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Observing the Signs of a Stressed Cat

It can often be hard to understand what your cat is feeling because of how unemotional and lazy it can be. However, cats feel emotions just like any other animal, and they too can get stressed and overwhelmed. It's perfectly normal for this to happen to your feline companion, but too much of it can lead to serious health complications. In these scenarios, it's best to help your cat de-stress and remove any stressors in their area. While their stress tells are more subtle than other animals, it's not impossible to spot the signs your cat is going through it.


Changes in Your Cat's Behavior

When your cat is stressed, it can behave differently than it usually does. Your cat won't hold up a sign that says, "Hey, I'm stressed!" so you need to pay attention to their behavioral patterns. Here are some of the changes you should keep an eye out for:



When your cat is avoiding people or activities, that may be a telltale sign that it is stressed. It may want to be alone for some time.


Biologically, cats are wired to spray as a way to tell people to back off and leave them alone. If your cat is urinating improperly or spraying in the house, it may be its body's way of saying it feels threatened and overwhelmed by something.

Aggressive and Irritable

When you get stressed, there may be times when you lash out at others or feel unreasonably angry. Your cat is no different, and it may be overly aggressive and irritable due to its stress.


When stressed, your cat may start to vocalize its feelings out loud. Increased meowing, purring, or screeching are common signs of a stressed feline.


It's easy to get mad at your cat for scratching up your furniture, but it may not be able to help itself. Cats tend to start scratching things when they get stressed, and an increased amount of it may be its way of showing it.


Changes in Your Cat's Body Language

While your cat won't show emotion as a dog does, some changes in their body language can indicate they are stressed. These can range from quite noticeable to highly subtle. If you think your cat is stressed, take a closer look at it and try to spot these indicators:

Tensed Body

When your cat is stressed, it may start to tense up its body. This tension is usually quite noticeable as they often hunch up their body into an arch. If this is paired with hissing, your cat is probably very stressed about something.

Flat Ears

Most cat breeds will have their ears pointed upwards in attention most of the time. If you notice your cat has its ears flattened, this may be its way of showing discomfort.

Dilated Pupils 

Dilated pupils in a cat may be a confusing one. Cats typically have dilated pupils when they're feeling playful. However, they also experience this when they are under stress. Look out for other signs along with this one to ascertain whether it's stress or not.


Destress Your Pet at American Pet Spa & Resort

American Pet Spa & Resort has everything your feline companion needs to destress. Our facilities offer top-of-the-line service for cats to keep them both happy and healthy. A stressed cat can be challenging to manage, but our staff is more than equipped for the task. 

Visit our website and schedule an excellent day for your furry friend!


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