Is your cat showing signs of stress, such as over-grooming, excessive appetite, restlessness, aggression, or lethargy? It's a good idea to have your cat checked over by a vet just to make sure an underlying medical condition is not contributing to the problem. If your vet confirms that your cat's behaviors are likely due to stress, there are a number of measures you can take to naturally make your cat's lifestyle and environment less anxiety-inducing:
Use Pheromone Sprays
Pheromones are natural chemicals that cats use to communicate. Certain pheromones are released when a cat is relaxed, communicating to other cats in the area that it's okay to relax and be at-ease. These pheromones have been identified, and there are products on the market that contain them. You simply spray the product around your room, and it helps relax your cat. Some pheromone sprays even come in automatic diffusers that you plug into an outlet.
Adopt a Stricter Schedule
You've probably had your cat wake you up at your usual time in the morning, even though you planned to sleep in. Cats' insistence on being fed and interacting with you at certain times is not just an annoying habit. It's a mark of their innate preference to adhere to a regular schedule. Failing to maintain a normal schedule may cause some cats to feel stressed and anxious. In order for your cat's schedule to be more routine, you'll need to make your own schedule more routine. Try getting up, feeding your cat, and paying attention to your cat at the same time every day. If this is impossible due to your work schedule, consider getting an automatic feeder so your cat's not relying on you to maintain regular feeding times.
Provide Access to High Places
Many cat owners get upset when their cats find their way onto the fridge or a tall bookshelf. However, many cats naturally gravitate to high places, since they allow them to look down on the room below and know that it's safe. Providing your cat with a way to access these high places in your home, and not getting angry when you find it up there, may help reduce stress. Place a chair next to a tall bookshelf so your cat can jump up, or stack some sturdy boxes near the fridge.
In many cases, cats' anxiety can be reduced by making changes, including the ones above, to their living space and routine. If your cat does not respond to these changes, you should see your vet, one like Animal Medical Center of Deer Valley. There are a number of anti-anxiety medications that can be prescribed to cats. This may be what is necessary to restore your cat's happiness and get rid of unwanted stress behaviors.