Are all the cats frightening by the same things, and do they respond the same? One thing you should understand is that every cat is different. Each is frightened by different things and reacts differently. However, most cats I have come across are frightened by slinky.
When I start the vacuum cleaner, she does not blink an eye, but she runs and hides for hours when I take out the slinky. Do you find it strange that your cat is fearless to other things but always frightened by slinky? Why is your cat afraid of slinky? Is it the movement or noise it makes? I am also not sure. But continue reading this article as we are about to find out more.
How Do You Know If Your Cat Is Afraid?
Is your cat scared of a slinky toy or something else? Would you like to know if he/she is afraid? Below are some undeniable signs that your cat is afraid.
Observe The Cat’s Behavior.
- Losing control of the bladder /bowel: Has your cat just messed the house with something she does not do? She is probably terrified of something. Instead of punishing your cat, first, determine if there is anything that may cause it to be afraid.
- Freezing in a place: It is common for a cat to adopt freezing behavior when afraid of something. If you take off your slinky toy, the cat stands still without even moving any part of the body because they are scared.
- Running away: Have you noticed that your cat runs away in certain situations? Running away is one of the indicators that your cat is afraid of.
- If your cat is fearful of slinky, immediately you take it off, she /he will run away.
- Hiding: If a cat is afraid of something, they are likely to hide. It is a common behavior among most, if not all. So, have you noticed your cat hides every time you take off your slinky? They are afraid.
- Releasing anal glands: When your cat is afraid of something, they will probably release the anal gland as the bowel pushes up. Thus, if you notice your cat releasing anal glands, they are afraid of something. These indicators can be grouped into four:
- Aggression: There are numerous ways a cat can indicate they are aggressive. They include hissing, swatting, biting, scratching, puffing fur and tail, flattening, and swishing tail.
- Refusing to use the litter box: Is your cat refusing to use their litter box? There may be health issues, or they are just afraid. First, you need to take the cat to a hospital for examination. If there are no medical issues, and they continue refusing to use the litter box, they are afraid of something.
Study Your Cat’s Body Language
- Dilated eyes: When your cat is afraid of something, its pupils will enlarge. This is likely to happen when it encounters a life-threatening. When the eyes are dilated, it is trying to see everything that can cause harm. Is it possible for a cat to have dilated eyes as a result of excitement? Yes, it is possible; as such, this indicator requires a combination of other body languages in determining if it is afraid or exited.
- Wrapping the tail around the body: Does your cat wrap its tail around the body or completely stuck it under its body? It is possibly afraid of something.
- Crouching low: This is a defensive mechanism against danger. If your cat is afraid, it is likely to crouch low to the ground and might be in a hiding spot.
- Cat ears flatten: When your cat is afraid, the ears will lie backward on the side. In this posture, your cat is ready to attack its threat.
Signs That Your Cat Fears Have Turned To Aggression
- Bristling hair: If your cat is not only afraid but also upset, it will try to make itself appear bigger. It is a way of intimidating the threat. Is your cat’s body and tail puffed out with hair sticking out? It is a sign of aggression.
- An arched back: This is a sure sign that your cat is afraid and aggressive. An arched back makes it appear huge; thus, scaring off whatever it is facing.
- Bared teeth and hissing: Is your cat becoming aggressive or just afraid? If it starts showing its teeth and hissing it is a sign of both fear and aggression.
- Swatting, biting, and scratching: Have you noticed your cat scratching you whenever you try to play with it? It is aggressive pet behavior. It can scratch you unintentionally as a sign that it can take care of itself.
What Are The Common Fearful behavior Triggers?
Generally, cats are known to be a little timid about things. However, some factors can trigger your cat to be fearful.
Eight Common Fear Triggers in Cats
- A loud noise or a sudden movement
Any sudden movement that may happen around the cat will impact fear in your feline friend. As cat owners we can find it funny when a cat leaps a few feet above the ground, turns, and then runs to hide. However, to the cat, it is an act of fear.
Sudden noise around the house may be inevitable. However, if you have a cat around, it is advisable to limit them to avoid scaring the cat all the time.
- New pests/ strange person or animal
Does your cat love the new company, or is it always stressed? It is essential to understand if your cat is accommodating to newcomers or respond aggressively. While most cats love to meet and play with new pets, it is undeniable that some may be a little bit cautious.
- If your cat dislikes a new company and must bring one, some strategies can be implemented.
- Keep the new pet confined for the first time.
- Allow supervised interactions only.
How long will it take for my cat to get used to the new company? It may take up to a few weeks to get comfortable with each other. It is advisable to be patient and supportive.
Cats are usually comfortable in an environment they are familiar with. Leaving home to un, a familiar location can trigger stress to a cat. Why fear a new environment? They are unaware of what to expect. What if I have to take it to the vet for the first time? While this is unavoidable, there are some measures you can implement to reduce the fear.
- Before the trip, make your cat get used to a cat carrier
- Use a spray once it’s in the carrier to make it feel relaxed.
Do you have quite an active child and a cat in your home? There are high chances that the cat becomes fearful cat. Cats are social beings and playful. However, in circumstances where the child is very active, the cat may become aggressive. An aggressive cat may harm the child.
A strange environment
Have you just relocated to a new home with your cat? It is essential to bear in mind that exposing your cat to a new environment triggers stress. What do I do to reduce cat stress while relocating? Change is inevitable in our lives. But we can manage the anxiety associated with the new environment. Cats are happy and flexible in an environment they are familiar with.
As cat owners how can we reduce stress in a fearful cat in a new environment? Try to be friendlier, playful to build confidence in your cat that it is a safe environment to live in. Is everthing cat safe?
Lack of resources
Did you know that your cat’s stress can be triggered by a lack of providing necessary resources to keep it happy and healthy?
What Are Those Things That Your Cat May Consider Necessary?
- Food and water or milk: Lack of enough food can trigger stress in your cat. Ensure it is replenished all the time.
- Clean litter box: A cat is one of the cleanest in the animal kingdom. It dislikes dirt, and if its litter box is dirty, it can be stressed about where or how it is supposed to go to the toilet.
- Availability of scratching posts: Like a leopard, a cat enjoys running up trees and scratching things. It is a form of relaxation. It is essential to have wooden posters for your cat to scratch.
- Comfortable sleeping post: Your cat sleeping bag should be cozy. Sleeping reduces stress in cats the same way it does to humans.
- Toys: A cat is a playful animal. You may have noticed it likes to play with the kids or things around them.
- Opportunity to bond with humans: As a domestic animal, a cat needs human interaction. Such interaction makes the cat feel comfortable and relaxed, thus, reducing stress.
Did your cat eat your stake after removing it from the fridge, ready to prepare super? I understand you must be outraged and looking forward to punishing your cat. But if you love your cat, you would seek alternative measures other than punishment as it could trigger stress.
If you hit or yell at your cat, it will become fearful and hence stressed. They become afraid of the punisher, and since you stay with it, it could become chronically stressed.
What can you do to prevent bad behavior in your cat that can result in punishment?
- Feed your cat properly
- Train the cat not to eat anything they find unless directed to do so
Cats usually get used to a particular routine that you introduce to them. Any changes to their routine can trigger stress.
To avoid stress, you should ensure the feeding program remains an unaltered positive experience, sleeping time, and playtime likewise If your cat finds no food in its dish when they are supposed to be eating, it may become stressed. Keep some tasty treat handy all these are positive associations and a positive experience and not negative associations.
What can you do to avoid disrupting your cat’s routine? Introduce change slowly. This will allow your cat to adopt thus, eliminating the possibility of stress.
What Fearful Behavior is Normal?
It is usual for your cat to express fear in the following two situations.
- New environment: It is usual for your cat to feel frightened or insecure in a new surrounding
- Traumatic event such as, visiting the vet for the first time or bringing a new animal to the house: It is typical for such disruption in a cat routine to cause stress.
How Can You Help Your Scared Cat?
As cat lovers there two primary ways in which we can boost confidence in your scared cat.
- Avoid forcing your cat out of hiding. If your cat responds to fear by hiding, give it the time it will come out eventually. Ensure access to food and water, litter box
- If your cat is afraid of someone in the house, task them with the responsibility of feeding them. Food will motivate the cat to build a stronger bond with the person, thus, eliminating fear.
Frequently Asked Questions
A new environment and changes in routine are the two behaviors that are termed as usual.
Let your cat be
Avoid making unnecessary noise
Avoid yelling at your furry friend
The length of hiding is not the same for all cats. However, in most cases, it will hide for a day or two.
It depends on what it does when it is worried.
If it hides, don’t force it out, as it will only create more tension. Instead, leave it but ensure access to food, water, and a clean litter box.
If scared of someone in the house, a task that person with the responsibility of feeding it reduces fear.