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Cats With IC Do Better In A Low Stress Environment

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  • kadi
    Hoping the recent changes I just made to reduce my stress level will pay off!!!
    Or... I may just have to turn into my cat. She has toys, places to hide, a regular schedule, no stress that I know of and is all around spoiled!

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  • Briza
    Makes good sense to me. I credit my current remission to stress reduction.

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  • Cats With IC Do Better In A Low Stress Environment

    Cats are the closest animal model we have to IC and you'll find this study fascinating. It shows that high levels of stress result in a dramatic increase in symptoms just as a reduction of stress results in improvement. Message to humans with IC? Keep stress low if at all possible!!! Makes total sense to me! - Jill

    Why Cats Might Need a Day at the Spa
    Category: Life Science
    Posted on: February 17, 2011 11:37 AM, by Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Linda Lord at Ohio State University has been studying how cats respond to stress. Her findings show that otherwise healthy cats became ill when stressed whereas cats with a disorder called feline interstitial cystitis (FIC) became healthier when they were less stressed. FIC is a painful disorder that causes inflammation of the bladder in cats and can lead to the formation of crystals that spread to the urethra.

    According to the researchers, signs of stress in cats include: vomiting, decreased appetite, as well as urinating or defecating outside of the litterbox (gross!).

    Cats recruited for the study were donated by pet owners who wanted to have their pets euthanized because of their illness (or to save their carpet) and had agreed to let them take part in the study first.

    Dr. Lord's group found that providing cats with an enriched environment including toys, places to hide, bedding, and a consistent daily routine, reduced and even prevented some of the signs of feline sickness showing a link between stress and illness in cats.

    When the daily routines of the animals were changed, both healthy and sick cats showed increased illness that passed once the exposure to the stressful conditions ended.

    The moral of the story: Happier cats make healthier cats.

    Stella JL, Lord LK, Buffington CA. Sickness behaviors in response to unusual external events in healthy cats and cats with feline interstitial cystitis. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 238; 67-73, 2011. doi: 10.2460/javma.238.1.67