Anxious behaviors in cats can be relatively common, but can also be misunderstood as common feline behavior. A 2021 Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements survey* revealed that 78% of surveyed cat owners had a cat that regularly exhibited one or more anxious behaviors, yet 22% of those owners believe these behaviors are simply ” how is your cat? Anxious behaviors in cats can include hiding or withdrawing, displaying aggression, displaying compulsive behavior, pacing, excessive vocalizing, or following family members around the house. Cats can experience anxious behaviors as a result of external stressors, such as changes in the environment, being confined to a cat carrier, being overstimulated, or bored.
“It can be difficult for pet owners to identify anxious behaviors in cats because they may attribute anxious behavior to being part of their cat’s personality or ‘that’s just the way they are’ mentality,” said Dr. Ragan McGowan, PhD, Animal Behavior Expert at Purina. “If you notice that your cat is acting differently or if you are concerned about your cat’s typical behavior, it is important to speak with your veterinarian to ensure there are no underlying health conditions. Your veterinarian can provide an appropriate assessment and recommend whether Calming Care is a good option for your pet. Keep in mind that it can take up to six weeks to start seeing results, so it’s important to incorporate the supplement into your regular feeding routine.”
Since Calming Care is just one tool in a toolbox to help treat pets exhibiting anxious behaviors, Dr. McGowan recommends cat owners consider a variety of ways to keep their pets comfortable and calm:
- Provide enrichment. Ensuring your cat gets mental and physical exercise is crucial to her mental health. Set aside time to play one-on-one with your cat with a magic wand, cat ball, or any other interactive toy that will hold your cat’s attention. For those who spend less time at home with their cats during the workday, consider providing an interactive toy or puzzle to keep your cat entertained while you’re away.
- Identify the cause. Cats are very particular creatures that are attuned to even small changes in their environment. Rearranging furniture, having guests over, or even making changes to kitty litter, diet, or where water bowls are placed in your home can have a big impact on a cat’s behavior. As a first step, cat owners can think about any recent changes in their cat’s environment or routine and reverse them to see if this alleviates any anxious behavior.
- Keep calm. Our pets can sense our stress and look to us for reassurance, so showing them that we’re calm and relaxed will likely help them stay calm, too.
To learn more about Calming Care, visit www.proplanvetdirect.com or talk to your vet.
About Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements
Purina Pro Plan veterinary supplements and Purina Pro Plan veterinary diets are manufactured by Nestlé Purina PetCare, a world leader in the pet care industry. Nestlé Purina PetCare creates richer lives for pets and the people who love them. Founded in 1894, Purina has helped dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by offering science-based nutritional innovations. Purina makes some of the world’s most trusted and popular pet care products, including Purina ONE, Pro Plan, Fancy Feast and Tidy Cats. Our more than 8,700 associates across the US take pride in our trusted pet food, treat and litter brands that feed 51 million dogs and 65 million cats each year. More than 500 Purina scientists, veterinarians and pet care experts guarantee our commitment to unsurpassed quality and nutrition.
Purina promotes responsible pet care through our scientific research, our products, and our support of pet-related organizations. Over the past five years, Purina has contributed more than $150 million to organizations that bring people and pets together and keep them together, as well as those that help our communities and environment thrive.
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*Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements online survey of 1,010 cat owners 18 years and older with 1-4 cats who had taken their cats to a veterinarian in the past 12 months; Submitted in March 2021 by data provider Relief Research.