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Top Natural Remedies for Stress in Cats

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Stress and anxiety in cats can come from other sources, including environmental changes and emotional or physical stress. It is important to first rule out illness as a cause, and to do whatever possible to make environmental changes. However, there are times when natural remedies such as herbs, flower essences, or homeopathic remedies may help in reducing cats' stress and anxiety.

Introduce only one remedy at a time, and check with your veterinarian first before trying any of these products.

1. Bach Flower Rescue Remedy

Picture of Bach Rescue Remedy
Bach Flower Essences are made with a 3-step process, and the resultant essences are usually mixed with water (4-5 drops in a pet's water bowl), although they can be applied directly to the skin. Rescue Remedy contains Star of Bethlehem, Clematis, Cherry Plum, Impatiens, and Rock Rose, and the combination is useful for stressful situations.
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2. Bach Essences Mimulus

Bach Essence Mimulus
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If you'd like to try your own mixture of calming Bach remedies, Mimulus is a good one to start with for fear and anxiety. I have ordered a bottle for my newly-adopted stray Jenny, who we recently made a house cat. She remains in my bedroom until we can integrate her successfully with Jaspurr, who seems determined to do her bodily harm. I've ordered two other Bach Essences for Jaspurr, which I will describe below.
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3. Bach Essences Rock Rose

Bach Essence Rock Rose
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Bach Essences Rock Rose is one of the ingredients used in Rescue Remedy. It is recommended for animals who are experiencing deep fear, terror, or panic. After a particularly violent attack by Jaspurr, our Jenny may very well be feeling those emotions when he is just outside her door. I've ordered Rock Rose as a back-up, should the Vine not be sufficient to quell her fears.
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4. Bach Essence Holly

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Holly is a Bach Essences used for aggression, anger, and jealousy, which may be based on insecure feelings. Our Jaspurr was taken from his mother at 6.5 weeks, and has always had feelings of insecurity. He inherited the role of the dominant male cat in our household from Bubba, and has aggressively defended it ever since.

I think he looks upon Jenny as an interloper, and possibly a threat to his alpha cat status. It's well known that females can also be alpha cats, and our Jenny is "streetsmart," if nothing else.

Holly is sometimes used in combination with Vine, which I'll discuss below.

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5. Bach Essence Vine

Bach Essence Vine
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Bach Essence Vine is recommended for cats who are extremely dominant, pushy, territorial, and aggressive - an excellent description of our Jaspurr when he feels his territory is being threatened.
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6. Farnam Feliway Comfort Zone Plug-In

Feliway Comfort Zone Plug-In
Photo Credit: © Farnam Companies, Inc.
The Comfort Zone Plug-In is based on a "friendly pheromone," and it has been very helpful, both in bringing shy, nervous cats out of their shells, as well as discouraging dominant alpha cats from urine-marking their territory. The latter is an interesting phenomenon: the cat "reads" the pheromone as his own facial gland scent, and bypasses the area.

I received positive results with my earlier review of this product. I should note one caveat, however: some people have reported that the diffuser has exacerbated their own asthma symptoms.

7. Anxiety/Fear Flower Essences

Prepared by Pet Essences, Anxiety/Fear Flower Essences are designed to help with nervousness and anxiety caused by sudden environmental changes, such as thunderstorms, noisy holidays, new people or pets in the household, or trips to the veterinarian. Contains Aspen, Impatiens, Red Chestnut, Mimulus, and other natural flowers, and may be administered by adding to drinking water, or gently rubbed into the skin of the ears, lips, or paws.

8. Vetri-Science Composure Liquid

Composure Liquid may help with urine marking, compulsive grooming, hyperactivity, or quivering and trembling; all possibly symptoms of stress and anxiety. Active ingredients are L-Theanine, Thiamin, Lecithin, and Decapepetide. As with all medications, discontinue immediately if your cat's symptoms worsen, and contact your veterinarian.

9. Calming Solution Flower Essences

This Pet Essences product can be used for cats who have difficulty calming down, who are high strung, or overly possessive. The manufacturer recommends giving several times a day for a cat that is particularly upset. Ingredients: Cherry Plum, Chamomile, Quaking Grass, Vervain, and other natural flowers.

10. LoveMyPet Stress Relief

An herbal formula used for calming pets in noisy or unfamiliar situations (think fireworks, thunder, and travel). This holistic remedy contains organic herbs, including organic skullcap, passion flower, oatstraw, schizandra and homeopathic ingredients.

The formulator is Martha Benedict, who was trained in China and has been creating herbal mixtures for pets for over 25 years. Like flower essences, LoveMyPet Stress Relief is usually given mixed with water.

11. HomeoPet Anxiety

Homeopathic remedy for calming noise and change-based anxiety. Ingredients: Chamomilla, Valeriana, Borax, Cypripedium Pubescens, Ignatia Amara, Colochicum Autumnale, Veratrum Album; in purified water.
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