Stress. It affects us all, even our pets. Cats in particular often suffer from severe stress. Territory Cats in particular have a fair bit to be stressed about what with big dogs, big cars and wheelie bins around every corner itís a dangerous place to be a cat. In addition most cats donít like change or competition. Itís no wonder some cats are a bit stressed.
Cats show their stress in different ways to people and dogs. Most commonly cats that are stressed tend to groom themselves too much. They can this can result in hair being pulled out and even damage to the skin underneath. I see many cats that have created huge bald strips on their rumps or riped holes in their skin. They also swallow all the hair, which can create hairballs and associated problems. (Vomiting and constipation mainly). The constant friction can also cause ulcers in the mouth leading to anaemia. Stress can also cause diarrhoea in some cats and behavioural problems in others. Whilst the problems stress can cause are many it is important to remember that stress is only one possible cause or contributor to any of these problems. So get your cat thoroughly examined if it shows any of these signs before deciding its stress.
Cats stress over different things to people to work out what is stressing your cat you need to empathise and look at the world through their eyes. Cats usually donít like changes so a new addition to the household (human, dog or another cat) is often the cause. Some times the cause is further a field such as a neighbour particularly in outside cats. Cats can also be stressed by moving house or they can also just pick up on their owners stress.
Removing the cause of the stress is often not possible so often it is trying to find ways to help them adjust. Work on positive interactions between the cat and the new arrival or stressor. There are a number of very useful medications that can be helpful and your vet can advise you on these.