Fearful Cats

Your cat may show the following behaviors when she is fearful:catWeb

  • Fleeing
  • Hiding
  • Aggression (which includes spitting, hissing, growling, swatting, biting, scratching, puffing fur and tail, arching back, swishing tail, and flattening ears)
  • Freezing in place.

What You Can Do

Take the following steps to reduce your cat’s anxiety and help her become more confident:

Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a thorough physical examination to rule out any medical reasons for your cat’s fearful behavior.

  1. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a thorough physical examination to rule out any medical reasons for your cat’s fearful behavior.
    • Cats don’t always act sick, even when they are. Any sudden behavior change could mean that your cat is ill.
    • Some common symptoms that suggest your cat may be sick are sudden aggressiveness, hiding, and eliminating outside the litter box.
  2. If your cat is healthy, but hiding, leave her alone. She’ll come out when she’s ready.
    • To force her out of her hiding spot will only make her more fearful. Make sure she has easy access to food, water, and her litter box.
    • Clean the litter box and change the food and water every day so you know whether she is eating and drinking.
  3. Keep any contact with the fear stimulus to a minimum.
  4. Keep your cats routine as consistent as possible.

What Not To Do

  1. Do not punish your cat for her fearful behavior.
  2. Do not force your cat to experience the object or situation that is causing her fear.
  3. Be cautious in handling your cat when she is frightened. She may accidentally direct her aggression to you.

 

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