There cats that are afraid of humans, cats that distrust other cats, and cats that fear any unknown stimulus that comes their way. The reasons for a cat to be shy or fearful range from his personality to traumas suffered.
In any case, if you have a cat at home that is suspicious, prefer to be hidden and not related to the family, it is your duty to help him to let his personality out so that he can have a happy life, both physically and psychologically full. If what you want is to know why your cat is so scared and how to fix it We invite you to read this article.
Why is your cat so afraid?
As happens with the personality of human beings, there are extroverted cats, timid, adventurous, home and a great etcetera. Not all felines are great explorers, some prefer to stay at home, crossing the perimeter already known in which they feel safe. However, this is just shyness, and what we are talking about right now is fear.
When a cat is scared, there is some reason for that behavior. The main one is usually the lack of early exposure to people, during its socialization stage, which is the moment in which the cat is a puppy and has the first contacts with the environment, other animals or people. If the socialization has not been done correctly, it is usual that when fear appears (around the 12 weeks of life), the cat will be afraid of people.
In the same way, cats that have suffered traumatic experience, such as mistreatment or a simple fright, develop fearful behavior towards the human being, becoming hostile and adopting attitudes to hide and avoid all contact with people, even those with good intentions towards them.
It may also happen that you have rescued a wild cat, which is one that is not accustomed to contact with people (it would also be a lack of early exposure), so that sees the human being only as a possible threat more. This type of cats are usually very difficult to tame and may never get used to your company. If this is your case, do not miss this article with our tips to adopt a stray cat.
On the other hand, in the order of “domestic” cats there may also be reasons that frighten them. For example, many cats coming from shelters They tend to be cautious, because in those places they are forced to be surrounded by other cats, and even dogs, in addition to unknown people. That without excluding that many do not have the best conditions to house the rescued animals.
How to know if your cat is afraid?
Before looking for a solution to your cat’s fearful behavior, you need to make sure that what you feel is actually fear.
When they feel fear, It is very common for cats to hide, so you will see yours seek refuge under beds, furniture or any other object that seems good for it. Further, will snort and even growl when you try to get close and get out of there without wanting.
It is also possible that the hair stands on end and that the cat adopts a defensive posture, standing against the ground but alert to any possible threat. Your pupils will be dilated and you will be startled when you hear any noise.
Is this familiar to you? Well then your cat is very scared.
How to make your cat not afraid?
You may think you have tried everything to make your cat feel confident, but maybe you have done things incorrectly, so here we present some tips to take away the fear of your cat and get it, little by little , be more at ease with you:
- Do not overwhelm him. Forcing him to be with you, take him out of hiding, try to force him to eat alone will increase the tension between you and make the process more difficult. The adaptation should flow naturally, no matter how long it takes. The cat must always take the initiative.
- Do not tackle it head on. For humans it is very common to talk looking people in the eyes, but in cats this is a sign of defiance, so when you approach him with his eyes fixed on his face you are only intimidating him. Approach with the body tilted, looking to another place, slowly, and stand by his side as if you did not give much importance to be together.
- Stand at your height. Standing is another thing that intimidates a fearful kitten, so it’s best to crouch down or lie down by your side, always avoiding looking at it head on. Just stay there and hope that it is he who approaches. Try to avoid sudden movements, because they can scare you.
- Everything is in the look. Among felines it is usual to look at each other, blink and then look away, as a sign of tranquility and that they do not look for any conflict. You can imitate this gesture to show the cat that you come in peace and do not plan to harm him. Find out everything about the language and communication of cats in our article.
- Use the food. Apart from your usual food, it is recommended that the cat interprets that being with you gets good things, as a reward. Therefore, buy something that you may like and offer to eat when you feel progress. If he approaches you a little more, give him his prize. In this way you will associate with something positive.
- Play with him. The game is essential to uninhibit the feline and allow him to feel at ease. Find a toy that you can pursue, awakening your hunter instinct, as can be the typical fishing rod for cats.
- Be patient. Never try to force the relationship or demand your cat more than he thinks he can give you. Over time, he will feel at ease with you and give you all his love; Trying to achieve this ahead of time will only undo any progress you have made.
Conditioning of the environment
The scary cat you need to feel safe, not only in the relationship with you but also in the environment that surrounds it. That is why you should look for a space where you feel comfortable and calm, away from the hustle and bustle of the home and stimuli that could disturb you and accentuate your fear.
Ideally prepare a “nest” in a quiet place in the house (not by the way) in which the cat can take refuge without being disturbed. It must be a sacred place for him and the family should never try to take him out when he is there. Your bed and your food and water containers should be there as well, as well as the litter box, away from the other objects. Later we will place each element in your future site.
When present the feline to the rest of the family, do it calmly and one by one, so that you get used to the sounds and smells of everyone. Under no circumstances try to force the cat to show affection from the beginning, this bond must be built with patience when facing a scary cat. And if another animal is found in the family, like a dog, follow our advice to present them correctly.
Make a routine Of foods, moments for the toilet and the game. This way, your cat will not feel anxious about what may happen next. Keep in mind that cats are very susceptible to changes, since they like to have everything under control, which is why the routine will help your cat with fear of adapting much better to their new home.
Remember: if your cat starts to show nervous and fearful suddenly, without this being his normal personality, something bad happens. Watch if your anxiety increases when one of the family members, including any of the other pets, is near you so you can confront the problem. Similarly, stressful environments, full of tension and noise, will cause discomfort.
When is therapy necessary?
All the advice we have given you are intended to Improve Life Quality of the feline. No cat can live scared or permanently hidden, so it is important that you help solve this problem.
However, in cats that have suffered very traumatic situations It is possible that these methods do not work, so you should go to a specialist who develops an appropriate therapy so that you can feel safe and relaxed. For this, we recommend you go to a feline educator or ethologist.
If you want to read more articles similar to My cat is very scared, we recommend that you enter in our behavior problems section.