Join Club

Scratching Post: Holiday Stress

The Scratching Post banner

Editor’s Note: The Scratching Post is a column that’s sponsored and written by the staff at NOVA Cat Clinic.

It’s that time of the year that NOVA Cat Clinic starts to see an influx of patients for more than our routine standard of care. We see a significant increase in sick patients. The holidays for us are a sad time of the year since this is usually when we see a rise in euthanasia as well. But why?

Stress

While the winter holidays are supposed to be filled with hot chocolate, turkey, cookies, family visits, gifts, and silly winter sweaters, it is also the most stressful time of the year. And your cat feels it, too (it is not just your sweater).

Cats are creatures of habit. They love routine. What they don’t love is going on a car ride somewhere to board for a week or two while their favorite person(s) are away (even though all of the cats are loved on and spoiled here). Most cats are not fans of household guests either. The quiet, one-on-one time of 6:00 a.m. coffee and cat food might all of a sudden include several people, sometimes screaming children, and possibly even a dog in the mix, not to mention strangers using the bathroom where their potty box could be.

Their routine is changed. Change equals stress which can turn into a trip to the vet’s office. Sometimes they can be expensive ones. We see trends of cats not getting their medication that is needed daily.  In turn, their disease manifests into something that may need urgent medical care simply because our holiday hustle and bustle has made our lives too busy to pay them the attention they normally receive.

Cats that have high anxiety can develop problems such as urinary tract infections, while some can become suddenly aggressive or perhaps depressed. Some elderly or very metabolically sick cats take a turn for the worse and succumb to their diseases right around the holidays. All because the household is stressed even though you don’t think it is.

What can we do about this? If you have guests over, make sure your cat has its own room that you have set up for them. This way your cat is in a “safety zone” that only you or people that your cat are close to can go into. No one else!

Consider pet sitters if your cat does poorly at the vet’s office or boarding facility, especially if your cat tends to be aggressive or very fearful in nature. Don’t be afraid to ask your guests to mind their manners around your cat, or even request that they don’t bring other pets over if your kitty really does not like dogs or other cats.

Teach visiting children that the cat is off limits if the cat doesn’t come out and about and want to socialize on its own. The use of Feliway diffusers or even Sentry Calming Collars can help aid in lowering their stress levels as well.

The most important thing is to stick to your cat’s routine as closely as you can and not wait until the last minute or the day you are supposed to catch a plane to take your ill cat to the vet. If your cat seems to be acting odd or “off,” make an appointment sooner rather than later to prevent those holiday woes of expensive vet visits.

Everyone at NOVA Cat Clinic wishes you a safe and happy holidays!

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Recent Stories

A new coalition will tackle how Arlington nonprofits and county government distribute food and support people who are food insecure. The group held its kick-off meeting at Central Library last…

A Lunar New Year celebration is coming to the Pentagon City mall this weekend. On Saturday, Feb. 4, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is partnering with Asian American Chamber…

Arlington County police are investigating two separate incidents of gunfire overnight. The first happened in the Green Valley neighborhood, where shots were fired shortly after 10:30 p.m. and police found…

A small business “boot camp” from Arlington Economic Development attracted hopeful entrepreneurs needing help with finances, marketing and their online presence.

Need help dealing with anxiety, depression or stress?

If you’re struggling to cope with anxiety, depression or stress, our virtual psychotherapy services can help. We offer a confidential and convenient service that’s tailored to your needs.

In our practice, cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is an important tool we use to provide effective relief for those facing anxiety and depression. We believe that cognitive change can be used to improve behaviors and emotions, thus allowing you to achieve mental wellness. By understanding the cognitive distortions that lead to negative thought patterns, we are able to create interventions tailored to each of our clients. This empowering approach can help you gain control of how your own thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors impact your experience. With CBT, our service provides an effective treatment that can bring long-term change and mental stability.

Book a free consultation today and see how we can help you live a happier and healthier life.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.

Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.

We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.

For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.

Submit your own Announcement here.

Almost, Maine

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, join us for a series of vignettes that revolve around the theme of love. Taking place in an almost-town called Almost, Maine, we will show you different, but important, facet of love in each

First-time Moms Meet & Greet

The truth, your first pregnancy and new mom months are full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and lots of questions! None of us really know the best way to do it – we just figure it out, together…

×

Subscribe to our mailing list