Many cats never show any signs of stress, whilst others tend to start to stress as soon as anything new happens or anything changes. Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint what has caused the stress, it could be something as small as another cat walking through your garden. Change in the environment that sometimes we cant see or hear can cause your cat stress, noise from outside from traffic or people, or smell that could have changed in the area, maybe new neighbours have moved in or a new cat or dog in the area. A cats sense of smell and hearing are much sharper than ours, so what we find normal may not be normal for your cat.
Have a look around your home environment to see if anything has changed, it could be something small such as furniture that has been moved into a new place, a new litter tray in a different location, new sound system in your home, these things we can adjust to quickly but for your cat if could be very stressful.
Signs of Stress in cats could be
Hiding away, afraid to come out
Being very vocal and constantly crying or wanting attention all the time
Excessive grooming/over grooming
Being listless and increased sleeping pattern
Urinating outside of the litterbox
Causes of stress in cats
Change of cat litter of change of food
Not feeling safe at home
Other cats moving into the area/cats visiting your cats garden
Workmen in or around your home
New people visiting your home
New furniture or furnishings
Loud music or televisions
Multi cat households
Taking cat in car for travel to vets/cattery
What to do
Try to keep things normal as possible, keep litter trays in same area and use cat litter that your cat likes using
Keep diet and feeding to a schedule, cats love routine
Have a cat room if possible, or an area they can go to feel safe and that no one will intrude in their area, allow them to have hidey holes just for them. This is a place where you are not to touch them.
Keep noise to a minimum.
Have towers or scratching posts with high beds on them so they can look out of the window or be up high away from people, they feel much safer up high.
In multi cat households make sure the cats have plenty of space to be away from each other, too many cats in one area can be to stressful for some cats.
Spend time playing with your cat, their are lots of different toys that you can interact with your cat, this also can creates a great bond with your cat.
If you are going away, get a cat sitter to come to your home rather that taking the cat to a cattery.
If your cat is showing a great deal of stress then its always best to visit the vet to check for any underlining issue, also the use of a feline pheromone such as Feliway can help reduce stress in cats.