Anxiety is a common problem in both cats and humans. While the causes of anxiety in cats may not be entirely clear, there are several ways to treat it using CBD for cats anxiety. Read ahead to explore what anxiety is, how common it is in cats, and the various treatment options available to pet owners.
What is Cat Anxiety?
Anxiety is when you have no reason to be worried or scared. You might have an upcoming event that you’re anxious about, or you might feel generally anxious.
There is no one-size-fits-all definition for cat anxiety. However, it can be described as a feeling of unease or worry. It’s normal to feel anxiety sometimes, but it becomes a problem when it starts to interfere with your life.
Like humans, cats can also experience different types of anxiety, such as separation anxiety, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety. Every cat has its unique personality, so the signs of stress will vary from cat to cat.
Based on observational studies, it is estimated that around 20% of cats may suffer from some form of stress. This number is most likely to be higher in rescue cats with a documented past of abuse or neglect.
What are the Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder in Cats?
The most common symptoms of anxiety in cats are:
- Hiding or avoidance behaviors
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Lethargy or low energy levels
- Depression or withdrawal from social interaction
- Urinating or defecating outside the litter box
- Destructive behaviors like chewing on furniture or carpeting
- Increased vocalization (meowing, yowling, crying, etc.)
- Aggression towards people or other animals in the home
If your cat shows even some of these symptoms, you should visit your veterinarian for a complete examination to check for any underlying medical issues and discuss therapy choices.
Causes of Anxiety in Cats
The exact causes of anxiety in cats are not fully understood, but several factors may contribute:
As per studies, specific genes may make a cat more prone to anxiety. Some feline breeds are more prone to anxiety than others. For example, Siamese, Oriental, and Himalayan cats are particularly more susceptible.
Change in Environment
Anxiety can be caused by changes in a cat’s environment, such as moving to a new home, adding another pet or baby to the family, or even something as simple as rearranging the furniture. Cats are creatures who feel comfortable in routine and daily habits, and even small changes can disrupt their sense of security.
Lack of Socialization
Cats that don’t have much contact or exposure with people or other animals during their critical socialization period (between two and seven weeks) may be more prone to anxiety.
Kittens that are handled frequently and exposed to various people, sights, sounds, and experiences during this period are less likely to be anxious as adults.
Certain medical conditions that can cause anxiety in cats include hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, and feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).
This could be from something seemingly innocuous as a bad experience at the vet or something more severe like abuse or neglect.
If your cat has experienced any traumatic event, it’s essential to be understanding and patient as they work through their anxiety.
Fear of Abandonment
Many rescue cats have come from situations where they were neglected or abandoned, so it’s not surprising that they might be afraid of being left alone again.
Cats are much more sensitive to loud sounds than you are, so it’s no wonder that things like thunderstorms or Fourth of July fireworks can cause them stress.
How to Prevent Anxiety in Cats
The best way to prevent anxiety in cats is to socialize them early and often. It’s also essential to provide them with a safe, stable environment and avoid any traumatic experiences.
If you need to make any change in your cat’s home (like adding a new pet or baby), do so slowly and gradually so as not to overwhelm them.
How to Treat Cats with Anxiety
There are several ways to treat anxiety in cats, including:
Behavioral Modification: It involves working with a certified animal behaviorist to help your cat learn how to cope with their anxiety. There are two main types of behavioral modification treatment: desensitization and counterconditioning.
- Desensitization: This is a process of gradually exposing your cat to the things that trigger their anxiety (in a controlled setting) until they no longer react.
- Counterconditioning: This is a process of teaching your cat to associate the things that trigger their anxiety with something positive, like treats or petting.
Medication: Many medications can treat anxiety in cats, including anti-anxiety medication and antidepressants. These should only be used as a last resort and under the guidance of a veterinarian.
Environmental Enrichment: This means making changes to your cat’s environment to make it more stimulating and comforting for them. This can include providing more hiding spots, perches, and toys.
CBD Oil: It is a popular natural remedy for anxiety in humans and animals. It’s thought to work by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, regulating mood and stress levels. You can give your cat CBD oil by adding it to their food or applying it to their skin.
Benefits of Using CBD for Anxiety in Cats
CBD oil is a popular natural remedy for anxiety in humans and animals. It’s thought to work by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, regulating mood and stress levels.
CBD for cats with anxiety can be given by adding it to their food or applying it to their skin. Some potential benefits of using it for anxiety in cats include:
- Reduced anxiety levels
- Improved sleep quality
- Increased appetite
- Improved social behavior
If you’re considering using CBD for your cat’s anxiety, it’s essential to talk to your veterinarian first. They can help you determine the best dosage and product for your cat. And if recommended, do make sure to purchase CBD oil from a reputable source and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.