Do cats feel stress? This is a valid question, one that many people believe they know the answer to. How could a cat feel stress when they have no responsibilities in life? The fact is, stress is a normal coping behavior for all animals, human or not, and as such your cat does indeed feel stress from time to time. One particular instance that can cause a great amount of stress for your cat is when you leave her home alone. Moreover, when you have multiple cats, leaving them alone in a confined space (your home) can also be extremely stressful. As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to prevent stress and the subsequent behavioral problems that cats may demonstrate.
The easiest way to help your cat with stress is through playtime. Even just five minutes of play every day is enough mental stimulation and exercise to prevent stress in your cat. And, if you have multiple cats, you may want to play with them separately. When cats sleep and groom together they are demonstrating that they have a good relationship and it’s ok to do group play. However, when cats are distant from each other, they may view other cats as a threat and you’ll want to separate play time.
By engaging your cat, you prevent many potential behavioral problems like aggression and you even contribute to their overall health. Daily play provides exercise so that your cat is less likely to become overweight or obese. Plus, play time is a great way to demonstrate appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. Make sure your cat knows that scratching and biting are unacceptable behaviors and remember that it’s easy for cats to misinterpret your behaviors as play so be patient.