Scared cat: How to approach and comfort them

scared cat

How to approach and comfort a scared cat

Cats can be scared of anything that is unusual to them.  A scared cat is a sign that something unfamiliar is taking place.  Now, evolutionary speaking, this could be considered a survival instinct.  Yes, cats are predators but they are not at the top of the pyramid and they know it.

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What are some things that make a scared cat?

When you turn on the vacuum, you notice that your cat usually jumps off his feet.  This is explained by the knowledge that cats are suspicious of objects that make noises.  But what other things scare a cat?

Here is a list of some of the things that will scare your cat and make them feel uncomfortable:

  • new family members
  • new people
  • loud appliances
  • visiting the veterinarian
  • unfamiliar objects sneaked behind them (ahem…cucumbers)
  • moving to a new home

Read your scared cat body language

If you notice that your cat is scared, chances are that you are scared too.  However, your cat is an animal and if you try to approach him while he is under stress might prove harmful to you.  A frightened cat will most likely go claw first and make questions later.

The first thing you need to do is identify if your cat is scared.  Read your cat’s body language and identify the following signs:

  • dilated pupils
  • whiskers extended horizontally
  • focused stare
  • furrowed brow
  • feet poised to either run or defend himself

Respect space

Your first instinct will probably be to try and pick up and cuddle the cat.  Experts advise you not to do that and resist that urge.  Remember that a forced interaction could have been the reason for a scared cat in the first place.  So, forcing an interaction on a nervous cat is never a good idea, experts will agree.

Respect the cat’s space and keep in mind that they are territorial animals and not very fond of interlopers.  Make sure that your cat has a safe place to escape in the case of him being scared.

Be patient

You can’t tell when your scared cat will come back to himself again.  The best course of action here is to wait.  Either it was an intruder cat, a stranger, or a loud noise that caused him stress, be patient until he comes back ready to interact with you.

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