How can you tell if your feline is under stress? If you acknowledge your cat is under stress, can you identify the source to eliminate or lessen it? The source of the anxiety will often dictate the remedy.
It is not difficult to identify some obvious sources of feline stress. Adjusting to new environments isn't something most cats do well. Our felines appreciate a set routine.
Storms and loud noises send them into hiding, and most cats do not travel well, especially when the car ride and carrier are associated with the veterinarian, boarding or the groomer.
Is your pet anxious when you leave the house and when you come home? Your buddy probably misses you so much he/she is suffering from separation anxiety.
Some felines do not do well with the stress of a multi-cat household and, let's face it, some of us have a small cattery. Resources of attention, food and water must be shared. Some cats are like small children -- they have a hard time sharing and playing with others.
Some veterinarians are fans of pharmaceutical drugs like Elavil or Amitriptyline. Strict monitoring of your pet's behavior and eating habits should be watched whenever trying a new drug.
There are certainly less drastic measures you can try to calm your feline down. Herbal and flower remedy therapy should be considered. Such a natural remedy is Rescue Remedy Pet. This product is completely different from Rescue Remedy, which has been traditionally found at health food stores and Whole Foods.
The original product had more than 20 percent alcohol in it. It tasted terrible to our cats and, in reality, we were really making them just a little bit tipsy. Of course we were modifying their behavior.
Feliway is another natural alternative. Although the product was initially thought of as a corrector for urinary issues, the product maker also suggests spraying it on bedding and inside pet carriers for less stress during travel.
The usage makes sense because some felines do urinate inappropriately when under stress. The product also comes in a plug-in form.
Sometimes behavior based on stress or aggression can be redirected. Kitty Kong is a toy I like to use to redirect aggression. It is a body pillow for felines and they love to kick the heck out of it.
If you have tried to prevent destructive chewing behavior and nothing is working, your only recourse may be to lessen severity and wounds with Anti-Lick Prevent bandages. It is a product I have recently tried with some measure of success.
The product is made by Nurtured Pets and is available in most pet stores. This all-natural product helps alleviate skin irritations from all types of stressors, from separation anxiety, behavioral issues or just plain boredom. The strips can be cut to fit any size wound.
Each strip is also individually wrapped. Another suggested use for these strips might be on a recent surgical site to prevent the stitches from being chewed.
Cat fanciers will be challenged to find the strips in specialty pet stores, but most of the time can be found down the dog grooming supply isle.
Whatever way you are considering to relieve stress for your feline, please do consult with your veterinarian to help you decide what is best for your pet.
If nothing seems to work, you may need to ask your veterinarian about prescription mail-order anti-anxiety medications. All cats respond differently. I must have tried three or four different prescriptions before my feline finally responded to Atopica. Happy hunting.
Again, The Buddy Foundation highlights its black beauties before October.
Midnight is a black boy that is about 18 months old. He is considered a domestic shorthair and is neutered. Midnight was found roaming the streets begging for food when he was about 8 months old during February. He is thrilled to be out of the cold. This boy is shy at first but friendly if you approach him slowly. He also likes other felines.
Cher is a petite girl that is about 7 months young. She will always be small in size. She was rescued from the streets as a baby kitten just a week before last Halloween. She is sweet, friendly and likes other felines.
Shadow's owner lost his home and family members were in short supply to take him in. His owner had been turned down by every shelter in the area so how could we say "no." There was no place for him except with Buddy. Shadow is 2 years young and a very loving boy. He too likes other felines.
Kachew is our longhair black girl that is about 3 years old. She was found with a sibling roaming the streets. Her sibling has already long been adopted, but since she is both black and longhaired, she waits for a home. She gets along well with other felines.
• Contact The Buddy Foundation at (847) 290-5806; visit us at 65 W. Seegers Road, Arlington Heights; or online at thebuddyfoundation.org.