How To Calm a Stressed Cat Down. 4 Ways That Work!

A stressed out cat is never a fun time for anyone. Cats are finicky creatures to begin with and calming down an angry or stressed out cat is no easy task. Even though it’s no easy task, calming down your cat or kitten can be done. 

If your cat is stressed out, he or she might calm down with some alone time in a safe area, following with some structured playtime. It’s always a good idea to make sure your cat is in a quiet safe area away from commotion and noises. A stressed cat will often feel very vulnerable and scared and it’s important to lessen this as much as possible. 

4 Ways To Calm Down Your Stressed Cat

#1 Structured  Playtime

Cats, like dogs, need an energy outlet during the day. If they have no options, it may result in them chasing you around the house, jumping on top of furniture, and getting into places they are not supposed to. However, Dodman stresses that cats need an outlet somewhere.

You can guide your cat’s behavior and improve your relationship with your furry friend by structuring playtime with them. Use cat-friendly toys, such as interactive LED lasers or tennis balls modified to contain treats to direct the cat’s energy. If you decide to use a laser pointer for play, ensure the cat has opportunities to catch a treat it lands on. Without this ability, laser play can lead to obsessive behavioral disorders.

Jennie Lane of Alexandria, Virginia, a certified animal behaviorist, recommends food dispensing toys for some cats because they approach their instinct to hunt for food. Scheduled playtimes might only last from five to ten minutes for some cats. some cats. 

#2 Household Harmony

Because cats are solitary hunters, having more than one cat in the household can stress them out. Urine marking or inappropriate urination or defecation outside of the litter box are clear signs of stress. If you have more than ten cats in your house, the chance of urine marking goes up drastically

With a large number of cats in the home, the personalities of cats will change significantly. It is possible to live in a multi-cat household, but a lot of effort must be put into achieving harmony between the cats. If that’s the case, you should consult an experienced animal behaviorist for help sorting out the issues and ask your vet for recommendations. Your vet will look at factors such as the cat’s history, specific triggers to problems, and the cat’s early life. There is no customized remedy, but mental stimulation and increased exercise tends to help.

It is sometimes useful to add a cat to a household to resolve discord. If you are experiencing excessive play behavior directed towards you, you should go ahead and add a cat so the cats are interacting together rather than with you

#3 Provide safe outdoor experiences

When cats don’t have structured ways to keep themselves entertained, they figure out how to do so on their own. They’re cooped up inside, and though they may seek outdoor stimulation, dangers like collisions with traffic and potential attacks from wild animals are unusual.

Nevertheless, you can help your cat enjoy being outside without being subject to predators by providing safe outdoor activities. Try giving your cat a harness in order to explore outside with you, or provide an enclosure outside such as a cat pen.

#4 Permit Behavior

Cat experts agree that sudden energy bursts are usually just normal behavior for cats. The first question cat owners need to ask is whether the cat actually needs to be calmed down. If a cat is running and jumping around for minutes on end, it’s not necessary to stop the cat. It’s the same as stopping children from playing, it’s just  simply not necessary. 

However, when the behavior becomes dangerous, such as when your kitty jumps off a fridge, it is advised that cat owners redirect the behavior with a toy to chase and play with, or even an empty box to keep the cat busy.

It is normal for kittens, especially those younger than 6 months, to have an excessive amount of energy, but owners who allow the behavior will eventually observe the kitten calming down.  There is a strong need for mental stimulation and exercise in cats. Besides improving household conflict and behavioral issues, it is important to remember that cats do have occasional energy bursts and that it is just part of who they are.

Signs That Your Cat Is Stressed


If your Cat sprays, it may be stressed out. Cats use spraying as a means of marking their territory or as a message of sexuality. If your Cat would spray at home, it would normally indicate stress. Male and Female cats both spray.

Avoiding Their Litter Box

If your Cat decides to urinate, or leave a little surprise in your cupboard instead of using the litter box it can be very frustrating! Just a quick word of advice, don’t punish your Cat if it occurs.

If your Cat is avoiding the litter box which is a common problem then you should first make sure that their litter box is clean. Cats are very clean creatures and if their litter box is dirty they will often avoid it. 

If your cats litterbox is clean and you’re still baffled as to why your cat isn’t using it, I recommend you checkout this well written cat article

Excessive Grooming 

If you notice your Cat grooming themselves excessively, this could be a sign of stress in your Cat. Cats would spend around 30% of their life grooming themselves. The most common sign that your Cat is grooming itself too much is when their fur starts to fall out and their skin gets patchy. Cats are very clean animals so you just have to keep an eye on this one.

Heightened Aggression

Stress can cause your Cat to become more aggressive. Your Cat will make it’s body as big as it can to scare people off. So if you see your catt displaying this behavior often, it;s a good possibility that your cat is stressed. 

Loss Of Appetite

If your cat stops eating or seems to have lost his appetite this could be a sign that your Cat is stressed. Before you decide it is a sign of stress you should visit your vet to rule out any medical issues.

Here are some other signs you’ll want to keep an eye out for that your cat might be stressed. 

  • Hiding from you and other members of your family
  • Not getting along with other cats 
  • Not interacting with family or other animals in the household

How To Reduce Stress In Your Cat

Your Cat is not only intelligent, but also sensitive. This makes it easy for them to overexert and stress themselves out. Here are some ways to help reduce stress in your cat.

Environmental Change 

What Causes It

A cat is not appreciative of changes made to the environment in which it lives. This includes replacing old furniture, adding new things, or even remodeling the house. Cats are most likely to dislike change.

The Solution

Make changes to your house gradually so as not to stress your Cat. For example, if you are expecting a new baby then get your nursery ready in advance by adding new furniture gradually. If you are moving homes then do not let your Cat help pack and unpack or repair items. Get used to your new home by letting your Cat explore it on his own terms.

Your Cat will also cope better with changes if you give him lots of attention. Play with, cuddle, pet and show your cat as much attention as possible. 

An Additional Family Member or a New Cat

What Causes It

A cat can become very stressed when a new pet is introduced to the family. This can lead to the cat spraying throughout the house to mark his territory. The same can be said if a new baby or mother-in-law is introduced.

The Solution

The best way to introduce a new Cat or dog is by creating a seperate room just for them. I suggest letting them get used to the new odor and noise. However, remember that cats coming from the neighborhood can also be a cause of stress for your Cat.

Changes In The Routine

What Causes It

It’s well known that cats love routine. When your Cat wakes up each day and goes straight to the food bowl, he finds it empty, it can trigger some stress. Cats love consistency. Their nap time, meal time, playtime all have to have a certain time.

The Solution

If you cannot stick to your schedule you need to create a schedule that suits you and your cat. Try playing with him at specific times that are convenient for you and stick to them; same with feeding him.

Separation From You!

What Causes It

Cats can become stressed when the owner is unavailable for a long time or comes back at home more often than usual due to, for example, a new job with longer hours or taking a vacation.

The Solution

It may be hard, but do your best to be home more for your cat. Maybe instead of going out all the time with friends, try to stay home every now and then and give your cat some love and attention. Odds are your cat will love it

Your Stress Is Causing Your Cat Stress

What Causes It

Currently, we live in a world that is extremely fast paced and busy. This does cause many people to get stressed out due to their work, family responsibilities, and with all this stress, Cats become stressed too! Cats are amazing and they experience these feelings in response to your actions; their moods can change according to yours.

The Solution

We end up playing with our cat less and less if we are stressed out because we are too busy trying to solve our problems in our daily lives. What would help both you and your Cat is to spend more time playing and playing with your Cat. Whether you believe it or not, it is scientifically proven that stroking your Cat can help both you and your kitty relax! So if you feel stressed then just sit down and stroke him.

How To Calm a Stressed Cat Down Final Thoughts

Occasionally, cats might get stressed out, and we should take extra note if they begin to ignore the litter box or are urinating unnaturally. Each Cat reacts differently, so keep calm, and help your cat in any way that you can.

Have you ever had your cat so stressed out that you didn’t know what to do? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comment section below and as always feel free to checkout our latest articles on cat behavior .

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