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Soothing an Anxious Cat

August 15, 2019

Do you have a scaredy-cat for a pet? Cats all have their own unique purrsonalities. While some are bold and fearless, others are very timid and shy. If your feline pal is on the nervous side, read on! A Roanoke, VA vet offers tips on keeping your anxious cat purring in this article.

Hiding Spots

Make sure that your kitty has a hiding spot in every room. This doesn’t have to be fancy. A spot behind a bookcase or under a bed will do just fine. Your pet will probably also appreciate kitty tents or tipis. (Tip: you can make a cat tent out of an old tee shirt and some wire hangars in just a few minutes.)


If you have another pet that is bullying your kitty, offer Fluffy some vertical space, like a cat tower. Of course, you’ll also want to ask your vet about how to ease tensions between your furry friends.


Boredom is often a source of anxiety in cats. Fluffy may also be frustrated due to past experiences or a major change. Provide her with lots of toys, and play with her regularly. This will help in several ways. For one thing, it will keep your furball entertained. It will also offer her a healthy outlet to take her frustrations out on. Last but not least, a vigorous play session will leave your cat calmer, as she’ll be a bit tired afterward. We don’t have to tell you what happens when kitties get tired. Naptime!

Veterinary Care

Make sure to keep up with your cat’s veterinary care needs. Your kitty may be acting up due to pain or discomfort from a medical issues. If Fluffy gets the all-clear, at least you know she’s healthy. If your pet is extremely nervous, your vet may recommend using pet-calming products, or even medication.


Cats are always happiest when they feel loved. This doesn’t necessarily mean constantly petting your kitty: some furballs just don’t care to be petted much. If Fluffy is kind of aloof, get that little motor going by talking to her, playing with her, and offering toys and treats. Of course, if your feline buddy does like snuggles, then lots of cuddles are also in order.

Our Advice on Soothing an Anxious Cat

What should you do if one pet is bullying an anxious cat?

If one pet is bullying an anxious cat, ensure they have separate spaces. Provide the cat with safe, high areas like cat trees or shelves, where they can escape and observe from a distance. Gradual, supervised reintroduction with positive reinforcement can help. Consult a veterinarian or animal behaviorist for strategies to reduce aggression and stress. Consistent, calm interaction and avoiding punishment are crucial to fostering a peaceful coexistence between the pets.

Why is regular veterinary care critical for an anxious cat?

Regular veterinary care is crucial for an anxious cat to ensure any underlying health issues aren’t contributing to their anxiety. Health problems can manifest as behavioral changes, including increased anxiety. Regular check-ups allow early detection and treatment of such problems. Additionally, a vet can provide specific advice on managing anxiety, including environmental modifications, behavioral therapy, or medication if needed. Keeping your cat physically healthy is vital to maintaining their well-being and reducing stress.

What role does boredom play in a cat’s anxiety?

Boredom can significantly contribute to a cat’s anxiety. Without sufficient mental and physical stimulation, cats may develop anxious behaviors. Activities like playtime and interactive toys provide necessary stimulation, reducing stress and anxiety. Boredom can lead to frustration and restlessness, exacerbating anxiety symptoms. Regularly scheduled play sessions and environmental enrichment, like climbing structures or puzzle feeders, help keep a cat’s mind active and alleviate anxiety by channeling energy into positive activities.

Can pet-calming products or medication be beneficial for highly anxious cats?

Pet-calming products or medications can be beneficial for highly anxious cats. Products like pheromone diffusers, sprays, or calming collars help reduce anxiety by mimicking natural, soothing pheromones. In more severe cases, a veterinarian may prescribe anti-anxiety medications. However, these should be used under professional guidance as part of a broader behavior modification plan. It’s also essential to address the root cause of anxiety through environmental enrichment and potential behavioral therapy. Always consult a vet to determine the best course of action for your cat’s needs.

How can ensuring a cat’s health reduce their anxiety?

Ensuring a cat’s health can significantly reduce their anxiety. Many health issues, such as pain, discomfort, or hormonal imbalances, can manifest as anxiety or behavioral changes. Regular health check-ups help detect and address these issues early. A healthy cat is less likely to experience the physical stressors that can exacerbate anxiety. Additionally, a well-cared-for cat with a balanced diet and a safe environment is more likely to feel secure and calm. Addressing both physical and emotional needs is critical to reducing anxiety in cats.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns about caring for your cat. As your Roanoke, VA pet clinic, we’re here to help!

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