How can you reduce your cat’s stress during this COVID-19 pandemic? More than ever, we’re really focused on how we are feeling, and no wonder! This pandemic is life altering. Many have lost their jobs or been temporarily laid off. Or, you may be dealing with trying to home school your children or set them up online to be taught. Finally, we are restricted in our movement and for the most part are prisoners in our own homes. See!? There are definitely reasons why we humans are feeling stressed right now.
However, one thing that could get missed is the effect our increased stress has on our pet cats. We might forget that our cats are emotional creatures who feed off our emotions for better or worse. And right now, you might notice a significant change in their behavior. Which can – ironically – increase our stress, too! But let’s take a moment to look at things from a cat’s point of view as their world has completely changed too. How can we help our furry friends to cope with their stress? Here are a few ways to help.
Reduce Your Cat’s Stress: Try to Maintain Their Routine
This is probably the most important point because if your cat is like mine, he thrives on routine. However, with the pandemic our routines have completely changed. As a result, we are around our cats more. Sometimes a LOT more! Our cats may be confused why we’re suddenly home all the time, and why their routines have changed so much.
So try to keep as much of your regular routine as you possibly can. For example, if you feed your cat early in the morning before you go to work, then still get up and feed your cat. And if your cat likes to have afternoon naps, let your cat be and allow him or her to do so. Or if your cat loves early morning or late night cuddles, keep doing this. By keeping as much of your cat’s routine as you can, you will be reducing your cat’s stress significantly.
Reduce Your Cat’s Stress: Try to Reduce the Noise
This is also an important point. Why? Prior to coronavirus, your cat likely lived a very quiet life. When you think about, imagine how peaceful it must have been for them when you were gone to work or when the kids were at school. For a lot of the day, your cat was blissfully living in solitude. With the pandemic now upon us, all that has come crashing down! The noise levels for your cat have increased dramatically. Also, cats’ hearing is much more sensitive then our hearing. The result is that our cat’s stress increases due to this increase of noise. So what can we do?
Try to lower our noise levels in the home. Be it by working or doing school in a specific place in our home, or not leaving the TV or Spotify on all the time. (Or lowering the volume a bit, or wearing headphones when listening to music.) If you have some super fun – but noisy – hobbies, then maybe enjoy those in areas your cat isn’t always in. Reducing noise levels will definitely help reduce stress levels for your poor little pets.
Reduce Your Cat’s Stress: Let Them Rest
Because we are home a lot now, we see our cat a lot more. Many times we see our feline buddy in many cute positions in particular when they are resting or sleeping. As a result, we are tempted to go pet them, scratch them or even takes photos because they look so precious! Don’t do it! Let them be and let them rest undisturbed. By picking at them, you are disrupting their rest so they will feel anxious when they are awakened and disturbed. Also, if we keep doing this to them, it will be harder for them to sleep properly, as they will be worried about being disturbed. So let your cat have their 18 hours of sleep. It is the cat way! They are creatures that thrive on a whole lot of happy sleep time.
Give Them Catnip
Who knew? I always thought catnip was to make your cats more goofy and might have the opposite effect. But read that for anxious cats, it might make them feel more relaxed. Our cat is very anxious and we tried it and it worked!
All of us want to reduce the stress our pets are feeling. We love them dearly and they in turn love us. However, all of us are going through a situation which has greatly changed the way we live, and has resulted in greater stress for both humans and felines. So let’s all of us take a few simple steps as mentioned above to reduce our cat’s stress. The result is that they will be happier and happy little cats make for happier humans. For us this is a win win situation and is what I call true pet therapy!
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