5 Simple Steps You Need for a Stress-free Cat


So check this out, seriously. Yesterday I
was out geocaching.>>Meg: People are still doing that? People are still doing that. I’m still doing
that. I was out. I was on Frontage Road. Way out there. I found the BatCave.>>Stephen: Whaaaaaat?? [cell phone buzz]
Yeah…I totally did. Hey, I got a tweet! It’s from @jessicaherman93. @drandyroark, I am moving my indoor/outdoor
cat to my new apartment in May. Can I get some hints to quell her anxiety?
#thatcatlady #prevet Let’s do this! Hit the intro!! [Loud Rumbling Sounds] Holy collapsing ceiling, it’s Batman! [Music]
>>Meg: And now your host, the vet who is>>Meg: more of an indoor vet than an outdoor vet,>>Meg: Dr. Andy Roark! Batman, what are you doing here?!>>Batman: You gave the coordinates away of
where the BatCave is.>>Batman: Plus I’m an indoor/outdoor bat,
and I need some tips on how to deal with my anxiety. I’m talking about “cat” anxiety. Not “bat”
anxiety. I’m actually talking about 5 things that you
absolutely need to do if you are gonna have a happy, low-stress cat.>>Batman: Pretty sure he said “bat.” Cats feel more comfortable when they have
a private, secure place that they can go. Think: BatCave.>>Batman: That’s a helpful tip. Some quick fixes if your cat doesn’t have
a place like this, is just to turn a cardboard box on its side, or get out the old cat carrier. Perches or shelves are also great, safe places
for cats that are mobile enough to comfortably get up there. If we have kittens
or older cats, sometimes we set these down low, or even use ramps to get up to them. We call that: handi-CAT accessible. Perches or shelves that dip down in the middle,
hammock-style, also help cats feel hidden and secure. If you have multiple cats, make sure that
the safe spots have more than one exit and entry point. That will
stop a single cat from controlling access and generally being a jerk. Also, you should have as many safe spots as
you have cats. I don’t want to hear about crazy cat ladies
anymore. I want to hear about crazy safe spot ladies. Spend time with your cat, and I’m not just
talking about the time it takes to snap a photo for Facebook. Speaking of
which, find me on Facebook! Even if your cats don’t always show you, they
love you.>>Batman: My bats love me. I’m sure they do. Cats benefit from positive, regular, and predictable
interaction with humans. However, how the cats want these interactions
to go down varies from cat to cat. Some cats are cuddlers. Others like to interact
with people frequently, but with out a lot of engagement. Cats want to control when a visit starts,
what happens during that visit, and then when the visit ends.>>Batman: Ugh. Just like Catwoman. We don’t want to force cats to interact with
us. I want…I just…I want to love you! Kitty…come here…let me love you, kitty!
Why do you struggle. Instead, let’s just respond to them. If we want to visit, it’s best to get down
at the level of the cat, let them approach, and avoid eye contact. If we’ve got multiple
cats, make sure that each one gets attention and your sessions are not being
broken up by other cats. When the cat moves away, let it go.>>Batman: [singing] Let it gooo…Let it
goooo…>>Stephen: No. No! NO!!>>Batman: I’m Batman. If we learn our cat’s preferences for spending
time together, we can form stronger bonds with them. Cats are predators. They have strong desires
to show hunting behaviors like chasing, stalking, and pouncing, even
if they’re not hungry. Now, we don’t want cats to actually hunt in
our house. Let’s take them through as much of the predatory
sequence as we can without having dead animals on our pillow. Things that we can do here include:>>Batman: I hate when the Riddler uses puzzle
feeders. Cats are not pack animals. They need to have
access to resources without being challenged by others. They’re what’s known as a solitary survivor.>>Batman: I’m a solitary survivor. Just like
Beyonce. The resources I’m talking about include food
and water as well as places for them to use the bathroom, scratch their claws, play, and rest. There should be multiple options for where
your cat can get each of these resources, and the resources should be spread apart to
enlarge your cats environment. This is true even if you only have one cat. Each cat should have his or her own food bowl. And litterboxes should be spread away from
the other resources. Cats use their sense of smell so much more
than humans do, so these smells can cause both comfort and
stress. Here are things we can do to manage anxiety
through smell: Do things like leave your shoes and shopping
bags at the front door, because these bring the smell of the outside
world in, and that can be stressful. Avoid using detergents, cleaners, and scents,
because they can affect how your cats area is “supposed” to smell. If you’re introducing a new item into your
home, wipe it down with something that smells like your cat.>>Meg: What about people? Not until the third date. Provide scratching areas because cats lay
down their own scent through glands in their paws when they scratch. When you wash bedding, do it so that not everything
gets washed at the same time. That way your cat’s smell is still around
and everything seems normal. Finally, there is evidence that synthetic
pheromones may reduce anxiety and in some cases help with litterbox problems. And that’s our show! Thanks to the American Association of Feline
Practitioners for doing the great research and getting it published so that I could find
it and share it with you. And also, thanks to Batman who… is still
here. What are you doing here?>>Batman: Uh…I’m actually stuck.Can you
lend a hand? >>Meg: Here…use this.>>Andy. Yeah…I’ll get it. Up you go!>>Batman: Oh…uh…oh…OH…That doesn’t
feel so bad.>>Meg: EW! He’s enjoying it!>>Andy: Batman! Don’t make it weird!>>Batman: Uh….just a little lower. Oh.
Ow. OW! Thank you for watching. Please help me to
help pets by subscribing to this channel, watching and
sharing our videos, and letting me know what topics you would
like to see covered on the Cone of Shame in the comments below.
And until next time: Let’s be the people our pets deserve. [Music]

10 thoughts on “5 Simple Steps You Need for a Stress-free Cat

  1. Geesh Andy I think YOU need some Feliway yourself! You seemed pretty stressed making this….hahahahaha. Actually very funny and very good information. I have 3 cats at the moment and I have never seen them react to anything new I bring in-like my new couch, except to take turns getting on it. Interesting observation….

  2. LOVE this episode!! And I learned a lot. Didn't learn this important stuff in vet school. #handicataccessible   #crazysafespotladies  

  3. Please Dr Andy can you debunk the myths about GDV! my partner tortures me on her dog forum pages about people using "bloat kits" consisting of 50 tablets of siminthecin  as the cure and there's misunderstanding about it being "genetic"…I've also read in a veterinary naturopath book that you can "cure it with nutmeg on the tonuge" – Being an ECC Vet nurse… i know the only cure 😉  I try and encourage prophy gastropexy… our Anatolian Sherpherd is done! but people just don't seem to understand !!!!

  4. These are some pretty good tips! But you know, if there is a bug in my house I do want my cat to kill it. Get rid of that fly. I don't think he's so good at it though XD

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