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In these times when a large part of the world is confined to their homes due to the pandemic produced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cats that live with us are directly affected. Spending so much time at home alter their routines and can be a major source of stress that aggravates previous conduct disorders or causes them.
Therefore, in this AnimalWised article, we will explain how to relax a cat during confinement.You may also be interested in: How to calm a hyperactive cat? Index
- Stress in cats during quarantine
- How to give a cat a massage?
- How to calm a cat? - Bach food and flowers
- Pheromones for cats
- Relaxing music for cats
- Environmental enrichment for cats
- General recommendations for cats during confinement
Stress in cats during quarantine
Cats are animals of habit that, in general, are shown very sensitive to changes in its environment, even those that are imperceptible to us. As is inevitable, confinement will alter this routine, since it causes the company time and the interaction between cats and caregivers to be increased, which is not always well tolerated by felines, especially if there are children at home. less respectful of their limits. More interactions mean more possibilities for conflict.
Also, cats used to having access to the outdoors can see this freedom severed, with consequences for their behavior at home. Another aspect to consider is that caregivers who are confined tend to be more aware of the cat as a way to keep busy. Therefore, it is normal for the search for interaction with him to increase, to manipulate him more, to offer him food more frequently, to encourage him to play, etc..
Symptoms of stress in cats
Considering all these changes, it is not surprising that cats manifest alterations in their behavior as indicative of stress. Some of the symptoms of stress in cats are:
- Aggression towards people or other animals.
- Inappropriate Disposal.
- Stop eating.
Therefore, during confinement it is important that we know how to relax our cat and, of course, let's consult with the vet in case, instead of stress, we were facing a physical problem. Although the clinics are closed, veterinarians are essential services and continue to work by phone. They can tell us how to go for a consultation, if essential, with all the security guarantees. Next, we review how to relax a cat paying attention to the five senses.
How to give a cat a massage?
If you are interested in how to relax your cat, you can start by stimulating the sense of touch. For this, nothing better than a massage, that brings benefits both to the one who gives it and to the one who receives it. Of course, we must always do it when the cat is receptive. Forcing it would be totally counterproductive.
Relaxing massages for cats have to influence areas in which he himself seeks our contact. If we look closely, the cat rubs us with:
- The neck.
- The loin.
- The tail.
That will be the sequence to follow in the massage, always starting it at the right moment in which let's both be calm.
For the massage we can use the extended fingers and exert a gentle pressure with the fingertips, always with delicate movements, which can be circular. We must know that in the cheek area cats release some calming pheromones, with which, in addition to the sense of touch, we stimulate the sense of smell.
In addition to the cheeks, there are two other sensitive points on the head that are behind the ears and chin. We can go down the neck, back and tail with the hand extended, taking several passes. With both hands, this same movement can be repeated on the sides, without descending towards the abdomen, since it is an area in which many cats do not allow contact. The duration of the massage will not exceed 5-10 minutes, although the cat may interrupt him when he considers.
How to calm a cat? - Bach food and flowers
In this sense, food comes into play, which should be the usual one, without exceeding the prizes. These should never exceed 10% of the daily caloric intake. It is a good time, yes, to turn to the favorite foods of our cat to promote your well-being.
In addition, in food or water we can add relaxing drops for cats. An example is the Bach flowers. Although studies attribute only a placebo action to them, as they have no side effects, they can be used to keep cats calm. If you are interested in knowing how to relax a cat with them, you just have to add them to the drinking water or to its food, although they could also be given directly, if the cat is not stressed. A well-known and widely used one is called Rescue Remedy, combining various flower essences to combat stress.
Pheromones for cats
The sense of smell is very important for cats. We have seen that massage can also stimulate it, since among the relaxing aromas for cats those of the soothing pheromones that they emit in moments of peace. These pheromones are used in various products thought to calm cats. Thus, they are marketed both spray and plug-in and they are already a classic option if we are concerned about how to reassure our cat, although they are not equally effective in all of them.
A particularly pleasant smell for cats is that of catnip or catnip, that can be bought directly to plant it at home or present it in different types of toys or prizes to which it is added.
¿What scent NOT to use with cats?
In this period of pandemic, you have to take into account an odor that is becoming common these days. It's of bleach, used to disinfect. It is convenient to know that some cats reject this smell, so, to avoid stress, it would be convenient limit its use or look for a substitute. On the other hand, for other cats the smell of bleach is very attractive and they urinate on the surface on which they detect it.
Relaxing music for cats
Another novelty of this pandemic state is the frequency with which noisy events occur that can be highly stressful for cats. We refer to the applause, the caceroladas or the concerts that are called daily in many countries. If it is the case of our cat we must provide you with a place to shelter with the highest possible soundproofing. For example, a carrier covered by blankets and located in an interior room with the blinds down and the windows closed.
But, if what interests us is how to relax a cat through the ear, we can resort to relaxing music for cats. The best thing would be to test different melodies and observe the reaction. The classical music is usually a success, as long as it does not contain too many screeching or loud sounds, which can be annoying to feline ears.
For more information, you can consult this other AnimalWised article about ¿Cats like music?
Environmental enrichment for cats
Lastly, cats love to explore, better from above. Therefore it is a good idea offer them a high place from which to observe both the street and the interior of the home. And it is that we must not forget the environmental enrichment.
All cats, especially if ours was used to going outside and now cannot do it, they need an environment in which they can develop their natural behaviors such as climb, run, stalk, scratch, etc.. Thus, how to relax a cat is to take into account all these needs. Enjoy a space to spread out, scratching posts, a sheltered place to rest, water and food, play, love, a suitable litter box and, above all, respect are the keys to a relaxed and happy cat..
General recommendations for cats during confinement
As a summary, and in addition to knowing how to relax your cat, keep in mind the following guidelines so that confinement is more bearable for everyone:
- Respect the limits set by the cat: Let him be the one to seek the interaction and never force him. You also shouldn't disturb him when he sleeps or rests. They are more likely to be receptive to play in the late afternoon, but when they get tired and leave, don't insist on prolonging the interaction..
- Safe area for your cat- Establish a safe area where the cat can be alone without anyone approaching it.
- Watch the children: monitor children's contact with the cat and make sure that they too know the rules and respect them.
- Alert to stress symptoms: signs such as marking, inappropriate elimination, lack of appetite or apathy are warning signs that should make us rethink the cat's routines.
- Balance diet: maintain the proper diet and do not exceed the rewards to avoid digestive disorders or overweight.
- Consult with the vetIf the cat's stress does not decrease, the use of drugs must be considered, of course, always under veterinary supervision, and resort to a specialist in feline behavior such as an ethologist. Before you always have to rule out a health problem.