Anxiety in cats
Article loaded in February 1997, modified 17 March -
©Dr JoŽl Dehasse
3 avenue du Cosmonaute,
1150 Brussels, Belgium
For the full sized article, see Anxiety in cats
Anxiety has been defined as an emotional state accompanied
by behavioural and autonomous reactions analogous to fear, when
there is the least change in the internal or external environment.
In this model, cat anxiety will be divided in three groups by
the invalidation in time: paroxystic, intermittent and permanent
anxieties. The specificities for each of these groups will be
given for the presence, the absence or the modification of several
specific parameters: defence aggression, inhibition, scanning
behaviour, displacement activities (for example lick-alopecia),
(facial, urinary and scratching) marking behaviours , etc.
Different clinical pictures have been recognised
and standardised. The Cat Anxiety Syndrome (non specific) will
be the opportunity to present the drug therapies individualised
on three axes following the neurotransmission or neuromodulation
apparently involved: noradrenergic, serotoninergic and dopaminergic.
Drugs like clomipramine, selegiline, trioxazine, will be described
as will be the use of anxiolytic pheromones (FeliwayR).
Other clinical pictures will include:
Deterritorialisation anxiety: the disruption of the
territorial appeasing markings may lead to fear and anxiety with
the alteration of facial marking and production of urinary marking.
Deprivation anxiety: cats that have lived their development
in poorly stimulating surroundings may not adjust in richer environments
Anxiety in closed surroundings: cats may not adapt
easily to a life in small, closed, surfaces. They may develop
anxiety accompanied by redirected predatory aggression on people.
Cohabitation anxiety: cats who have to live together
may present different patterns of degradation of their emotional
states and communicative skills.
Several clinical pictures of anxieties will be briefly
presented: anxiety in hyperthyroidism, after the use of ketamin,
in algic states, separation anxiety, and deritualisation anxiety.
Dr Joël Dehasse