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Being Petted Stresses Cats Out

 by alexandra on 30 Jan 2015 |
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Lovingly stroking and petting your cat should be a comforting and welcoming act, but now pet owners have been warned that cuddling their feline can cause them further stress and anxiety. New research and studies have revealed that over half the population of cat owners do not know how to cope with an anxious cat and think that petting them is the most viable solution and cure.

Cats are suffering from stress and having their anxiety levels exacerbated because owners expect them to behave like dogs, according to animal behaviourists and researchers. Cats who display stress and anxious states are being petted and cuddled, leading to further stress and a tendency to overreact to things. Being held or stroked for too long can be very stressful for some cats. Cat owners must understand that they are not small furry humans, so what would comfort us as social individuals will not ­necessarily comfort said cats. It is recommended you not overly stroke or cuddle a cat which is showing signs of stress as it can make it worse.

Cat owners must understand their feline companions and recognise stress and anxious behaviours. A cat that spends a lot of time hiding -under the furniture, up very high in the room, or on top of closets- often is a sign of stress. This is because the cat is having to get itself into a good, defensive position all the time before it can feel comfortable.
Stress and anxiety in cats can also be communicated through poor health. Usually undue stress appears as two effects: the most apparent being skin problems where the cat is either losing some fur or grooming too much in one particular place so that they have a bare patch on their skin or even an ulcer. The second one is the development of a urinary tract infection, which is quite common in cats.

Cat owners must seek to understand their pets better so as to recognise the demands placed on them and how that manifests itself in their pet’s physical and mental health. Space and peace is often what anxious cats need rather than a hug or a thorough petting. It is recommended that you always provide your cats with easily accessible places for your cat to hide and let them stay in there for as long as they want to, creating a safe environment until their stress dissipates.

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