Managing stressful situations for cats
Anxiety and fear are both negative emotions that can contribute towards distress in cats. Anxiety is an emotional state that occurs in anticipation of a real or perceived threat, where the individual’s safety or wellbeing is compromised. Fear is an emotional state in response to an immediate and known adverse event or challenging situation. It can be difficult to differentiate between these two emotions in cats because we cannot know how a cat is feeling. We do not know whether a cat is anxious about something that might happen, or something that is actually happening because we cannot ask it. However, both anxiety and fear are associated with high levels or arousal and unpleasant experiences.