Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements has announced that Calming Care, its #1 veterinarian-recommended probiotic brand for supporting calm behavior in dogs, is now available for cats. Calming Care is a management option for owners whose cats experience anxious behaviors like hiding or pacing. Calming Care is a probiotic supplement that contains a strain of beneficial bacteria that has been shown to help dogs and cats maintain calm behavior. It helps cats cope with changes in routine and location and helps promote positive behaviors such as playing and seeking out social contact.
Anxious behaviors in cats can be relatively common but also misunderstood as common cat behavior. A 2021 Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements survey* revealed that 78 percent of cat owners surveyed had a cat that regularly exhibited one or more anxious behaviors, yet 22 percent of those owners believe these behaviors are just “the way their cat is.” Anxious behaviors in cats can include hiding or withdrawing, showing aggression, showing compulsive behavior, pacing, vocalizing excessively or following family members around the house. Cats may experience anxious behaviors as a result of external stressors like change in environment, being confined to a cat carrier, being overstimulated or bored.
“It can be tricky for pet owners to identify anxious behaviors in cats because they may attribute anxious behavior to being part of their cat’s personality or the ‘that’s just the way they are’ mentality,” said Dr. Ragen McGowan, PhD, Animal Behavior Expert at Purina. “If you notice your cat acting differently or if you’re concerned about your cat’s typical behavior, it’s important to talk with your veterinarian to ensure there are no underlying health conditions. Your vet can provide a proper assessment and recommend if Calming Care is a good option for your pet. Keep in mind that it can take up to six weeks to start seeing results, so it’s important to build the supplement into your regular feeding routine.”
As Calming Care is just one tool in the toolbox to help address pets displaying anxious behaviors, Dr. McGowan recommends cat owners consider a variety of ways to keep their pets comfortable and calm:
- Provide enrichment. Making sure your cat is getting mental and physical exercise is crucial for their mental health. Set aside time to play one-on-one with your cat with a wand, cat ball or any other interactive toy that keeps your cat’s attention. For those spending less time at home with their cats during the workday, consider providing them with an interactive toy or puzzle toy to keep your cat entertained while you’re away.
- Identify the cause. Cats are very particular creatures who are in tune with even small changes in their environment. Rearranging furniture, having houseguests or even making changes to cat litter, diet or where water bowls are placed in your home can have a great impact on a cat’s behavior. As a first step, cat owners can think through any recent changes to your cat’s environment or routine and reverse them to see if this alleviates any anxious behaviors.
- Stay calm. Our pets can sense our stress and they look to us for reassurance, so showing them that we are calm and relaxed will likely help them remain calm as well.
For more information on Calming Care, click here or speak to your veterinarian.