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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Is Your Cat Stressed Out?

I read an article entitled "Five Signs Your Cat is Stressed and How to Relieve it". I no longer have a cat (Olivia is living with Thing 1 now), but I do have experience with cats, so I've added a few thoughts of my own about "cat stress". Keep in mind, I do love cats (because as you read this, that won't be very clear!).

Here are the five signs your cat may be stressed:

1) Urinating Outside the Litter Box

While this needs no further explanation, I found it humorous that the article said that (among other things) the cat could be stressed due to rearranged furniture or loud noises.
Article's Solution: Take your cat to the vet.
My Thoughts: I'm sorry, but I have enough stress in my life without stressing over how the cat will feel should I decide to rearrange my furniture. And those loud noises that probably stressed Olivia Out? Well, they were typically because SHE knocked something off the table ... on purpose! Life is full of rearranged furniture and loud noises. Deal with it. If that's not possible ... get rid of the cat.
2) Decrease in Appetite

The article said that a decrease in appetite is not normal, that cats don't go on diets.
Article's Solution: Take your cat to the vet.
My Thoughts: Well, that certainly explains Olivia's rear end! But, if you can't find a quality food the cat will eat ... get rid of the cat.
3) Isolation

The article said that cats are often mischaracterized as "aloof animals that avoid interaction with other pets and people".
Article's Solution: Take your cat to the vet.
My Thoughts: Cats are aloof animals that avoid interaction with other pets and people ... unless they want something. If you want a pet that will interact with you, get a dog ... and get rid of the cat.
4) Excessive Grooming

The author makes a distinction between fastidious grooming and excessive grooming that leaves a raw or bald spot.
Article's Solution: Take your cat to the vet.
My Thoughts: Olivia isn't awake that often, but when she is, she spends a lot of that time grooming. Given that she spends many of her waking hours licking herself (then puking up hair balls) and has never licked herself raw ... just how long do you have to lick yourself to lick yourself bald? Honestly, I don't think she can stay awake long enough to lick herself raw! If you have a cat that isn't supposed to be bald and it is, it's time to get rid of the cat. 
Side Note: If you have a (creepy) cat that IS supposed to be bald, it's time for your family to get a new human!
5) Aggression

Aggressive actions could mean your cat is stressed out.
Article's Solution: Take your cat to the vet.
My Thoughts: It could also mean your cat is psychotic and it's time to get rid of the cat.
So how are we to to deal with cat stress? Good question!
Articles Solution: Obviously, as the author of the article made abundantly clear, you should take your cat to the vet! You should also play with the cat regularly, set aside an area or secret hiding spot for the cat to escape to, and provide high quality cat food.
My Thoughts: Most cat owners would love to play with their cat ... but their cat is aloof and avoids interaction with them most of the time. And about this "secret place" that only your cat knows about ... doesn't the fact that you create it mean that it's not a secret? And finally, the quality food conundrum. I don't know how "quality" Meow Mix is, but that's all Olivia wanted, so I'm guessing it's the McDonald's of the cat world. Thing 2 bought Meow Mix for her, but Thing 1 feeds her something else ... something probably more nutritious (and apparently helps digest hair because she doesn't puke hairballs as often). But, Olivia doesn't particularly care for that food, so there is a marked decrease in her appetite.
So it all comes down to this ... you could spend a lot of money on vet bills, toys the cat won't play with, and food the cat won't eat ... OR ... you could just get rid of the cat!

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