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Trigger stacking in cats

Trigger stacking in cats refers to a situation where multiple stressors or triggers occur in quick succession, leading to an accumulation of stress or anxiety in the cat. Each individual trigger might not be enough to cause a strong reaction, but when several triggers happen one after the other, they can overwhelm the cat's ability to cope, resulting in a more significant response.


Just like humans, cats have their own individual thresholds for stress and anxiety. When a cat experiences a trigger, such as a loud noise, a sudden movement, or an unfamiliar person or animal, it may become temporarily stressed or fearful. However, if additional triggers happen within a short period, the stress can build up and intensify their reactions.


For example, let's say a cat is already feeling a bit anxious because of construction noise outside. Suddenly, a stranger enters the house, the doorbell rings, and another pet startles the cat by running past. Individually, these triggers may not have a severe impact, but when they occur one after another, the cat's stress level can escalate rapidly, causing it to display more intense behaviours like hiding, hissing, growling, or even aggression. Another example might be, you cat is feeling unwell, you need to take them to the vets, they dislike the cat basket, the car journey, the waiting room at the vet with unfamiliar smells, sounds and sights, then they are handled by the vet who is scary, they hide from you the rest for the day and avoid the cat basket at all costs forever more!


It's important to understand trigger stacking to help minimize stress and anxiety in cats. By identifying and managing potential triggers and providing a calm and predictable environment, you can help reduce the chances of trigger stacking and create a more harmonious atmosphere for your feline companion.

Cat behaviour, feline, behaviour, cat behaviour problems, feline behaviour problems, cat at the vets, anxious cat, cat handling, vet phobic cat, worried cat, anxious cat, scared cat,
Cat under a blanket


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