By Kayla Cobb
Knowing the stress signals from your cat can be tricky. Cat parents want to watch for signs of acute stress, such as: a cat’s ears may be laid back flat, the body may be in a crouched position and vocalization may include hissing or growling. For example, sitting on the examination table at the veterinarian’s office or when one cat comes face-to-face with unfamiliar cat.
Chronic stress occurs when a cat is left in a state of uncertainty, especially in their environment. Think of a cat forced to live every day with another cat who displays constant hostility, or the cat confined to a cage in a shelter for months and then taken to a home where there’s more open space than any other time in its life? Can you imagine the degree of chronic stress there? What about the indoor/outdoor cat who has moved to a new neighborhood and is put outside every day with no safe retreat back to the security of his home? These are just a couple of examples but there are many other situations that create stress. It’s important to look at your cat’s world from his or her point of view. Try to use your “think like a cat” skills to recognize the stress culprit.
If your cat displays any of these characteristics such as:
-Urine marking -Cystitis=inflammation and/or infection of the bladder.
-Vertical scratching -Alopecia=hair loss or patchy fur
-Over grooming -Anorexia=cat refusing to eat, leading to excessive weight loss
-Inter-cat conflict -Obesity=cat overeating, leading to excessive weight gains
…Then Feliway may be a good option for you!
Feliway creates a synthetic copy of the natural feline facial pheromone which is proven to help reduce or prevent feline stress and the associated behavioral or medical problems. To help avoid stress, cats mark out their environment using a range of visual, pharomonal and scent clues. Cats will urine spray or scratch mark areas or objects they perceive as being potentially hazardous or new. This reminds the cat to be vigilant in these areas. Facial pheromones confirm to the cat that an object or area is safe and familiar.
Feliway is available in 3 convenient forms: an electric diffuser, a spray and wipes.
Feliway Diffuser– offers a natural and convenient way to help manage stress-related behaviors in your cat. Just plug into your AC outlet closest to the area in which your cat hangs out and help them feel more at ease and comforted as the pheromones fill their space.
Feliway Spray-(20 mL spray) is a behavior pheromone spray treatment, (not veterinary medicine) to help your cat cope with challenging situations
Feliway Wipes-These are helpful when traveling. Wiping down crates or objects that are unfamiliar will help your cat relax in stressful situations. Available as a sample packet to try or we can order a box in clinic for you.
All products are available and sold here at Dehler Animal Clinic. Stop by or call us at (207)-854-3132! We’d be happy to discuss the pros and cons of feline stress and the use of Feliway and other convenient options!