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Is Your Cat Stressed Out By Covid-19?

Covid-19 stress

Andrea’s cat, Petunia

By guest contributor: Andrea Krantz

Have you seen the viral video about the cat who is clearly unhappy to have her entire family isolating at home during the coronavirus pandemic? Shared on the social media site TikTok, it comes from a user whose feline angrily meows and bares her teeth while her poor owner films it. In case you need a laugh, here it is:

When I first saw this, I could so relate. Finally, someone gets my relationship with my own fur baby, whose mood towards me tends to range from somewhat annoyed to extremely annoyed, depending upon how much food is or is not in her favorite bowl. Yes, she is certainly the boss of me, but that’s a story for another time.

Stress levels are high for humans and cats

What’s not so funny right now is the elevated stress levels that prevail across the species. Human families are on edge in this uncertain time. Adults are trying hard not to communicate fear to their children, and everyone is stuck inside together, pets included.

Just as we are stressed by worrying about the COVID-19 virus, our companion felines can pick up on our emotional states. They feel stress because they can sense that we feel stress. What’s more, our homes are our felines’ entire worlds, and things may have become topsy-turvy in recent weeks. Just as abrupt changes can be difficult for us to handle, please understand that your cat has basically an obsessive-compulsive nature. Their lives are dictated by habits and repetitive activities which make them feel secure.

With more family members around more often, Kitty may become a Nervous Nellie since her regular patterns have become interrupted. The important thing to realize is that cats often hide their feelings. Hopefully, this stress is short-term. A cat that experiences long-term stress can be affected both mentally and physically. This can result in a compromised immune system and illness, or it can result in problematic behavioral issues.

stressed cats


Signs your cat may be stressed

What can you do? Well, the first thing is to look for certain outward signs of stress such as excessive grooming. If the cat is losing too much hair, this is not normal. Next, if your fur baby starts to urinate outside the litter box, chances are she is traumatized. Consult with the vet to make sure there is no physical reason for any of this. Next, if you have noticed unusually aggressive or standoffish behavior, it could well signal stress. Again, to rule out illness, check in with your veterinarian.

Ways to help your stressed cat

Finally, whatever you do, never yell or punish. This will only exacerbate the situation. Calm her fears by playing more. Make home-made food puzzles, and introduce more interactive fun. Flower essences are a great way to relax cats experiencing emotional issues. Though cats see differently than we do, did you know that color therapy can be an effective way to soothe your cat? Providing a light-colored blanket, towel, or article of clothing for her to sleep with or lie on can be very calming. The color yellow has been found to cheer up a cat who is feeling down or sad.

Finally, show her plenty of attention when she wants it—and respect her need for alone time (perhaps snoozing on her Armarkat cat tree) when she needs it. For further information, please go to:

Andrea Krantz

About Andrea

I am not a cat behaviorist, cat whisperer, or cat authority. I am, however, someone whose greatest loves have been the felines with whom I have cohabitated throughout my life. A magazine writer, editor and art director from prehistoric times before magazines went the way of the dinosaur, I believe in the power of the written word–spelling, grammar, punctuation intact. After seeking a field clearly not on its way to extinction, I joined the pet industry in 2015 by way of AeroMark International, Inc, whose Armarkat line of cat trees and pet beds have led every “Best of” category since their advent in the early days of ecommerce. I apply my experience in writing, marketing, art direction, and client relations to an extraordinary line of cat furniture designed to enrich the lives of our fur families, doing a bit of good in uncertain times. It is my ultimate pleasure each week to contribute a Friday blog to’s website and social media pages.

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Trusted By Those That Love Their Best Friends

It appears you really DID clear the obsessiveness of Libby asking and going nutso as I get out and prep her canned food. She is giving me space (not underfoot), less verbally meowing like crazy and this morning she knew I was prepping the food and it was so quiet I turned around and she wasn't even in the kitchen anymore, even though she knew I was prepping her food. THAT's a first.

Danielle T.

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