Some cats are unfortunately very fearful, whether towards humans, other animals or even the slightest noise. This problem makes life very difficult for them and the accumulated stress can, in the long term, cause them health problems, including heart problems. This constant fear usually finds its origin in a trauma they have experienced in their past, and literally ruins their life, preventing them from finding a state of well-being, and therefore from being happy.
If your cat has this kind of problem, it is important to know how to manage his fears to allow your little protected to live properly and calm down little by little. In this article, various techniques will be detailed to reassure your cat and, in time, so that it can have a happy and prosperous life.
Why Is A Cat Fearful?
A cat is not fearful from birth. This psychological trait usually comes from childhood, or from a trauma he experienced during his life. Thus, a cat taken too early from its mother will not have received the learning of socialization that the latter was supposed to bring to it: it will therefore be very fearful of everything it does not know. In addition to this, it is common in a litter of kittens that at least one individual is naturally introverted, which means that he will be more likely to be fearful or stressed. If in addition this cat is taken too soon from its mother or suffers trauma, it will be all the more difficult to appease and socialize it.
Also, if the cat comes from a place where it was mistreated, beaten or subject to constant stress, such as repeated shouting in the environment, or if it is an abandoned cat, forced to living by its own means, “disappointed” by humans, there is a strong probability that this cat will gradually regain its wild instincts and show itself to be suspicious, even fearful, of everything around it.
How To Recognize A Fearful Cat?
A fearful cat is easily recognizable:
- he moves most of the time with his tail horizontal, a sign of mistrust towards everything around him,
- he jumps or/and hides at the slightest noise around him,
- it does not go towards other living beings, whether humans or other animals,
- very little comes out.
A fearful cat will not necessarily have all of these characteristics, but it only takes a few to know that the cat concerned is in a bad mood, and will need to be reassured.
How To Calm A Fearful Cat?
First of all, know that you will have to be very patient with a fearful cat. To appease him, you will first have to make him confident, first with you, then with the rest of the house. Nothing will work if you rush things. There are no miracle products to soothe a cat, it will above all be a job that you will have to do “as a cat man” so that he can gradually feel confident with you.
To do this, there are various small gestures or ways of doing things that will calm the cat little by little, and make it more confident towards you:
- speak to him in a soft voice: a fearful cat is very sensitive to sounds, the slightest loud noise will make him jump, even scare him. So be very gentle when talking to him and, little by little, he will assimilate your voice as being “safe” for him, which is already a good start.
- have a slow and soothing gesture: going hand in hand with the voice, the gesture is also very important for a fearful cat. If the cat has been beaten in the past, the hand of man is, for him, synonymous with violence. So don’t be surprised if he is afraid of it at first. When you want to approach him, sit a good distance away from him to begin with; standing might impress him. While speaking to him in a soft voice, extend your hand to him gently. He certainly won’t go to you on the first try, but through trying, the hand of man, at least yours, will no longer be considered a threat to him.
- give him something to hide: a fearful cat is wary of everything around him. For him, a threat can come from anywhere. Providing him with a hiding place, whether it’s a box with blankets, a small cat tent or a basket, it doesn’t matter, as long as he feels surrounded by a protective surface, but also that he has comfort, will allow to soothe his gaze towards his environment.
- never insist or force him to do something: a fearful cat should never be forced to do anything. Keeping him on his knees by force to force him to socialize, for example, even if you do it without violence, will never calm him down. He will only feel compelled to do something and this, by force, which will only increase his feeling of inferiority, and therefore of insecurity.
- play it regularly: the game is a great way to develop a bond with your cat. For a fearful cat, being stimulated by playing with his master in a quiet place will initially focus his brain on the game in question, which will calm him down for a while without him even realizing it, and will gradually develop in him a feeling of complicity towards his master.
- contact a behaviorist: If you have tried everything without success, or you think you are doing the wrong thing, contacting a cat behaviorist can be a good solution to help you find more specific techniques to calm your cat, depending on the trauma he may have experienced during his life. These behavioral professionals will be able to analyze your cat’s fears by observing it, and will give you the best techniques to help your cat get better.
These different techniques must all be applied without harassing the cat. It will be necessary to practice them daily while respecting its needs for solitude and calm. Just be patient and with time and lots of love your cat will gradually calm down; thanks to your patience, he will finally be able to find a serene and happy life.