What Are Emotionally Traumatized Cat Symptoms -And How To Help?
Cats may feel mental discomfort if they are in stressful situations. However, even a predator attack, a close call with a car, or cat trauma from a fight might cause long-term discomfort.
Why Do Cats Suffer from Emotional Trauma?
Just a few situations that might lead to these rooted emotional issues are listed below:
- Abuse or abandonment by the previous owner.
- Thunderstorms and hurricanes.
- Highway traffic accidents.
- Battles between cats and other animals conflict.
- Lack of contact and early exposure to frightening stimuli.
Not all cats that have experienced trauma will exhibit emotional signs. Some cats may emerge completely uninjured and in good health from any of the previous events. Others may suffer from a variety of mental diseases. Stressful situations increase the risk of cats developing PTSD or anxiety. A cat’s response can only be predicted after the incident.
What Are Cat Emotional Trauma Warning Signs?
The only method to determine whether your cat has previously suffered trauma is to check for the symptoms and indicators of trauma. It’s important to recognise these symptoms in traumatised cats so you can begin to understand what your cat is going through. The most typical symptoms of emotional stress in cats include the following:
1. Aggressive Behaviour
Traumatised cats can become aggressive. This is commonly true when a cat has experienced maltreatment in the past. In order to defend themselves, many cats who live in a hostile environment may attack their assailants. Even if your cat is currently in a safe environment, this aggressive behaviour can still continue.
2. Unexpected Mood Swings
Cats that have experienced trauma are more prone to be clinging, combative, and afraid. However, cats’ sudden transitions between these powerful emotions and other “normal” moods is another sign of emotional stress in cats. For a little while, your cat could seem at ease and pleased before shaking or attacking you.
3. Not Using the Litter box
Avoiding the litter box is frequently a sign of fear in cats. Many cat owners are confused when their feline friend seems to forget how to use the litter box all of a sudden. But it’s likely that stress, anxiety, and PTSD are all at fault. Even if your cat has been using the litter box happily for years, this can still happen.
4. Retreated and Growing Hiding
Many cats with PTSD prefer to spend a lot of time hiding. Some species only emerge from their hiding place in quest of water or food. They might completely cease communicating with people and withdraw. This is because cats hide because it makes them feel safer. In fact, they are protected from any risks or hazards that may be in their way.
5. Disruptions in Sleep
One of the most prevalent PTSD and cat anxiety symptoms is sleep disruption. Your stressed-out cat is unable to relax. They’ll keep thinking about the terrible thing that happened, and their thoughts will be alert. As a result, your cat won’t be able to sleep. They can begin walking back and forth and becoming impatient.
6. Your Feline Buddy Becomes More Affectionate
Because she needs your assurance more frequently than usual, your cat is becoming more loving. They are now too attached. They fear being hurt in yet another brawl.
7. Decrease in Appetite
Loss of appetite is among the most prevalent symptoms of stress and illness. This holds true for mental problems brought on by traumatic experiences. This is due to the fight or flight response that a cat with anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may exhibit.
8. Negative Behaviours
Their propensity for destructive behaviour is another trait shared by stressed cats. Examples include severe scuffing on your furniture, curtains, or carpet, cleaning each of your indoor plants’ soil and chewing on non-food items from the home.
9. Unexpected and Excessive Vocalisations
One blatant indication of emotional stress in cats is excessive vocalisation. Particularly if they meow a lot at night, a loud cat may be bothersome and obnoxious. Fearful cats frequently make yowling, weeping sounds instead of happy, chirpy meows, which exacerbates the disturbance.
10. Extreme Inclinations to Escape
Now, stressed-out cats frequently hide or exhibit fearful behaviour. For instance, during a fireworks display, your cat can seem a little anxious. They could wait for the noisy performance to end by hiding under your sofa.
What are the Ways by Which You Can Help Your Cat to Reduce Anxiety & PTSD?
There are more universally applicable therapies for cats’ stress, anxiety, and depression. Here is a closer examination of these methods.
1. Making the Environment Safe
The most important thing you can do for a cat going through emotional trauma is to provide them with a safe place to be. To help them digest the incident and return to their normal, cheerful selves, this peaceful environment must be created.
2. Drugs on Prescription
In some circumstances, adopting behavioural therapy and creating a secure atmosphere alone is insufficient. In these circumstances, your veterinarian might advise utilising medicine. This is frequently suggested in conjunction with behavioural therapy and the use of “safe zones” for the best results.
3. Mental Workout
Cats need a lot of mentally challenging objects in their safe haven to keep them occupied. Food puzzles are a great substitute since they force your cat to use cautious thought in order to solve them. Toys also encourage physical exercise and support your cat’s general welfare.
4. Utilising Pheromones
Because pheromones may dramatically lower stress and encourage relaxation in cats, pheromone treatment may be beneficial. Cat pheromone collars can be used. Due to their affinity with your cat, they will take this calming scent with them everywhere they go.
5. Secret Locations
Cats need a hiding place to feel secure. This is because cats sometimes utilise these hiding areas to quickly unwind when they’re anxious. When there aren’t any places to hide, cats become more agitated. As a result, hiding spots are essential. They may hide in shoeboxes, cardboard boxes, cat homes you can buy at the shop, or even a bookshelf that your cats can climb.
6. Desensitisation and Counterconditioning
Particularly, behavioural therapists typically recommend two methods. This needs to be carried out with caution and in a secure setting. The amount of exposure to the stimuli can be raised progressively over time. Your cat will gradually lose its fear of the stimuli as it realises there are no negative repercussions to it.
How to Relieve Stress from Pets?
To reduce cats’ anxiety and aid in their better adaptation, we may do a number of things:
- Maintain a regular schedule for mealtimes, playtimes, and interactions with them whenever you can.
- Give them access to a dedicated quiet area. You should also allow your cat to choose when to interact with you.
- Create a stimulating environment both indoors and outside. Provide your cat with a number of places to hide and climb so they may feel protected. Put the water and food bowls, litter boxes, and other supplies in quieter areas of the house.
- Provide toys, climbing structures, food puzzles, and cat-friendly plants to keep your cat engaged mentally and physically e.g,.catnip.
- Give your cat plenty of room and alone time. If your cat is nodding off, unwinding, or otherwise appears to be satisfied doing their own thing, resist the urge to disturb them or attempt to grab their attention.
- If you think your cat could be stressed, it’s also essential that you get professional advice from a knowledgeable cat behaviourist.
What Signs Might My Cat be Experiencing Separation Anxiety?
Despite the fact that every cat is unique, the symptoms of separation anxiety in cats typically include:
- Uncontrollable screams, meows, or groans.
- Excessive self-care, eating too quickly or not at all, peeing outside of the bathroom, and having a negative outlook.
- There was a surprisingly high level of exhilaration upon returning from home.
- Vomit that has food for hairballs trying to escape.
What Signs of Stress Manifest in Cats?
The signs of stressed-out cats include:
- Being unusually withdrawn or secretive.
- Lower one’s tolerance for other people.
- Refuse to sit on your lap, use the litter box, or use the cat flap to enter the home.
- Eating more or less.
- Scratching of furniture.
- Several cats meowing.
- Hissing or growling.
- Hunching over and tensing up.
- Extreme gagging or nose-licking.
- Diarrhoea or nausea.
Frequently Asked Questions Traumatized Cat Symptoms
Consult your veterinarian if you believe your cat is experiencing PTSD, separation anxiety, or any other form of emotional trauma. They could offer drugs or, as was already said, behavioural treatment. They will also help you deal with your cat’s erratic and unpleasant behaviour so that you two may once again have a happy connection.
Who Is Isabella?
My name is Isabella, and I am a dedicated and knowledgeable cat enthusiast. With years of experience caring for cats and a deep love for felines, I made a mission to help other cat lovers navigate the challenges of cat ownership.