Spare a thought for your cats this Spring. Cats are solitary animals and a stable territory is important to them. They have a core territory where they eat, drink, sleep and play and a larger territory where they will roam and hunt. They mark their core territory and passageways as safe and secure with pheromones so they know when they can relax.
Cats need essential resources: food, water, litter, hiding/resting places and scratching areas. If there is more than one cat in the house, they will want to access these resources independently without conflict. Remember most cats are time sharing your house and getting on but not friends as such. Think of it like when you go to work, you have to get on with everyone but they are not necessarily your friends and you will all work together to get to resources without conflict.
Spring can be a stressful time for cats for few main reasons:
1. Daylight changing: Cats commonly will time share their resources but also their larger hunting territory with other cats. “The secret life of cats” on ITV, showed how cats will go out at the same time every day and avoid each other. But when the daylight changes, they get confused as to the time of the day and therefore can go out and end up bumping into a cat they wanted to avoid. This will cause an increase in anxiety and worry for your cat until they get used to the longer days (the same could happen in the autumn). In practice, vets will see many more cases of cat fights and also idiopathic cystitis (linked to stress) at these times of year.
2. Spring Cleaning: Spring can be a time for change, a deep house clean, new furniture and accessories ready for the better weather. This disrupts your cats core territory either by blocking common passageways with new furniture or by removing the facial pheromones they have spent time marking their core territory as safe and secure.
3. Gardening: Spring is a popular time to spruce up the garden. Removing bushes and plants could be removing key hiding or toileting spots that your cat needs.
4. Going on holiday: This is exciting for you, but brings unwelcome changes for your cat. This can be a stressful time for your cat. Ideally having a cat sitter come to your house is better for them as they remain in their own environment and is a lot less stressful than a cattery.
Top tips to a stress-free Spring:
* Try and keep to a routine at all times and monitor your cat for signs of stress
* Plug in a FELIWAY CLASSIC Diffuser where your cat spends most of their time. This will top up any lost facial markings from your spring cleaning and also help them cope with the other stressful things mentioned above
* Make sure your cat has a safe, quiet area and leave it unchanged throughout the cleaning process, it is important they have somewhere to go and hide if needed, they prefer to be up high. You could use FELIWAY® CLASSIC Spray to make it feel extra secure
* When gardening, remember to leave hiding and toileting areas untouched (places where you commonly see your cat sitting under or hiding in)
* If your cat is hiding away for whatever reason leave them alone and try not to coax them out
* If you have more than one cat, provide separate feeding stations, water bowls, litter trays and hiding spaces (ideally 1 more of each resource than the number of cats).
* If you have a lot of intruders into your garden. Why not protect their territory even more by installing ProtectaPet cat fencing around the boundary of your property to keep your cat safe within their core territory.
How can FELIWAY® CLASSIC help?
FELIWAY® CLASSIC contains a synthetic copy of the ‘Feline Facial Pheromone’ which cats naturally rub onto objects by facial marking when they feel comfortable and safe in their home environment. This helps them remember safe and secure areas to relax in.
The FELIWAY® Diffuser will release the Feline Facial Pheromone throughout your home. This will encourage your cat to spend more time with you and will help prevent or stop any unwanted behaviour such as spraying, scratching or over-grooming.
FELIWAY® has been scientifically proven, and has benefited over 11 million cat-owners world-wide.