Signs of Stress
In addition to hiding, cats who are stressed might over-groom, meow excessively, pace and seem restless, and even hiss. Do not punish your cat for these behaviors! It is unlikely to stop the behaviors; in fact, it will probably only stress your cat more and cause the behaviors to intensify. It may also cause the cat to be distrustful of you.
To make your cat feel more comfortable and secure in his cat safe zone, consider placing a Comfort Zone® with Feliway® diffuser in the room. The synthetic pheromone emitted helps ease stress in cats and helps them feel more secure.
Offer a variety of toys for your cat to play with. Play is a natural behavior in cats. If a cat is denied the opportunity to play regularly, they may become stressed as a result.
Offer elevated places for your cat to perch. Like playing, perching is also a natural behavior in cats. Cat trees are a great place for a cat to perch. Bookcases, window sills, wall shelves, and atop refrigerators are also prime perching spots for many cats.
Cats love their alone time. Many times when they feel overwhelmed they retreat to spaces where they feel more comfortable. Covered cat beds, under furniture, cardboard boxes, and cat trees are common places cats go for safety but observe your cat and find out what her preferences are.
Hiring a Pet Sitter
Consider hiring a live in pet sitter when you are away on vacation. Cats often get stressed and lonely when left alone for extended periods of time.
Many cats feel stressed when they do not have their own resources such as food, water, and litter box. If you have more than one pet, be sure to provide enough resources for each pet. Multicat households should have at least one litter box per cat, plus an extra one; multiple, separate areas for food and water; several scratching posts/pads; and plentiful safe spaces that also prohibit being ambushed or surprised by the other pets.
If you would like information from an Anti-Cruelty Society Behavior Specialist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.