For this reason, in this OneHOWTO article, we explain all the keys to know how to recognize the signs that indicate that your pet is upset and we indicate how to calm a scared cat.
How To Know If A Cat Is Afraid?
If you live with a cat, you surely know its customs and its usual behavior perfectly. In general, cats are “very much their own”. Although they are playful and affectionate, there are always times when they like to maintain their space and a certain independence. Keep this in mind and don’t overwhelm him when he decides to be alone and hide anywhere in the house until he decides to reappear and look for you to pay attention to him. This is a very common behavior in cats that has nothing to do with fear or stress. A frightened cat is easy to recognize, because its own body language will give you all the clues you need. How to know if a cat is afraid? Take a look at the following:
- Your cat is in tension. You can see it in his bristly hair and arched back.
- ears flatten and they head back.
- The eyes are wide open and the pupils dilate. He may stare at you defiantly, or on the contrary, he may run away from your gaze.
- Retract your lips and his whiskers are stiff.
- Maybe be shrunk, in jumping position. Watch out! He feels cornered and is preparing to attack or to jump into a hole he has seen to get out of there quickly.
How to calm a scared cat?
If you detect the above situation, it is essential to reassure the animal and if you want to know how to calm a cat’s nerves, the following tips will help you achieve it.
Try to find what is scaring him
Finding out what causes her nervousness is an important first step in making your cat’s fear go away. It can be a strange and unpleasant noisethe presence of Unknown people or of another animal (for example a dog), a space that overwhelms him… are some common causes, especially when a cat is scared in a new house, because he does not know that new environment and does not trust anything or anyone. In these cases, be patient and just give him his space. Let him wander around his new home and become familiar with everything around him. The first days, he tries to find out what makes him nervous, to avoid the focus of restlessness whenever possible (it can be something as simple as the noise of a washing machine spinning). Here you can read about Why my cat is very fearful.
If your case is that the cat has just arrived home, or will soon arrive, then we recommend you also read this other article from OneHOWTO on How to move house with a cat.
Talk to him with love
In other cases, it may not be so easy to know why your cat is afraid. If the pet you have lived with for a long time suddenly shows the signs of stress that we have described, the best way to try to calm your cat is speak sweetly and slowly. If he’s nervous, don’t try to pick him up to calm him down. Just talk to him and your calm tone of voice will convey precisely the calm he needs. Of course do not yell at him, scold or threaten him even if he is hiding in a place where you do not want him to be. Is better give you calm and confidence so that it just comes out and when it approaches you you can touch it or pick it up.
Stand up to him
If your cat is nervous, already hunched over (and perhaps about to attack) bend over or stretchmaintaining with respect to him a safe distance can give good results. Getting down to its height (and not standing up) will make the animal discard any threatening attitude on your part.
In this way, he will begin to calm down, leave the crouched or hunched position he was in preparing to jump and either stay calm or, possibly, go somewhere else. In this situation, don’t follow him immediately, as he may become just as nervous again and attack you if he gets cornered.
Offer him his favorite prize
It is a little trick that can also make your cat relax and forget about what has caused him fear. Offer you a bit of wet food or show him that cat toy that he likes so much, maybe he can get him to come to you to savor that delicacy you are offering him or to play with his favorite toy and, thus, he will be distracted from his initial problem. Take advantage of this moment to change the source of his fear (remove what made him nervous or if you can’t, take him to another area of the house), so the problem will not be repeated as soon as he stops being distracted a little with food or play .
Caress him without overwhelming him
If you see that the cat begins to be somewhat calmer, try approach slowly and caress him with one finger. Felines love cuddling around the nose or under the chin. If he rejects the caresses, do not insist, but if he accepts them willingly, little by little you will make the fear disappear and confidence will prevail in you.
Here you can read more about How to pet a cat, but remember that the most important thing is to know if he is comfortable and wants more or if he moves away or is restless and it is better that you leave him alone.
Never corner a scared cat
This is a basic premise to calm a frightened cat. Check that you will always have one Escape route where you can walk away whenever you want, for example to another room or to a high place like a cupboard, the back of a sofa or a scratching post with a platform. Many cats calm down when highsomewhere where they can control their surroundings and keep a good eye out for any possible threat.
Use pheromones for cats
In extreme cases, you can also resort to pheromone products for cats. The pheromones that felines naturally secrete manage to calm them when they smell them, especially the maternal pheromones, which calm the young quickly. You can find sprays and diffusers with these pheromones to have at home and get your cat to detect the pheromones through smell and feel more relaxed without noticing the process.
However, before using them, it is advisable to veterinary consultation. If the problems of fear and stress with your cat are frequent, he may need some type of treatment (perhaps he is in pain or has an illness not yet detected) or the help of an ethologist analyze their behavior and the possible causes.
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