Remember how fun it was to spook your friends or siblings as a kid and call them "scared-y cats?" As entertaining as that was - or still is - an actual anxious cat is no laughing matter. Helping your cat deal with stress is essential to his well-being. There are many natural ways - such as cat calming spray - to treat your fur baby's anxiety.
Just as human anxiety shows up in the form of headaches, changes in appetite, lack of sleep, or mood swings, cats have many of their own unwelcome signs of stress. Or, you know, many of the same ones. Are there any grumpy cats - or humans - at your house?
If your cat is experiencing stress, she may show this by not eating, excessively grooming, hiding from you, peeing outside her litter box, hissing, scratching, or exhibiting other aggressive behaviors.
Before you reach for another glass of wine or the kitty Klonopin, remember that there are many natural remedies available for pet parents to use with their cats. There are plenty of ways to help your cat without taking the step to medicate your fur baby.
Cat Calming Spray
Cat calming spray, or phermone spray, is a natural option for feline anxiety that comes highly recommended by vets.
You can use cat calming spray in diffusers that plug into an outlet in your wall or spray it directly on your cat's bed, in a pet carrier, or in other places around your home.
Try liberally spritzing some in your little one's pet carrier before your next car trip. Dr. Marty Becker calls it "kumbaya in a can."
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Herbs & Flower Essences
When I need to calm down, I brew myself some Chamomile tea to ease my stress. While you probably shouldn't brew up a steaming cup for your kitty, there are many ways to safely use chamomile supplements in liquid extracts or dried powders with your fur baby.
Bach pet remedy, made from flower essences, can be mixed in with your cat's food or water. You can also rub Bach flower essence into your pet's fur the next time you treat her to a relaxing home massage session. Or, you can add it to a spray bottle to make your own cat calming spray.
L-Theanine, which comes from green tea, is a another non-medicated, herbal option for your feline friend. According to Jean Hovfe, DVM, it "is beneficial for relaxation and sleep; it's calming, but not sedating." There are just so many wonderful sleepy-time tea options for you and your fur baby!
Catnip, Silver Vine, & Valerian, Oh My!
It may seem counter-intuitive to give your pets catnip to calm them down, but treating them to some catnip about 15 minutes before you need them to be relaxed - just in time for company to arrive or for a dreaded car trip - can actually be a very effective way for them to quickly release some energy and then be tired out.
It's like how you feel after scarfing down delicious hot doughnuts in the morning: full of crazy energy and then quickly in need of a nap. Everyone loves a good "sugar" crash.
Valerian and silver vine work in similar ways for your kitty. They are natural herbs that mimic the effects of catnip.
For more details, take a look at my previous post from July - "What’s the Deal with Cats and Catnip or Silver Vine?"
More Non-Medicated Methods
There are even more natural products available for your fur baby.
Calming treats, in addition to containing valuable nutrients for your pet, also frequently have L-Theanine in them. Remember that blissful green tea, effect?
Cat calming spray wipes work like other sprays, but are designed for quick, easy use. Great to keep in the car for on-the-go kitty stress!
Cat calming collars also use the pheromone found in cat calming spray and are often infused with chamomile essential oils to provide a continual, natural way to ease pet anxiety.
Silly as it may sound for your feline friend to be stressed, cat anxiety is a very real thing. Thankfully, with natural products, it doesn't have to mean medicating your little one.