Cats were domesticated about 9 thousand years ago. They were kept in households to combat rodents. They lived in barns, near granaries, rarely in houses. In recent years, their lifestyle has changed significantly. The number of cats kept in flats which they never leave, grows steadily.
The owners might think that there are no stress-inducing factors for a pet in their flats. They do not realize how upsetting for a cat might be the appearance of a new household member (a child or another cat or dog). Stress symptoms might be seen in cats kept in too large numbers on a small area. House renovation or moving to a new place is also traumatic for many pets.
It is not always easy to diagnose stress in cats. It is easiest to notice when a cat hides, is frightened or anxious. However, the symptoms are not always that obvious. Stressed cats are more exposed to infective diseases such as feline rhinitis. They may evade their owner or be aggressive towards them. A symptom frequently reported to vets is abnormal urination – outside liter tray for cats, often in totally unacceptable places.
Especially in this last case, consultation with a vet is necessary. The vet shall establish whether the cat’s symptoms are stress-related. The vet will also help in a difficult task to identify a stress factor. If necessary, proper drugs or supplementary preparations shall be prescribed. A vast range of supplementary preparations is available: preparations with feline feromones in cat collar or insert to socket, feed, gels and pastes increasing stress resistance.