Overt as well as subtle triggers can cause behavior and medical problems; here’s what to look for.
- A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
Stress can help animals survive, and it can be unhealthy. Infrequent, stressful events can save lives because they instantly motivate animals to flee or fight. On the other hand, chronic stress and sudden traumatic events can cause behavior issues as well as serious medical problems.
Stress can cause medical and behavior problems
It may be hard to recognize when cats are starting to feel anxious and stressed. It becomes apparent when they exhibit unwanted behaviors such as litter box avoidance, spraying, excessive vocalizing and aggression. They might stop eating or go on a feeding frenzy. Other symptoms include overgrooming, pulling fur and eating inedible objects such as wool, plastic and wood. Some kitties respond a bit more covertly — they may become hypervigilant or lethargic. Others might stop talking to their people or hide. All of these behaviors can also indicate medical conditions that need attention.
Behavior and medical issues are often intertwined. Stress can cause serious and painful health problems and diseases including feline interstitial cystitis, obesity and not eating, among other conditions. Whenever a cat changes her behavior and exhibits unwanted behaviors, she needs a thorough examination by a veterinarian. Sometimes it takes a combination of medical and behavioral intervention to take care of the problem.
Read more at Catster.