How to Destress a Cat?

how to destress a cat

Humans are not the only creatures in this world that can feel stress. Yes, cats, dogs, fish, and everything in between, all get stressed out, some more easily than others.

Of course, if you have a stressed-out cat, it’s not going to be fun, not for the cat and not for you. This article will discuss how to destress a cat to make life a little better for both you and your cat.

The Importance of the Right Litter Box

One thing which can help reduce stress in cats is if you provide them with the right litter box. Some people might think that a single litter box placed anywhere in the home is sufficient. After all, it’s just a toilet, right? Wrong.

You need to consider the size of the litter box, its location, the type of litter, and the frequency at which your clean it. For one, this means having one litter box for each cat.

If you want your cat to be as stress-free as possible, place the litter box in a fairly calm area of the home that doesn’t see much foot traffic. Cats usually don’t appreciate heavily scented litter either. Also, make sure that you clean out the waste on a regular basis.

No cat wants to use a litter box that is filled with its own waste, just like you don’t want to sit on a toilet that hasn’t been flushed for a week.

Play and Exercise

One of the biggest reasons why your cat may be stressed, or at the very least, very bored, is due to a simple lack of play and exercise. Just like humans, cats need to be kept active and they need their brains to be stimulated.

A good 30-minute exercise and play session can go a long way in greatly reducing stress levels in your cat. Exactly how you play with the cat or get it to exercise is up to you, as well as how the cat prefers to play.

However, at the end of the day, blowing off steam and burning through energy via play and exercise is one of the best ways to destress cats. Exercise helps keep cats happy, it burns off unneeded energy, and it can help relieve anxiety.

Food and Drink

Another way to help keep stress in your cat to a minimum is by providing them with the right food. Yes, their diet can have an impact on stress levels. For one, high-quality cat food that is nutritionally balanced and complete is recommended. However, it’s not just about what a cat eats, but how a cat eats, which is particularly important if you have more than one cat.

If you have more than one cat, you should set up multiple feeding stations, ideally one for each cat. This will help prevent your cats from stealing each other’s food and fighting over it. For the smaller and more timid cats, having to constantly defend themselves and fight for the right to eat can and does cause stress.

Moreover, another part of this has to do with water and hydration. It can be very hard to get cats to drink.  A lack of hydration can cause stress, or just very bad health at the least. Therefore, do anything you can to encourage your cat to drink, with one option being to feed it canned food which already contains a lot of moisture. Placing the water source away from their food is preferred by cats.

Hiding Places

Cats can be somewhat solitary, and they often like a bit of privacy. When the world becomes too much, a cat likes to hide in a space where it feels at home. Therefore, you as the cat owner need to provide it with these hiding spaces.

They don’t have to be anything overly special, but they should make your cat feel comfortable. Just like us humans, cats benefit from a bit of alone time every now and again, so be sure to give it to them. A good little cat house can do wonders to destress a cat.

Perches and Scratchers

A scratching post is one of the best destressing tools for your cat. Cats need to scratch, not only to mark their territory, but also to keep their claws in good shape. A cat that cannot scratch will be a stressed and unhappy cat. So, be sure to give your cat a scratching post, or at the least, prepare to have your furniture shredded.

On that same note, a good cat perch is always recommended to help keep cats happy. Cats are territorial and they are hunters. This means that they often like to perch in high spots to keep an eye on their territory below. If your cat can’t perch anywhere, it may very well cause stress.


There are many things you can do to help destress a cat or to prevent stress in the first place. Before we wrap up for the day, it is also important to note that cats don’t fare to well with dramatic changes, so try to maintain a solid routine at all times.

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