Said Dr. Hanen Abdel Rahman in cats Shy or fearful behavior is most often caused by negative associations made in early life. If a cat doesn’t interact with people often or experiences abuse or trauma, later, he or she may be afraid to trust human caretakers and become a skittish kitty. … Here are some common reasons why cats exhibit fearful behavior.
What is fearful behavior normal?
Some fearful behaviors are acceptable and normal. For example, most cats will feel insecure or frightened in a new environment. Your cat will often hide for a day or two when presented to a new home.
Sometimes, a traumatic experience – such as taking it to a vet or bringing a new animal home – can disrupt its routine and send it under the bed for a few days.
But some cats are so fearful that they live in an almost constant state of anxiety, or they may redirect their fear to aggression toward people or other pets.
How can you help your scared cat?
If your cat is hiding but healthy, leave it alone. It will come out when ready. Forcing him out of his hiding spot will only make him more fearful. Ensure that it has easy access to food, water, and a litter box. Clean the litter box and change your food and water every day so you know if it’s eating and drinking.
Food is a great incentive for cats, so if your fear of someone is at home, give that person the duty to feed.
What should you do if your cat becomes aggressive?
If your cat is seriously threatening you, another person, or another pet – and the behavior is not an isolated incident – you should seek help as soon as possible from your cat’s behavior specialist.
To keep everyone safe in the meantime, confine your cat to an area of the house where you can keep all its interactions with it to a minimum and have a responsible person oversee it.
Take all cat bites and scratches seriously; Remember that they can get infected easily.
They had a traumatic past
Living in a noisy shelter, living in a cat hoarding situation where they would not have had the best of care, or living with someone who abused your cat could all be things that would make her fearful. A cat who has been rescued from a dire or life-threatening situation could also be a fearful cat.
According to Dr. kristina.karelina, signs that a cat might have PTSD include aggressiveness, especially when they would not normally be aggressive, decreased appetite and weight loss, increased neediness or attachment, and destructive behavior. Other signs include trying desperately to run away during a scary event such as a thunderstorm, hiding for no clear reason, not sleeping, or an avoidance of certain people, places, or things.
How do you socialize a scared cat?
never to stare directly at the cat as this can make her uncomfortable. slow, rhythmic petting and gentle movements to build trust. Encourage play using small, quiet toys that twitch or make small movements around objects. attention before petting again
How to help a fearful cat
It’s normal for an at to be scared every now and then. But long-term fearful behavior is more of a health concern and should be easy to spot. There may be a medical reason for your cat’s fearful behavior, so schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for an examination, particularly if the fearfulness is a new behavior. The Conscious Cat says that chronic stress in cats can cause health problems and can exacerbate others — just like it can in humans.
- When you’re dealing with a fearful cat, approach them slowly, and be comforting. If he’s hiding, let him stay there for a while rather than pulling him out. Chances are good he will come out on his own when he’s ready. Place some food and water near his hiding spot so he has easy access.
- If you can figure out what is making your cats fearful, such as a toy or a particular person, you may be able to desensitize him with some practice and training. For instance, introduce a fearful situation while you are comforting him and giving him treats. Work on this very slowly. An animal behaviorist can help make sure you’re not going to traumatize him again by putting him in stressful situations.
- Finally, don’t punish your cat when he exhibits fearful behavior, as this could simply reinforce the fear and make it worse. Animals associate punishment with what they’re doing at the time of the punishment. Punishment, when she’s already fearful, could just instill fear and not help her understand why he is being punished.