There’s a reason why “scaredy cat” is such a common phrase. The list of things that can cause anxiety and stress in cats is pretty long, and can include loud noises, trips to the veterinarian, and moving to a new home. While most cats are initially wary of unfamiliar noises, people or events, they eventually adapt as they get used to the stimulus. However, some cats remain anxious.Continue Reading
Thunderstorms can be extremely stressful for cats. While cats may not show their fear in quite the same way as dogs (in severe cases of thunderstorm anxiety, panicking dogs have been known to destroy furniture, jump through windows or otherwise harm themselves during storms,) they may still become extremely anxious.
Behaviorists are not sure which part of the storm frightens pets the most Continue Reading
Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many of us, but cats, unless they’re super gregarious and social, probably aren’t too crazy about all the activity that surrounds friends and family gathering for the festivities. Additionally, humans often get stressed getting ready for the holiday. Cats are creatures of habit and don’t like to have their routines disrupted. They also pick up on our stress, and your stress can actually make your cat sick. I highly recommend managing your own stress during the holidays and take some time to enjoy the season rather than constantly rushing through the days – your cats will thank you for it.Continue Reading
The holidays are meant to be a joyful time, but for many of us, they’ve turned into a stressful race to an imaginary finish line. Between parties, baking, shopping, and entertaining, there always seems to be one more thing that needs to get done. And all of this holiday stress affects our cats, too.
Cats are creatures of habit and don’t like to have their routines disrupted. They also pick up on our stress, and your stress can actually make your cat sick. I highly recommend managing your own stress during the holidays and take some time to enjoy the season rather than constantly rushing through the days – your cats will thank you for it.Continue Reading
Numerous human studies have confirmed that chronic stress is detrimental to our health. The increase in inflammatory activity in the body triggered by stress can weaken the immune system and has been associated with just about every health condition, including cancer. A landmark study conducted at the Ohio State University in 2011 looked at how stress impacts cats, and the findings led to a new understanding among veterinarians and cat parents on the connection between environmental stress and urinary tract disease.Continue Reading
Moving is stressful for humans, and it’s even more stressful for cats. Cats are creatures of habit who hate having their routine disrupted. There are things you can do to make a move less stressful for your cats and avoid problems associated with moving, such as inappropriate elimination, fear based aggression, and hiding.Continue Reading
In part one of my interview with Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, DACVN, Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Buffington talked about why he founded the Indoor Cat Initiative and how providing an enriched environment benefits cats. If you missed part one, you can read it here.
Dr. Buffington was the PhD advisor for Judi Stella, PhD, now a Science Fellow at the Purdue Center for Animal Welfare Science, for a landmark study* of the connection between stress and illness in cats has changed how veterinarians view and treat feline lower urinary tract disease.Continue Reading
Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, DACVN is Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. That sounds like a mouthful, doesn’t it? Perhaps I should simply tell you what his business card says: “Effective Environmental Enrichment Evangelist” – because that’s what encompasses what Dr. Buffington’s work has been all about for the last three decades: improving the lives of cats.Continue Reading
Cats don’t get the veterinary care they need. The findings of a feline health study conducted by Bayer Health Care found that 52% of America’s 74 million cats are not receiving regular veterinary care. Even more shocking, the study found that 80% of adopted cats are seen by a veterinarian right after they are adopted, and then not again for several years.Continue Reading
Studies have shown that our stress can affect our cats to the point of impacting their health, but so far, studies about “social referencing,” the fancy term for the tendency of a person to look to a significant other in an ambiguous situation in order to obtain clarifying information, have only been done in dogs. New research conducted at the University of Milan in Italy suggests that cats may also use social referencing.Continue Reading
Stress is the body’s response to a stimulus, such as fear or pain, that interferes with normal physiological equilibrium. It can include physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension. And just like humans, cats experience stress. Experiences such as moving house, abuse, injury or death in the family can all cause stress. However, there can also more subtle stress triggers, such as visitors in the home, other cats, or even something as seemingly simple as installing new carpet.
Unlike humans, cats can’t tell us when they’re stressed, so it’s up to us to recognize the signs. Any noticeable change in behavior can be an indication that something isn’t quite right.Continue Reading