Natural Remedies for Feline Stress

PrettyLitter natural remedies for feline stress cat stress
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

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."
 

Herbs & Flower Essences

Bach Pet Flower Essence

bachflower.com

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!

catnip to relief feline stress

 

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.
How do you soothe your fur baby when she gets stressed out? If you're having trouble helping your kitty cope with stress, let us know in the comments below and we'll do our best to give you a helping hand (ahem... paw)!



Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

Author



23 Responses

Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

November 06, 2019

Hey @Brittany – Cats truly are so special. When our fur babies are going through tough times or act differently, it’s only natural for us cat-parents to feel concerned.

A visit to the vet is a great idea. Ruling out any medical or health issues can put your mind at ease. Are you using PrettyLitter, by chance? If so, what color has his litter been?

It also sounds like your cat has been introduced to a new environment and he may still be trying to get used to his new home.

We have a blog post dedicated to Natural Remedies for Feline Stress here: https://prettylittercats.com/blogs/prettylitter-blog/natural-remedies-cat-calming-spray

You can help him find comfort in his new surroundings by trying out some of these tips.

As for the dental issues, kitties do have some sensitive oral needs. We have a few articles on:

1) Cats & Cavities: https://prettylittercats.com/blogs/prettylitter-blog/cat-cavities-cat-dental-care

2) Oral Health Issues that Cause Bad Breath: https://prettylittercats.com/blogs/prettylitter-blog/what-might-be-causing-your-cats-bad-breath

You’re paying close attention to him and what he likes, which is amazing. Taking him to the vet + continuing to be an attentive, loving cat mom is all you can do. Know that he loves you and clearly enjoys your time together.

Please let us know if these resources help and if you discover if anything is wrong. My heart goes out to you and your fur baby.

Brittany
Brittany

November 06, 2019

Hi, my 17 year old tuxedo cat is my best pal. He is eating wet food no problem as dry food can be harsh on his teeth. I separate him so the others don’t steal his food. The other cats, are in early years. My cat is eating fine but is hard to get him to drink water when I give him his food. He lost his lower right canine tooth a long time ago. I opened his mouth and I saw he lost his upper left canine too since he was having trouble eating. Wherever I am he follows me and he will either stand with his back away from be like a guard cat for a while now. He does it everywhere like he is protecting me. He sleeps under the dining room table on a carpet in the middle. The other three cats get really jealous. We did move but that was earlier in the year and he was extraordinarily happy to have places to run and play. He won’t sit on me for long and he is sitting next to me looking at me now. He does not groom himself well. I help him. He will only eat if I am there. He eats the wet food fine, uses the litter box fine, but he will sit in my arms and grip his paws into me sporadically. I am going to bring him to the vet. I am beyond anxious and paranoid. He suddenly also sits under the bed on my side. No matter what, I don’t want him in pain. He also makes it very clear what he wants. He keeps a paw on me when he sits next to me. He voids fine, litter box fine. He opens his mouth to talk but doesn’t meow now. He does respond but without sound. I honestly don’t know if I am paranoid about him passing on or this is the normal things cats do as they age. I play soothing waters for him and he seems to love it. I can’t fathom losing him. I know this is not about my wants and I can’t be selfish. Any comments? Please don’t hit where it hurts. No time is a good time but I don’t and will not have him suffer. He kneads. I play soothing ocean songs and he likes it. He stares directly into my eyes now, let’s me touch his nose…he curls up like a pretzel but it is different. He can jjump, he jogs more than he speed ran. I am just anxious and sad. Thoughts?

Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

August 09, 2019

Hi @MarySue – Sometimes cats will do that kind of thing habitually as a type of cat OCD.

Our article about Cat Anxiety and OCD might give you insight into your kitty’s habits and if these behaviors could possibly be anxiety-related. Then, there are things to try in the article to help alleviate her anxiety.
https://prettylittercats.com/blogs/prettylitter-blog/cat-anxiety-ocd-kitty-behavior-a-pet-parents-guide

If she’s causing harm to herself, you may want to visit the vet to get a cone for her. I know it’s not a cute look, but her health and wellbeing are more important than being fashion-forward.

MarySue
MarySue

August 06, 2019

I have a cat that licks herself raw. I have tried various foods,shampoos and nothing works. She is only 6 and seems healthy in every other way please help!

Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

April 17, 2019

@Angela – Hi there!
You can always talk here. This is a cat parent community to help each other!

The cure to your cat’s stress might be making small changes in her environment to make her feel more comfortable.

Make sure she has a place where she can be left alone. Also, make sure her litter box is in a place that is isolated and where she can feel safe. Sharing her space can cause her stress. Living with 4 dogs can be too much energy for her, so making sure she has her own sanctuary can make her feel more at ease.

Here’s more info on cat stress: https://prettylittercats.com/blogs/prettylitter-blog/how-stress-affects-your-cat-s-health-1

Angela Robinson
Angela Robinson

April 09, 2019

Hi I don’t know if I can talk here, but my cat has a lot of stress and anxiety because of 4 dogs and I’ve tried the plug in and anxiety drops and nothing worked and I don’t know which products should try next. Could someone please help me please? Thank you

Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

March 18, 2019

@Ashley – Hey Ashely! Have you tried using a litter attractant? Sometimes with top-entry litter boxes, your fur baby just doesn’t know where to go. You may need to sprinkle a bit of cat litter attractant into the litter box. I believe Dr. Elsey’s is a brand that many cat parents have had luck with and it’s available for purchase on Amazon. I hope this helps! :)

Ashley
Ashley

March 18, 2019

Hello. Thank you for this informative article. My boyfriend and I are traveling in a camper with our two cats and an unexpected dog that we found and adopted. Besides the expected displeasure the cats have exhibited, they seem to be adjusting pretty well. They have a traditional litter box and the dog kept getting into it so I thought a top entrance box would be the perfect solution. Reviews talked about how quickly and easily their kitties took to it so that gave me even more hope. One of our cats, Rudy, is very easy going and the other one, Ndugu, has no problem letting you know how he feels if he’s pissed off. As soon as the top entrance box came out, (I made sure to add in some used litter from the old litter box to help them find their way) Ndugu refused to even give it a try. He did all his business on our mattress. I have since switched to the old litter box and he has gone back to using it (with an occasional accident, I assume because he is still upset about the dog). I still haven’t given up on the top entrance box and I would love to try it again. After reading this article, my question is do you think if I used a calming spray it would ease his anxieties and maybe allow him to use the top entrance box? If you think so, how should I use it? Can I spray it IN the box in addition to his sleeping areas? Thank you for any advice.

Ashley

Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

March 06, 2019

@Carol – Hi Carol :)
Cats can bite for several reasons. Here’s an article about the motivation behind your cat’s nibbles.
https://prettylittercats.com/blogs/prettylitter-blog/cat-bites

@Twila – Hi Twila! Glad you love our products (so do we!). It’s great to know that you would be interested in raw cat food. We love to hear suggestions from cat parents!

@Crystina – We’d love to hear about how your move goes and what recommendations worked for you. Be sure to share with us on our blog or on our Instagram @PrettyLitter. Safe travels.

@Bunny – Wow! Those are some impressive detective skills Oliver has!

@Lisa – Glad you found this post helpful. Good luck on your move! Wishing you and your cat safe travels. Feel free to share any recommendations that worked for you on our Instagram @PrettyLitterCats.

@Janet – Yes, the calming spray is available in Canada! Good luck with your kitties. :) Cat stress is no fun.

@Melissa – Thank you for reading & sharing! We truly care about cats and their humans and we’re glad you do too!

@Angela – It seems like your cat has found her ‘safe zone’ in your basement. Cats like to have places where they can be alone, especially in a home with other animals. Allowing her to go to the basement is important because she’s seeking shelter and safety. Making an area in the basement dedicated to her would go a long way toward alleviating her stress. Provide her with her own cat tree where she can get to higher ground and be away from the dogs, should they chase after her. A cat condo out of the dogs’ reach could help her feel safe and secluded, too. If possible, when the dogs come over, allow your cat some alone time and block off the dogs from following her. This is not to make your cat antisocial, but to prevent your cat from being stressed or overwhelmed by the other animals. We wrote a piece specifically for cat stress, you can read more by clicking here: https://prettylittercats.com/blogs/prettylitter-blog/how-stress-affects-your-cat-s-health-1

@Orpha – First, we are so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is never easy on anyone, including their cat brothers. We’ll be writing about cat grief in the coming months and we hope the article reaches you in time to be helpful. Thanks for sharing your story as it may help others going through the same thing. Our hearts go out to you.

@Bandit – We sure are grateful for cat mommies like yours! & We’re grateful that these calming sprays exist!

@Mary-Monica – This is so great to hear. We appreciate hearing these kinds of comments! We appreciate you taking the time to show us some love. :)

@Kimberly – Wow, this is why we do it! Your story makes us feel so great about what we do. Thank you so much for your kind words. Happy we were able to change your life for the better.

@Emily, sounds like your cat may be stressed. Here is a post about cat stress, what it means and how you can go about reacting to it. Let us know if that information helps! https://prettylittercats.com/blogs/prettylitter-blog/how-stress-affects-your-cat-s-health-1

Carol Calkins
Carol Calkins

March 01, 2019

Why does my cat want to bite me so much?

Twila Ehmcke
Twila Ehmcke

March 01, 2019

Love the litter and the dry food. Any chance you will enter the raw food for cats market?

Crystina Wyler
Crystina Wyler

March 01, 2019

THANKS for all the great advice! Couldn’t have arrived at a better time! We’re getting ready to move from Fl to VA and want to figure out the best way to do the 17 hr. drive with OUR furry babies…. they are 9 & 10 …. we have a few!
💙🐺🦊🐱🐱🦊🐺🐱🦊
I’m going to start trying some of your recommendations asap. This will be a huge transition for them and I want to be certain to do it right!
THANK YOU again!
🦋

Bunny Garlington
Bunny Garlington

March 01, 2019

My cat, Oliver, has found the catnip every place I store it. I finally placed it over the stove..LOL. I dare him to find it there!

Lisa
Lisa

March 01, 2019

Thank you for this! I’m about to move for the first time in 5 years this month and my cat is almost 17. I’ve been worried about how the move will affect him. These might help!

Janet
Janet

March 01, 2019

I’m currently dealing with a stressed out 12 year old cat because of an 8 month old kitten I rescued. It’s hiss after hiss and hiding in a bedroom. Stress is at an all time high. I’ve tried everything.is the calming spray available in Canada?

Melissa
Melissa

March 01, 2019

I love these informational emails that give me ideas about caring for my cat, Billy the Kitten. Thanks for sending them – I forward them to friends and neighbors who have cats, too. Keep up the good work! P.S. He loves the litter and now, the kibble.

Angela Robinson
Angela Robinson

March 01, 2019

Hi, I’m glad that you us a chance to talk about this subject because I just don’t know what to do. My kiddy is stressed every day in and out. Because my mom and I live together and she is a dog lover and she never give any attention to my cat. Now my kitty can tolerate the 2 dogs but when the yorkie starts barking, for some reason my kitty no matter where she is and the dogs start barking my goes and runs either under the bed to hide or down in the basement to hide and I don’t understand because I got her when she was a kitten and there was nothing that happened to make herself feel like that. Now to make it worse, because my brother that lives in the other side of the house went and came home with 2 small dogs so him and my mom have the benefit of 4 dogs and the wall in between our house don’t have any insulation so you can hear through the walls. So my cat could hear them barking and of course he brings them over all the time, so when this is going on, my cat practically lived in the basement and I had to take food and water down to her. And I saw that the dogs chase after her when they would see her. I’m sorry for this long message, but I needed to explain what she been and still being effected and I want to do something to help her and I don’t know how. So I have to check in on the suggestions that you shown, and now I have to figure out what I’m going to use. But right now she does have those silver vines sticks and she loves to play and chew on them, but it doesn’t make any difference on what’s going on with her as far as what she’s going through. So again I’m sorry about this long message and I hope that you get to read it all and thank you very much

Orpha Martin
Orpha Martin

March 01, 2019

How does one help their kitty through the grieving process. I had a dog for 9 of her 11 years. She just passed away a month ago. My kitty spent 7 of those 9 years, he’ll be 10 in May 2019, with our dog. In those 7 years they became very close and good buddies.

I have tried my best to fill that void for him, but it is just not the same. I understand why our dog is no longer around, but my kitty does not. He keeps looking for her in the house, outside the house, he is an indoor kitty, but he looks out the window for her and he has taken to sleeping in her bed, which for me is OK. I believe it comforts him. I try to play with him more also. I realize how much time they spent interacting with each other. He does come to me more looking for comfort, but stays only a brief few minutes so I feel this is not enough for him.

I just am not sure if I am doing the right things and this process of grief just has to work through time as it does with me. I miss my dog very much. Or is there something else I can do to help my kitty ease his pain. I would appreciate any advise or suggestions. Thank you.

Bandit (6yrs old) cat
Bandit (6yrs old) cat

March 01, 2019

Thanks I didn’t know about the sprays will get some as I have to go to the Vet clinic very soon. My mom is Ella

Mary-Monica Sehnal
Mary-Monica Sehnal

March 01, 2019

I am so happy my cat took to the Pretty Litter the first day I got it I will never use any other cat litter and for the food she Loves that too

I would advise everybody to try it.

Lola Anne Moore
Lola Anne Moore

March 01, 2019

My younger female cat (2yrs.old) stalks and terrorizes my older female cat (10 yrs. old). My older cat isolates herself in a chair in one room, eats when she feels safe, and has trouble getting to even one of the 4 sand boxes in our home. Thus, often uses the carpet. HELP!

Kimberly
Kimberly

March 01, 2019

This litter saved my 2 cats! With increasing physical limitations, scooping their box was becoming excruciating. Planning to re-home my 2 nine year old cats was breaking my heart and overwhelming me daily. But after one day my kitties are with me for life!!! My hands thank you! I thank you! And Lily and JuJuB thank you!! MY MIRACLE- PRETTY LITTER!!

Emily Lape
Emily Lape

March 01, 2019

We are downsizing from a large farmhouse to a 2 bedroom apt. Our Tonkinese cat and Shih Tzu / Pekingese rescue guy are moving with us. Sparky is mellow and will be fine but it will be tougher in Buki. When she is stressed she wants her own space and hisses at Sparky. She may hide, he may territorially pee where he is not supposed to. Suggestions?

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