How to deal with my cat’s fears and phobias

How to deal with my cat’s fears and phobias

16 November, 2021

Every cat lover has met at least one kitty that is in a constant state of fear, that is so recurrent that it even damages it’s ability to relate with humans and other pets. If a cat is repeatedly hiding, runs away with loud noises or avoids any contact, it is likely that it has a strong phobia. 

If we notice this happens to our pet, we should solve this problem because it can deeply damage the relationship we have with our cat. There are a few strategies to improve this, but it is very important that we consider that it will take time. Patience will pay off when you notice how your cat’s quality of life improves. 

Understand where the fear comes from

Empathy and understanding are the best starting points. We can’t aim to help our cat without digging into what is causing this behaviour. First and foremost you should think about any changes you have lately introduced to your pet’s life, the answer could be there. 

Moving out, new people, new pets, noise and even vet visits could be making your cat nervous. When possible, try to control these factors in order to create a more pleasant atmosphere in your home. 

We also need to understand that sometimes being shy is just part of your cat’s personality, so you will need to be patient and kind. When a kitten doesn’t get enough human contact in it’s socialization stage, it is much more likely to have difficulties in its adult life. Try to improve communication with your pet, create trust and you will see how it will start to feel more comfortable and protected next to you. 

Give your cat some space

As owners we feel a profound love for our pets, so, when we see them in pain, we want to make sure that we help. But, in order to benefit our cats, we need to learn how to properly aid them. 

When your cat is having an anxiety episode, the best thing to do is to wait a while until it calms itself. Respect its hiding place and avoid making any noise. 

Learn how to approach your cat

Cats are very perceptive animals, so first of all you need to be relaxed, if your pet notices your nerves you will create even more stress. Speak to your cat in a loving way and when you notice it calms down, try to slowly approach its side. Remember to never come up front or look straight into its eyes, this is very threatening for them. 

Another very effective technique is to offer a small portion of food or their favorite snack, the taste and smell will convince them to come closer to you. If it let’s you, you can gently pet its face. 

Scheduled play time

Your cat must associate your presence to something pleasant, so it can feel safe next to you. Remember that adopting a cat not only means feeding it and giving it a house to live in, it also involves spending quality time, making it feel loved and protected.

This is why it is highly advised that you spend at least a few minutes every single day only with your cat, no tv, no phone, no work distractions. You can do whatever you want, play or pet your cat, what matters is that you give it your full attention. 

Proper space

When a cat is feeling threatened, one of its instincts is to create a hiding place, a spot it can calm down and feel out of danger. It is important that we create this space for our pet, this way it will be able to relax faster when in crisis. 

This zone inside of your house should be destined only for your cat, but don’t worry, it won’t take up much space. You simply need to reserve a spot for your cat’s belongings such as toys, scratchers and bed. Keep it squeaky clean and make sure that no other pet or people come too near, this way your cat will see it as its own personal space.  

These tips are very effective and can really help you deal with your cat’s fears and phobias. If you practice them, you will progressively see how your relationship with your cat improves. If this doesn’t and stress and anxiety do not go away, you could be facing some major issues. Go to your veterinarian, as they will know how to properly proceed. 

Let us know if this article helped you and comment if you know any other ways to calm your kitty. 

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