Pet Wellness Guides > How to Reduce Stress in Cats - Pet Insurance Review

How to Reduce Stress in Cats

Posted: 12/10/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Behavior , Cat , Pet care

If you’re a cat parent, you might think your fur baby lives the life of a spoiled king or queen. Someone else (namely YOU) makes their meals and cleans up after them, and all they’re required to do is sleep the day away. While it sounds like a life of luxury, there are some cats that hide the fact they are experiencing real stress. As cat parents, it’s up to us to notice and learn how to reduce stress in cats.

How to reduce stress in cats

Is it Stress or Something Else?

Stress in cats is much more common than you may think. Cats are incredibly sensitive animals and they can become stressed by something seemingly small and benign. For instance, when you move a couple of pieces of furniture, let alone when you are doing a DIY project, there is a crew outside your house working on the street, or a new baby or pet has been brought into the home. Stress and anxiety can seriously impact your cat’s health and result in things like inappropriate elimination and cystitis (inflammation of the bladder). 

If you notice your cat’s behavior has suddenly changed in any way, it’s important to bring them into the vet to be checked out. Your vet can rule out any underlying health issues and also make suggestions on how you can reduce your cat’s stress.

With that in mind, let’s dive further into the topic and look at some ways cat parents can reduce the stress in their cat’s life or environment.

5 Ways to Reduce Stress in Cats

We don’t always know what our cats need, but we can assume their needs go beyond comfy plush beds and crinkle toys. Here are some of the basic needs your cat has and how you can meet those needs and lessen the stress your cat may experience:

Make Mealtime a Breeze

If you live in a multi-cat household, you may have one of those cats that bullies the others and eats their food. If you usually put the food down and walk away, don’t. Stay there and watch what happens. Is everyone able to eat their portion or do you have a bully that scarfs and moves on to someone else’s bowl? You may need to separate cats at mealtime so everyone can calmly eat their food without any stress.

Keep Those Litter Boxes Clean

Cats are fastidious and they require their bathroom to be kept clean at all times. Beyond offering a clean bathroom, you’ve got to think about other things like:

  • Is the litter box big enough for your cat?
  • Is it in a quiet location where they can relax and go?
  • Does your cat like the litter you’re using? 
  • If you have multiple cats, are you providing enough boxes? 

If you have a big cat, be sure your box is large enough to accommodate them. Maybe they don’t like that lid on top but would prefer an open box wherethey can comfortably turn around.

Be sure to place your box in a quiet space without a lot of foot traffic. Would you have an easy time going if people and other pets were always walking by?

You may have to try different litters to see which your cat(s) like. Keep in mind, while people may like scented litter, most cats do not appreciate it. Some cats have very sensitive paws and need very soft litter. Try a variety and see if your cat(s) seem to prefer one to another.

Keep those boxes clean. They should be cleaned daily. Clean litter boxes will also help keep your house smelling good. You don’t want your cat stepping in filthy litter and tracking that all over your house!

And finally, in a multi-cat home, you should provide at least one box for each cat plus one extra. So if you have three cats, you should provide at least four boxes if not a few more.

Get Them High

No, not that kind of high. When cats want to feel safe they climb up on something so they can be up and away from any danger. If your household is rather loud and rambunctious with dogs or small children, your cat might easily feel stressed and want to get away from it all.

Consider getting some tall cat trees for your home or fastening perches to the wall. Or you can even clear off some shelves on a bookcase for them to get up on. This will give them a chance to survey their environment for any danger. 

Give Them Things to Scratch

Cats need to scratch for their health and well-being. Scratching gives them an opportunity to mark their territory. This is completely natural for your cat to want to do. Of course you don’t want them scratching your sofa. But when you deny them the ability to scratch and mark, it can cause stress.

Be sure to provide scratching posts or those cardboard scratch toys. You can even kill two birds with one stone and get a tall cat tree that comes with a sisal scratch pole.

Spend Time With Them

Playing with your cat will help get their bodies moving and stimulate their mind. Interactive games can help reduce boredom and stress. There are many toys on the market, so experiment to see which your cat(s) enjoys. Just be sure to spend time each day engaging with them.

You may think your cat is pampered and living a life of luxury, but unless their environment is just so, they may actually be experiencing stress. Follow these guidelines to reduce stress in your cat.

How to Reduce Your Own Stress

If the thought of having to come up with thousands of dollars to pay for an emergency vet bill stresses you out, enroll your fur baby into a pet insurance plan. Many plans on the marketplace start at just $10 a month. Pay a bit more and you could be reimbursed for 90% of the vet bill.

Here are the top providers based on reviews from pet parents just like you:


Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024

RatingProviderTotal Review
4.9Healthy Paws7,477
4.8Prudent Pet125
4.5Pets Best7,196
4.3Pet Assure12







The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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