Some stress in the lives of dogs and cats is normal, but it can become excessive and lead to behaviour problems. Change can be a major source of stress for many pets – they can find it difficult to adapt to variations in their environment or routine. Some pets adapt to a change much more easily than others.

Many common situations are stressful for our pets:

  • Moving house, new members of the household e.g. new pet or baby
  • Multi-cat households
  • Sudden noise e.g. fireworks, thunder
  • Holidays which often mean a kennel or cattery visit
  • Grooming
  • Travel
  • Being left home alone
  • Another cat moving into the territory

How do you know if your pet is stressed?

Our pets cannot tell us how they are feeling and coping – but they can change their behaviour and let us know in this way. There are many different ways pets can show stress, and some are more easily recognised than others.

Stress can sometimes be difficult to recognise as some cats and dogs show stress by subtle withdrawal behaviours. They may interact less, hide away and perhaps stop going into certain parts of the house. Cats may also rest in higher places (e.g. top of the wardrobe instead of their usual chair) to feel more secure.

Common expressions include:

  • House soiling
  • Habits such as excessive licking and grooming
  • Changed demeanour or posture
  • Changes in the use of their environment e.g. stops entering a certain room
  • Increased hiding or resting in a higher place (cats)
  • Increased or decreased interaction with other people or other pets
  • Changes in appetite, sleep patterns and play

What can you do if you think your pet is stressed?

Call the practice on 01837 82327 or 01837 810564 or 01837 658777 to make an appointment for your pet to be seen. One of out vets will assess if the behaviours shown by your pet are caused by a medical problem which requires treatment. This may involve tests, e.g. blood or urine tests. we will then discuss management options with you which may include behaviour modification techniques.

We can help your pets in several different ways, to give them a settled happy life.

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