How to Calm Down a Cat - Stressed, Aggressive or Nervous Cat
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Is your cat nervous, stressed, hyperactive or aggressive? As their caretaker, it's important to learn how to help our cat calm down in these types of situations.
In this AnimalWised article we're going to explain how to calm down a cat, whether they are stressed, aggressive, nervous or hyperactive. Continue reading to learn the best ways to help your cat relax.
Helping your cat relax or calm down
When it comes to helping your cat relax or calm down, there will be a couple of factors we need to take into account. The first thing you'll want to do is make sure that your cat doesn't have any underlying diseases, you can do this simply by taking them to the veterinarian for a regular check-up. Certain illnesses, such as hyperthyroidism, can lead your cat to become hyperactive. This is why it's best to first rule out any medical reasons.
Next, you want to make sure that your cat's needs are all met. Is their litter clean? Do they have fresh water and food? So they have enough space to play and their own personal area to relax? All of these things will play a role in how they are feeling. Cats may sometimes get aggressive or hyperactive as a coping mechanism for when they are stressed due to a lack of care from their companion.
If your cat's needs are met and they are physically healthy, it's still possible for them to experience nervousness, stress, hyperactivity or aggression. In these situations we will need to be there for them so they can calm down and get over whatever has caused them to react the way they did. Keep reading to learn how you can help your cat calm down!
Be there for them
Sometimes cats are nervous and do not need a lot of comforting, they simply need you to be there for them without smothering them. So, grab a book and sit near them. Allow them to naturally calm down knowing that they are safe in your presence.
Avoid grabbing them or smothering them as it may stress them even further. Your cat may just need some time to relax and calm down by themselves, and then they will probably come to you for some affection. Once they come to you, you can pet them gently so they can feel reassured by your support and presence.
If your cat is nervous about going to the vet, you can also be there for them without manipulating them so they can feel more in control and more safe in this stressful situation. You can also try to talk softly to them as you would at home so they know that you are calm and will protect them.
Don't create stress
Cats like routine as it makes them feel more secure. That's why we never want to create big changes in our cat's routine or lifestyle as it may lead to them experiencing stress or anxiety. Certain things that can create stress in a cat is changing their food, having someone move into your home, move into another home, etc.
Properly socializing your cat can help them cope with life changes when those inevitable changes do arrive. And when they do, you should try to make sure that all of their needs are covered, that they are in good health and that you try to keep things as they were before as much as possible.
You will then simply need to give them time and space to adapt to the changes. Be patient and be there for them when they need reassurance. Your cat will calm down and be back to their usual self in no time!
Create a safe and cozy space for them
Something else you can do to calm your cat down is to create a safe and cozy environment for them. This will include their normal and personal resting area, having the curtains drawn, no hectic movements or loud sounds and maybe some soothing music. You should also remember that cats can sense our stress, so it's very important that we are also calm and near them.
This should be a safe space they can come to when they need to relax or when they're not feeling well. This is why you should avoid allowing other pets into this area. Remember that each pet will need their own personal space where they can go to be alone or to simply relax, this can be your bedroom, an area in the living room, etc.
Give them plenty of affection
Although many people think cats are very independent animals that wish to be alone, cat companions know this isn't true. Cats need their companion and suffer from separation anxiety when separated from them for many hours. Cat companions also know the importance of playing with your cat and giving them lots of affection.
Cats usually enjoy sleeping with their companion, as well as resting on the couch with them and receiving pets and kisses. In fact, many times they will come over to demand some love from their companion. Therefore, if your cat is nervous or stressed and come to you for some affection, don't hesitate in gently petting them, talking to them softly and giving them some kisses to help them calm down.
Play with them
Affection, food and play time are the pillars to a happy cat. This is why the next tip we have for you is to play with your cat. This may help them get rid of their hyperactivity or destress from whatever is worrying them. So, if your cat seems stressed or hyperactive, try to get their favourite toy and play with them for 10-15min. They will soon be very entertained with you and their toy, this will also make them feel a little tired and ready to rest after your play time.
Keep in mind that cats are naturally very curious and playful so if you make them a new toy or bring home a new cardboard box, they will most likely get distracted and curious about the new object. Once they're done playing you can follow our other tips to help them relax and fall asleep, such as creating a cozy environment, giving them affection and being close to them.
Get help from a professional
If you follow all these guidelines but your cat continues to be stressed, nervous or hyperactive, you will need to bring them in for a check-up at your trusted veterinarian again. Remember to let them know if your cat is experiencing any other abnormalities as this can help them perform the right examinations to see what's wrong with your cat.
If your cat is aggressive or having other behavioural issues, you should try to figure out what the root of the issue is. Perhaps it's due to a new pet in the household or a new environment. Whether it is, you will need to help your cat overcome this issue. If all fails, you can also contact a feline behaviour specialist that will be able to help you.
Lastly, we leave you with our video on 5 ways to help your cat relax.
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