We are now offering FREE Feliway Wipes to all of our feline patients prior to their visit in an effort to help them cope with the stress of coming to see us. To your cat, the process of entering an unfamiliar carrier, a scary car ride, a strange waiting room and then examination can be very stressful. This can result in a negative experience for both you and your furry companion!
What is Feliway?
Feliway is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone, used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure. By mimicking the cat’s natural facial pheromones, Feliway creates a state of familiarity and security in the cat’s local environment. As a result, Feliway can be used to help comfort and reassure cats while they cope with a challenging situation and help prevent or reduce the stress caused by a change in their environment. Feliway comes in a whole room diffuser, a spray, and wipes.
30 minutes prior to your scheduled visit, rub one wipe thoroughly inside your cat’s carrier or directly on their bedding. Re-apply Feliway before each trip.
For more info, go to www.feliway.us
More about Cat Stress…
Unlike people, and even dogs, cats tend not to outwardly show their stress. As a prey species, they have developed techniques to hide weakness and this is why even serious illness can be difficult to diagnose. We know from numerous behavioral studies that the simple acts of keeping a cat indoors or by adding another cat, we are increasing their baseline level of stress in a significant way. Cats are like people in that respect: we may really like spending time in our homes and enjoy the company of friends or family, but with too much of either we can begin to feel cooped up and get stressed! If we add to that other environmental changes like new construction, visitors, loud noises, or even the presence of a new cat in the neighborhood, we can sometimes lead our feline friends to intolerable levels of stress. Cats like to be in control (no surprise) and will methodically and thoroughly mark their environment with chemical markers called pheromones, so even small changes like excessive cleaning or new furniture can lead to severe stress.
Cats (like some people you may know) are not good at expressing their emotions and when they are upset the signs that they do show can often come across as destructive, naughty, or inappropriate behavior. Signs may include:
- Destruction of furniture
- Inappropriate urination or defecation outside the litterbox
- Aggression towards people or other pets
- Poor appetite or even vomiting
- Poor grooming or an unkempt appearance
As good caretakers and advocates for our pets, we need to be aware that these signs are often a cry for help!
What can be done?
If your cat is exhibiting signs of stress, it is important to first consider a medical problem. As veterinarians, we can help you to rule out underlying disease that could be resulting in outward symptoms of stress. Beyond that, a careful look at the environment can often give us some clues. Things like the cleanliness, location, and type of litter in the litterbox can have a huge impact. Adding environmental enrichment like toys, scratching posts, and tall cat towers can help keep your cat busy and give them a place to “escape” from the rest of the family for awhile.
If you have more questions or needs advice on helping your kitty with stress, give us a call today!