cat care

6 tips for dealing with scared cats – nervous cat

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6 tips for dealing with scared cats

Cats are afraid of many things, such as loud noises, strangers, new pets, etc., and cat fear can be inferred from observing their behavior and body language, as they may flee, hide, or become aggressive. The question is: should the frightened cat be taken out of hiding, or should it be ignored and punished? What is the best way to deal with frightened cats?


Signs that cats are afraid


There are many signs that cats are afraid, and they don’t have to appear all at once. and the most important:


  • Hissing sound
  • Big eyes and dilated pupils.
  • Flat ears extended back.
  • A tail that moves quickly or wraps around or under the body.
  • Arched back.
  • Fur and puffy body.
  • Hide under furniture or in confined spaces.
  • Crouch low to the ground, ready to move at a moment’s notice.
  • Urinate and defecate outside the box.
  • Escape and run from room to room.
  • Sit rigidly in place.
  • Scratching and biting


How to deal with scared cats


The period of socialization of cats during the first weeks of life (3-9 weeks) is a significant factor in the emergence or non-emergence of many of their fears. Cats that are dealt with frequently and regularly during the first few weeks of life are more curious and more social, while cats that are not exposed to sufficient, continuous, and positive social interactions with people, animals, and new situations may feel a lot of fear later on. In addition, genetics also plays a role in the cat’s sense of fear, as some cats are naturally more shy and afraid than others.

In general, there are some tips that you can do to calm your cat’s fears, noting that implementing these tips takes patience and time. and the most important:


Give scared cats their freedom and space

Some cats may want to come to their owner when they feel afraid, while others want to hide and be alone, and it is best to respect the cat’s wish. If the frightened cats decide to hide, try to put their food, water, and litter box near their hiding place, and watch them a little. things and increases her fear.

However, you can encourage the cat to go out with a quiet voice, or by luring it out using some hunting games, and if the cat goes out and wants to play, stay calm and do not try to make any sudden movements.

Avoid fear stimuli as much as possible

It can be difficult to avoid and remove everything that makes your cat fearful, but it is best to avoid the things that cause the cat to be afraid, as this helps prevent the exacerbation of her fears. If the cat does not like a person, give it a chance to hide when it comes, and do not make it intentionally carry it because this will only make it more afraid.


Trying to reduce cat sensitivity to fear stimuli

Cats are often afraid of new changes in the home, so try to make these changes gradually if possible, and give the cat enough time to supervised explore what’s new at first, so she can safely get used to any sights, sounds or smells New.

In some cases, cats’ sensitivity to fear stimuli can be reduced by taking the following steps:


  1. Identify the cat’s fear stimuli, whether they are people, places, animals, tools, or anything else.
  2. Determine the distance the cat can stay away from the fear stimulus without showing fear.
  3. Move the fear stimulus very slowly as you continue to praise the cat and offer rewards such as a tasty snack or a fun toy.
  4. If the cat seems afraid at any point during this process, you should repeat the process at a later time, with the need to be careful not to rush and present the fear stimulus.
  5. If the cat does not react with fear or aggression, reward it for good behavior.


If the cat is afraid of strangers or friends, try working with one person to help increase the cat’s interest in people, by having the person sit firmly in the room, then encourage the cat to enter the room with a toy or treat and slowly move it towards the new person. If the cat gets scared, let it go back to its hiding place, and then you can encourage it to come out again with treats or toys. Repeat these sessions over time, as the cat may get used to having strangers around and even getting close to it.


Ignore frightened cats that exhibit aggressive behavior

Frightened cats may turn into aggressive cats because they do not know another way to deal with their fear.

If the frightened cat shows aggressive behavior, then the best thing to do to deal with the scared cat, in this case, is to ignore it, because it wants you to be afraid and back off. If you do that, the cat will realize that its aggressive behavior achieves the desired result, and it will always repeat it. Instead, stand your ground, and don’t try to approach her, as trying to pet her or comfort her, in this case, could lead to injury.


Use of synthetic pheromones


You can use a pheromone spray or some other product that delivers synthetic pheromones similar to the natural pheromones your cat produces. These compounds help calm fearful cats.

You can find these products at most pet stores or order them online.


Visit the vet

Sometimes, sudden changes in cat behavior, such as extreme fear that suddenly appears, may indicate other problems, such as a health problem, so when noticing any drastic change in cat behavior or eating habits, using the bathroom, or others, it is best for the veterinarian to Examination to ensure that there is no disease.

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If the cat does not complain about anything and is still suffering from severe fear, the doctor may prescribe some medications that relieve her anxiety and fear, and it may require the use of an animal behavior specialist to deal with very aggressive, fearful cats.

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