If you've taken in a stray cat, you may have difficulty getting it used to indoor life. If you already have an indoor cat, the addition of a new cat to your home can make both cats act out. Besides being hostile to each other, one or both cats may experience anxiety. Life may settle back to normal with time, but one of your cats may experience anxiety for the long term. Here are some ways to deal with anxiety in cats.

Take Your Cat for an Examination

The first step is to have your cat examined by a veterinarian. Long-term anxiety may be caused by a medical problem or pain. Your vet will examine your cat for signs of injury, illness, or infections so treatment can be given when necessary to make your cat comfortable.

Physical problems can cause anxiety in cats, but those are not the only causes. If your stray is the one who has anxiety, life on the streets or past trauma may be to blame, or your cat may be having a hard time adjusting to life indoors.

Try Over-The-Counter Remedies

You can buy remedies for cat anxiety without a prescription from a veterinarian, but it's good to get a recommendation from the vet first on what product to give and how much to use with each dose. Don't give your cat herbal supplements or medications without asking your vet first, since some herbs and essential oils are poisonous to cats.

Try Pheromone Diffusers

The problem with supplements for cat anxiety is that your cat may not want to eat them. If your cat is a picky eater, getting them to take the treat could induce even more anxiety. That's why your veterinarian may suggest pheromones to calm your cat. A good way to use these products is in a diffuser that fills the room with cat pheromones and you won't have to force your cat to eat a treat or handle the cat in any way. Plus, since the pheromones fill the room, both cats can benefit from the treatment.

Give Your Cat Prescription Medications

Your veterinarian may want to try supplements, behavior training, and pheromones first, but if those don't work, prescription medications might be necessary. You don't want your cat to be anxious and unhappy all the time, and medications can be effective. The vet can give quick-acting medication for occasional anxiety episodes, or your cat may have to take medications daily. The daily medications could take several weeks to start working and provide your cat relief from anxiety.

Contact a vet, like those at Angel Pet Hospital, for more information.