressors of your cat and helping limit their exposure to stress can significantly reduce recurrent episodes of urinary tract issues.
How to know if your cat is stressed
Cats can at times be very docile so it can be difficult to figure out whether they are experiencing stress. In some cases, the signs they show you can be subtle but try your best to keep a close eye on their behaviour, especially when it comes to their toilet habits.
There are some common signs you are likely to see if your cat is experiencing stress. These can include finding your cat hiding in places to feel safe away from people or other pets, becoming more vocal than usual and over-grooming that may result in patches of hair loss and red, sensitive skin. Other signs your cat may be suffering stress can include a decrease in appetite and a change to their toilet behaviour, where you may find them urinating outside of their tray, displaying discomfort when urinating or an increased frequency.
Creating a cat friendly home
If your cat’s environment seems to be causing them stress, there are many ways you can implement a change to their surroundings to help them feel at ease. Many cats thrive on routine, so setting in place a feeding schedule in the same location each day is a good idea, as is making sure it is in a quiet place away from too much noise. It’s also recommended their litter tray is out of the way in a private space and if you live in a multi-pet household, each pet should ideally have their own designated litter tray area, including one spare litter tray.
Managing a multi-cat household
Cats are typically quite territorial and issues may arise in multi-cat households if boundaries aren’t put in place straight away. Managing these boundaries can be as simple as ensuring each cat has their own separate feeding, litter and sleeping areas. Plenty of cosy napping areas around the home for your cats will ensure they aren’t competing for one particular spot.
Talk to your vet
Changes to your cat’s routine and environment will increase the likelihood of them feeling stressed so it’s important to make sure you slowly ease them into any new situations. Sometimes though, cats may become stressed for no obvious reason and in these cases, it’s a good idea to check in with your vet to make sure it’s nothing of concern. They will be able to help you identify any stressors that may be affecting your cat and give you advice on how to best reduce their stress levels.