How To Live With A Neurotic Cat
A professional animal behaviorist offers a few tips on how to lower your neurotic cat's stress level, to make him a little easier to live with.
Just to go through some points, when living with a neurotic cat, there's just a few things to sort of bear in mind. Obviously, a neurotic cat is quite skittish, so there are sort of a few points that you must remember. Always, always, provide comfortable bedding areas and spaces.
Cats like corners, hidey holes, but as long as they've got means of escape, so don't block their pathway in any shape or form, because they'll just panic. Usually, corners and cubbyholes, and places like that. Like beds and sofas, under the beds and places like that.
It's usually just sort of places where they can be de-stressed, avoid places where there's lots of noise going on. So if you've got children, try and not put their sort of bedding area where the kid's bedrooms are and there's lots of noise going on. Also, make sure your cat is mentally stimulated, mental stimulation is around, providing them with activities rather than play all of the time.
So, they would include providing treat balls, hiding food in boxes, cat boxes, crinkle bags, those sorts of things, so they're actually looking for things to do and playing for their food, rather than just providing it. You can provide a little herb garden. Cats like the smell of herbs, so with mint, and parsley, rosemary.
They tend to sort of like chewing at those sorts of plants. Try not to feed on demand, or give attention on demand, because by doing that, if they become neurotic because they want feeding or they want comfort, then by doing it on demand you're actually reinforcing that behavior. So try and keep them to a normal routine as best you can, and don't overcompensate because they are stressed out, or they're nervous.
Just keep them to a normal routine and do with them as you would a normal cat. Always approach them very calmly. Always have a jolly tone to your voice.
Never raise your voice. Never approach them and confront them, because obviously that would make them panic even more. Another thing is, when they're sitting on your lap, and you're grooming them or stroking them, always use your fingers around the facial areas, because they've got pheromones around the facial glands, and that tends to calm them down.
So just rub around their faces, and that would really de-stress them an awful lot. So those are just areas that you can look at if you've got a neurotic cat. .