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How To Reduce Stress In A Cat With Hyperesthesia

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Feline hyperesthesia is a condition that's often compared to human schizophrenia. It causes cats to engage in strange behaviors such as over-grooming themselves and appearing to run after things that aren't really there. If your cat has hyperesthesia, it is important to keep their stress levels down to prevent episodes. To do this, you should give them a consistent routine and learn how to help them deal with changes.

Create consistency in your cat's routine

Most cats like consistent schedules. Unpredictable schedules are often met with anxiety, and this goes double for cats with hyperesthesia. Below are two ways to provide a consistent schedule for your cat:

  • Feed your cat at the same time each day: Write down the times in which you plan to feed your cat, and stick to the schedule you choose. Plan ahead for days in which you won't be able to stick to it by enlisting the help of a family member or neighbor. Make sure that the person you choose is someone your cat feels comfortable around.
  • Set a time to play with your cat each day: Exercise has been shown to help reduce anxiety in humans, and it's possible it reduces it in cats as well. Because of this, incorporating exercise into your cat's daily routine can be a great plan. Just as you did with your cat's feeding times, write down a time you can play with your cat each day. Think about what kind of play your cat enjoys best and make it a part of their routine. Consider ending playtime with a special treat.                                          

Help your cat adjust to sudden changes

Just as cats can become stressed from an inconsistent routine, they can also become stressed if they experience sudden changes in their lives. Many of these changes are unavoidable. For this reason, you should consider how your cat may react to changes and take the appropriate measures. For example, if they lose an owner, you will want to pay extra attention to them so that they don't feel lonely or bored.

Sometimes cats with hyperesthesia will need antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication to help them deal with stress. Before going this route, discuss it thoroughly with your veterinarian so you are aware of side effects to watch out for. By taking measures to relieve stress in your cat, you can effectively prevent hyperesthesia episodes and help them to live a quality life.

For more information, consider contacting a professional like those at Apple Valley Animal Hospital.