We all know cats as calm but fierce animals. However, this is not always the case. There comes a time when they suffer from anxiety and fear. Just like human beings, they can also get afraid. There are many things that instill fear in your feline friend.
Today, cat anxiety and fear have become a common phenomenon. Unfortunately, many pet owners are too preoccupied to note it. These pets don’t just get afraid. If your is frightened, therefore, you should take time to investigate the reasons behind it.
What instills fear in cats varies from one to another. This is the same case in how they respond to frightening situations. Also, some felines are naturally timid. For such, being frightened is a norm and they spend the better part of their day hiding. They never like interacting with other animals and human beings.
However, even the cat that is usually strong can also get frightened. In this case, fear is attributed to frightening situations and experiences. You should study it so that you can easily identify any sudden change in emotions and what triggers them.
How do you identify a frightened cat?
If you know how your cat behaves, then you can easily tell when it is okay and when it is frightened. Fear in your feline friend is usually manifested through certain behavior. As Humanesociety.org notes, the symptoms of fear in this pet are easily identifiable.
There are some of the things to check as signs of fear. Your cat may:
- Runaway when it sees people
- Always be hiding under the couch or bed
- Excessive aggression- This aggression is manifested in the form of biting, hissing, flattening ears and scratching
- Refuse to use the litter box
- Always freeze in one place with little or no movement
- Lose control of the bowel or bladder
- Be releasing anal glands
If you aren’t keen, you will not notice any of these symptoms of fear in cats. Identifying these symptoms would mark a significant step towards identifying causes as well as remedies.
What are the common causes of fear in cats?
A cat getting frightened is normal. However, some aren’t naturally timid. If yours is unusually fearful, then you should investigate the cause. On ‘shy or fearful cats’, Pets.WebMd.com identifies these pets can be frightened by people, things or even situations.
The common triggers of fear include:
- Strange person or animals
- Loud noise
- Strange environment
- Stressful events
- An active child
They are also known to be afraid of balloons, bananas, apples, turtles, vacuums. They are also afraid of themselves, especially when they look at themselves in the mirror. Once you have identified the cause, then you can know how to help your pet overcome fear.
Is fear normal in cats?
While fear is normal to both animals and human beings, there comes a time when it might be abnormal. For example, it is absolutely normal for your cat to be afraid of a new environment. If you vacate to a new home, then don’t be surprised if it spends most of its time hiding in dark places.
If you bring a new animal, such as a dog, to your home, then it might appear scared. It might disappear for hours. This is absolutely normal. If you take your feline to the vet, injections might cause trauma to the cat. This makes it fearful. This is also normal.
However, if you note constant anxiety and fear in your cats, then this might be abnormal. You need to see a vet so as to diagnose the cause. In some cases, your feline being scared and anxious might be an indication of an underlying health problem.
How do you help a fearful cat?
You should always know the factors that make cats be scared. Once you have identified them, just ensure that it is not exposed to these triggers. To help resolve fear in cats, everyone should work towards preventing situations that cause fear.
Some of the ways how you can help a scared furry friend include:
- Discourage guests from approaching it. Cats should be allowed to approach strangers freely. As rapport is created, it finally approaches everyone.
- Don’t force it out of hiding. As time goes, it will realize that guests mean no harm and will finally come out.
- For new environments, allow it to adapt on its own. It may take some time, but it will finally get used to the new environment.
- When frightened, be friendly to it and play with it.
- Discourage active children from bullying it.
- When fearful, give it its best meal. The meal helps in keeping the cat calm.
- In extreme cases, ask your vet to prescribe anti-anxiety drugs. These drugs help in relieving tension and anxiety among pets.
- If you note persistent fear, buy numerous perches such as cat trees, cat beds, shelves or even furniture.
- You can spray Feliway in the house whenever you are anticipating visitors. Feliway helps in soothing cats, thus reducing nervousness.
- Avoid locking it in an isolated room.
- If you have acquired a new pet, don’t keep the two together. Let the two build rapport gradually while living in separate rooms.
By observing all these precautions, you can rest assured that feline friend will sooner or later overcome fear.
There are various wonderful calming products you need to consider. Some of the popular and effective ones include Feliway Classic 30 Day Diffuser Refill, Pet Naturals of Vermont 30 Count Calming Behavioral Support Soft Chews for Dogs and Cats, VetriScience Laboratories Composure, Calming Formula for Cats, Sentry Calming Collar for Cats