Make sure your cat is able to behave normally
Things you should do
- Make sure your cat can reach all the things that he/she needs (bed, water, litter or outdoors) without having to pass things or other animals that may scare him/her.
- Make sure that your cat has constant access to safe hiding places where he/she can escape if he/she feels afraid.
- Make sure your cat has opportunities to exercise each day to stay fit and healthy. If he/she doesn't go outside, provide suitable indoor activities to keep your cat active. Read more about keeping cats indoors.
- Provide your cat with safe toys and regular opportunities to play with friendly people and by him/herself.
- If stressed or afraid, your cat’s behaviour may change. A common sign of stress in cats is spraying indoors- check out our fact sheet for more information:
Cat spraying behaviour (PDF 297 KB)
- Never shout at or punish your cat, he/she is very unlikely to understand and can become more nervous or scared.
- Add interest to your cat’s meal time by hiding dried food or using a puzzle feeder.
- Provide your cat with a sturdy scratching post which is tall enough for him/her to use fully stretched, especially if he/she doesn’t go outdoors.
- Cats that are frightened or in pain may change their behaviour or develop unwanted habits e.g. aggression, spraying indoors, disappearing or avoiding people.
- The way a cat behaves will depend upon his/her age, personality and past
- Cats are playful animals and many enjoy playing with toys and with people. Play can be a fun way of allowing your cat to be active.
- Signs that a cat may be suffering from stress or fear can include high levels of grooming, hiding, sleeping hunched or altered feeding or toileting habits.
- Cats sleep for many hours of the day, but when awake they are active and need opportunities to exercise.
- A cat that is scared and cannot escape and hide may become aggressive.
- Cats naturally use objects to scratch, to mark their territory, strengthen their muscles and sharpen their claws.
- Cats naturally spend much time ranging and hunting for food within their home territory.
- If a cat’s behaviour changes he/she could be distressed, bored, ill or injured.