anxious cats treatment anxious orange cat

How to Boost the Confidence of Your Anxious Cat

Cat anxiety is a surprisingly common issue that many pet owners find themselves having to deal with at some point. 

Anxiety affects cats in a very similar way to humans, often causing significant changes in behavior. These can either lead to withdrawal or cause your cat to lash out at others around them.

Regardless of how anxiety exhibits itself in your cat, it’s not something that you’ll want to ignore.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at everything you can do to help boost the confidence of your cat if they’re suffering from anxiety.

We’ll be going over the various forms of medication for cats with anxiety but simple changes to their home life can also work wonders.

Changing Your Cat’s Home Environment

The majority of cats that suffer from anxiety are triggered by something they perceive as wrong or uncomfortable in their home environment.

After all, your home is where you’re supposed to feel the safest. You would also probably feel anxious if it was full of people, noises, and smells you’d never encountered before!

Here are some of the simple changes you can make in your home to help boost your kitty’s confidence:

Keep Other Cats Away

Many household cats love to take a stroll around their neighborhood. However, with so many pet cats running around, it can be easy for territories to cross and personalities to clash!

These interactions can cause anxiety if a cat feels that its home and territory are under threat from another feline. 

To combat this, you can try shooing the neighboring cats away from your backyard but this doesn’t always work! There are numerous cat deterrents on the market that you can also try but make sure you don’t upset your own cat at the same time. Many of these deterrents use high-pitched sounds that are just as irritating to a cat as nails on a chalkboard are to us.

Proven methods to deter cats from your garden include natural citrus scents, planting strong-smelling plants such as rosemary, and installing noisy windchimes or an automatic sprinkler.

Designate A Room For Your Cat

This might seem like a big step to take, but it is definitely one of the most effective things you can do.

Your home is your cat’s territory. However, it can be difficult to keep an eye on an entire house at once, especially when there are humans roaming all over it! This can lead to anxiety if you have a particularly nervous cat. 

By designating one room of your house to be cat-only, with no humans allowed, it will give your pet a more intimate and controllable environment to feel safe in.

There doesn’t need to be anything too advanced in this room. Simple stuff like a bed, litter tray, food bowl, water bowl, and a few toys, will make it feel like a new home for your cat.

Of course, you will need to go in at some point to change the litter and refill the food and water bowls. However, you should try to stop other people from going into the room at any other time.

This room should also be away from noisy environments like the kitchen or living room, where your cat might be disturbed by lots of human-made sounds.

Plenty Of Love

Of course, just like with humans, a great way to combat anxiety in your cat is to show plenty of love and affection.

This could take the form of simple physical contact, spending regular time with your cat, or stimulating their minds and bodies with plenty of play sessions.

Encouraging your cat to spend time with you, even if they’re just sleeping on your lap, is a good way to get them to feel more comfortable around the home.

Medication For Cats With Anxiety

medication for cats with anxiety cat sniffing a vase of fresh catnip

Aside from all the simple changes mentioned above, there are some natural and medicinal remedies that can be used to help boost the confidence of an anxious cat.

Where you live in the world, will determine how easy it is to access any of these medications.

However, regardless of whether or not you can purchase any of them easily, you should always consult a vet or medical professional before administering any kind of medication to your cat.

Some of the most commonly prescribed medications for cats with anxiety are:

  • Sertraline
  • Paroxetine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Buspirone
  • Clomipramine
  • Alprazolam

All of these medications come with their own risks and potential side effects, which may differ between individual cats. This is why it’s so important to consult a vet before administering them.

Some of the more natural remedies include things like:

  • Catnip
  • Pheremone spray
  • Valerian
  • Chamomile
  • Hops
  • Bach Rescue Remedy

Many pet owners prefer natural remedies for boosting their cat’s confidence because they often pose a lower risk of any adverse side effects developing.

What Scents Relax Anxious Cats?

One way to start boosting your kitty’s confidence is to relax them when they’re feeling anxious. Aromatherapy is a great way to do this and it works pretty much the same way for cats as it does for humans.

Scents like lavender work wonders in candles or air diffusers for calming cats down (just make sure any candle is placed well out of reach!). The best part about using lavender is that it also has a calming effect on humans. So, you should have a very peaceful household!

However, it’s important to avoid any citrus-based scents if you’re trying to calm down an anxious cat. Citrus is often used as a deterrent because cats hate the smell, so it definitely won’t have any soothing qualities!

Final Thoughts

Cat anxiety is a much bigger problem than most people realize and it can be distressing to see your pet struggling.

However, as long as you follow some of the steps we’ve outlined in this guide, you should have your furry friend back to normal in no time!


Evelyn Baxter, Writer and Cat Expert

Evelyn Baxter, Writer and Cat Expert

Evelyn is an animal advocate, cat expert, and the proud mom of 2 rescue cats, Sugar, a beautiful fluffy tabby and Beebee, a black, fluffy beauty. Evelyn has studied animal care while volunteering at her local shelter. She loves all animals and wants to share the animal knowledge she has been lucky enough to gain together with knowledge from other experts with cat parents across the world.