Keeping your cat happy is very important. There are many studies showing the health and well-being benefits to humans of having a cat, but there is also a lot of evidence to show that cats find our modern lives stressful.
Domestic cats are descended from wild cats and are solitary hunters. Being small, they are also preyed upon by larger predators so are a mix of predator and prey. For this reason they are often on the alert for danger and need to feel in control of their environment in order to feel safe.
Being naturally solitary animals, cats rely on their own abilities to survive and will do whatever is needed to avoid injury. Their preferred defence mechanism is flight, but if necessary they will fight and with sharp teeth and claws, and a very flexible body, can be a formidable adversary!
Stress and anxiety in cats can cause various problems, from a general increased susceptibility to disease, inflammation of the bladder causing cystitis and behavioural problems such as urine spraying, overgrooming and aggression. As pet owners, we have a responsibility to minimise our cat’s stress as much as possible.