Cats have quite a bit of personality and are known to display a wide range of emotions. But we specifically love when our cats are friendly and affectionate because it brings us a sense of joy. However, when our little feline friend gets in a bad mood, we need to know how to calm down a cat.
Like us, cats also get in a sour mood sometimes. Every now and then, they may need a little reminder that things will be okay! Cats can sometimes feel anxious, stressed, or hyper. But unlike humans who can find someone else to talk to and help us communicate through our anxiety episodes, cats need different strategies to help them calm down.
We will explore some of the causes of why a cat may feel anxious, stressed, or hyper and what that looks like. We’ll also lay out a few strategies to use to help calm your cat down and feel better fast!
What Causes Cats to Act Frantically?
Every cat is different and reacts a certain way when introduced to situations in its life. But sometimes, certain situations can trigger a cat to feel anxious, stressed, scared, or even hyper. Although we would rather see our cats in a good mood, recognizing the signs that can bring your cat down is the first step to making them feel better.
Some triggers a cat may experience could be when they are placed in a new environment or are meeting new people when they are taken on car rides or visiting the vet. When placed in these specific situations, a cat’s senses may heighten and alter its mood heavily. Here are a few ways to recognize if your cat feels any anxiety, stress, or on the brink of becoming hyper.
A cat’s sense of smell is powerful and far more superior to that of a human. A cat’s sense of smell plays a crucial role in their everyday behaviors from communicating, smelling food, and sexual activity.
Cats tend to mark their scent by rubbing their face on different objects such as furniture and people. By doing this, a cat feels safe and secure in its environment because of the familiar scent.
When a cat is placed in a new environment with brand new smells or is introduced to new people or other animals, this can be overwhelming and frightening for your cat.
A cat’s hearing is incredibly sensitive and is approximately four times more sensitive than a human’s sense of hearing. A cat can hear up to 65kHz compared to only 20kHz a human can hear.
With this incredible hearing, a cat may perceive everyday sounds we think to be normal as loud and alarming. For example, a cat may think that we are yelling at them when speaking in a normal talking voice. Other sounds that can be triggering are other animals, new people, cars, and other loud city sounds.
As with their hearing, a cat’s sense of touch is also very sensitive. Cat’s use their whiskers as a way to feel their surrounding environment and can experience “whisker stress.” This occurs when there is uncomfortable pressure placed on a cat’s whiskers when they are eating or drinking.
Paying attention to a cat’s body language when you are petting them is very important. Cats are usually okay with petting on the head and neck but will sometimes squirm or go still if touched other areas. So, as a rule of thumb, it is best to always be gentle when petting your cat and notice any physical signs of uneasiness.
Cats also have impeccable eyesight in which they can see well in dim lighting, and they have some color vision. However, they have sensitive sight in regards to rapid movement.
Fast movement can be startling to your cats, such as physical activity, other animals, and laser pointers. Upon witnessing any of these movements, your cat may respond in an equally aggressive or hyper state. This can make it difficult to calm them down until the quick movements have stopped.
Past trauma can result from a variety of different sources. Perhaps if your cat is a rescue, they may experience specific triggers related to smells or sounds that may bring traumatic moments. This can be something like hearing a car honking outside or drinking from a metal bowl.
Another sense of trauma can be taking your cat for a car ride. If the only time you ever take your cat for a car ride is to the veterinarian, your cat may pick up on these patterns and feel anxious every time they go for a ride.
Cat zoomies are those moments when one second your cat is chill, and then the next second they are flying across the room at full speed. These sudden bursts of energy are common and can result from a poor sleep schedule, desire to play, or bathroom issues.
Is It Common for a Cat to Be Stressed or Anxious?
Of course. Although every cat has its own personality and different triggers that can cause stress or anxiety, it is a relatively common problem.
Cat’s are extremely sensitive creatures and respond to uncomfortable situations in a handful of ways. Just as humans can find themselves in stressful situations or feelings of anxiousness when confronted with unfamiliar and new environments, cats can also feel the same way.
Unfortunately, cats cannot vocalize their issues the way humans can, so we must rely on other cues to help determine if they are experiencing any stress or anxiety.
Being able to identify any potential causes that may trigger any stress or anxiety for your cat is important. So knowing ahead of time if your cat may be meeting new people or visiting a new environment, it is essential to be prepared with ways to calm your cat down before they happen.
Is it Common for a Cat to Be Hyper?
Yes, it is common for cats to have moments of hyperactivity. These extreme bursts of energy can be seen when your cat darts from one end of the house to the next. Typically, it’s at full speed or constant meowing! Although at that moment, it might seem like this behavior comes from out of nowhere, there are a few possible reasons why your cat might be acting this way.
Cats are natural predators, so that these sudden hyper moments can be the result of your cat exhibiting their hunting instincts. Your cat might demonstrate its predator skills of agility, aggressiveness, and capturing with whatever is standing in its way.
Another reason cats may become hyper is because of their nocturnal instinct. Cats naturally are nighttime creatures and might exhibit more energy when the sun goes down.
Fleas and other pesky creatures causing irritation can be another reason for your cat’s hyperactivity. Your cat might constantly be meowing or grooming themselves more than usual if they have developed a flea problem.
How to Calm a Cat
Now that we have listed out several reasons your cat may experience anxiety or stress, here are a few strategies to help calm down your cat.
As much as you want to comfort your cat when experiencing any stress or anxiety, it is sometimes best to let them be. Cats have a vastly different personality from humans and may find being over-affectionate more stressful.
Depending on how your cat responds to physical affection and comfort, it might be best to give your cat some space while they are experiencing an episode. This gives them an opportunity to decompress.
Keep the Cat’s Scent
In addition to creating a cozy environment, keeping your cat’s scent is a way to ensure familiarity in their environment. Keeping their scent on furniture, litter box, the carpet, bedding, and other areas can create a calm and relaxing space where the cat feels at home.
Use Calming Oils
Using calming oils made from natural ingredients is another great way to relieve your feline friend’s stress. Although cats like to spread their scent around the house, calming essential oils can give off a soothing aroma that is not only pleasant for cats but pleasant for you too.
CBD treats can be a perfect way to relax your cat. Cats love eating treats, and CBD treats are not only an excellent form of relaxation for your cat, but these treats can be beneficial in regards to joint issues, reducing pain, and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle.
Create a Cozy Environment
Creating an environment where your cat can roam free and express their independence will help with reducing their stress levels. Providing their own bed, a cat tower, and other areas where your cat can escape to now and then has been proven to affect a cat’s overall mood positively.
Play Soft Music
As stated earlier, cats have very sensitive hearing and can respond aggressively when met with loud noises. So in the same vein of creating a cozy environment, playing some soft music or white background noise can help soothe your cat.
When a cat is in a certain mood, sometimes it is best to meet them where they are and play with them. Cats are very physically active and often want someone to play with. So picking up a laser pointer or a couple of cat toys and finding some time to play with your cat will help reduce their stress levels.
Can I Give My Cat CBD?
Yes! As mentioned, a strategy that can help reduce a cat’s stress is by giving them CBD treats.
CBD is a natural compound found in hemp plants that work with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to help maintain balance in the body. And because CBD contains 0% THC, your cat will not feel any psychoactive effects. Basically, CBD is a natural component known to relieve stress, reduce pain, and promote a healthy lifestyle.
HolistaPet provides high-quality Calming Chews created with natural ingredients and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. They also taste great with a salmon flavor your cat will love.
There are also some fantastic CBD Oils available formulated specifically for pets. Giving your cat CBD oils usually provides quicker results when applied in your cat’s mouth or as a drop on your cat’s food.
Final Thoughts – How to Calm Down a Cat
Every cat will eventually demonstrate signs of stress, anxiety, or hyperactivity. But, many strategies are available to help combat these episodes.
Most importantly, creating a peaceful environment and providing a safe space for your cat will tremendously help with reducing your cat’s stress and anxiety level.
Overall, making sure your cat feels comfortable and safe is the key to ensuring your cat’s health and mood!