Anxiety / Fear
A neurotic disorder characterized by apprehension, uncertainty and fear directly out of proportion to any known cause, and often elevated to attacks of intense panic and signs of tension associated with physiologic changes.
Anxiety can be physiological and/or psychological and there may be a genetic tendency. The physiologic factors involved stem around arousal of the autonomic nervous system in the manner of a “fight or flight” response to fearful inner impulses and emotions.
The psychologic factors are individual to the patient but usually some sort of emotional stress precedes anxiety. The emotional stress may be easily identifiable, such as the introduction of a new pet or family member) or may be subconscious and harder to uncover: such as when hidden inner emotional drives of neediness and aggression are kept from the patient’s conscious mind by psychological defences.
Spraying can be a variant of normal feline elimination behaviours and can be performed by both males and females. Cats also spray when they are distressed or anxious.