What are cats afraid of? Six things cats are afraid of and how to help them overcome their fears

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Fraidy-cat and scaredy-cat are common words in Merriam Webster’s dictionary, defined as “someone who is very afraid of something” and “excessively scared,” respectively. There is no “timid dog” or “fearful hound” in our dictionary. Ironically, the things I fear most in the house, such as finding spiders and mice, are when the cats are having the most fun. But as soon as I touch Hoover, the cats run in all directions as if I have a spider wrapped around my ankle. So what are the cats afraid of? More importantly, how can they overcome their fears? Let’s explore that!

“What are cats afraid of?” Before answering the question. Before we answer that question, let’s look at why cats are afraid.


A scared orange ginger kitty with ears sticking back. Photo ©MarynaVoronova | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

From an evolutionary perspective, a healthy dose of fear keeps the lineage alive. Nathan Nathan L. Letts, Ph.D., points out in a blog post for Psychology Today that many animals are born with basic fear conditioning. And cats’ fear triggers are life-saving.

Some are rational, some are not. So why do cats often feel fear? Are they not natural predators? They might be. Cats fear almost anything that is unfamiliar or threatening. It’s important to remember that while cats are predators, they are “medium-sized predators” and not at the top of the food chain,” says Dr. Mikel Delgado, a certified cat behavior consultant with Feline Minds. They can be prey, so it makes sense for cats to be cautious in the face of unfamiliar experiences.”

I recently spoke with a foster parent of a rather shy cat. This new pet parent had acclimated the cat to her home and (following expert advice) kept it in one room. The cat gradually became friendlier, but he removed the bed frame so the cat could not hide. This subtle difference was a big change for the cat, and the cat went back to the first day.

Thus, it is imperative to understand what triggers the cat’s fear. To us, the following items may seem outrageously scary. But Dr. Delgado warns. ‘Fear is very real for cats. Many aggressive behaviors stem from fear.”

What do cats fear? Six things cats fear most.

Loud electrical appliances like hoovers tend to scare cats. Photo ©PeopleImages | DigitalVision / Getty.

  1. Newcomers. Also known as the cat that disappears on game night.
  2. New family member. Take your time when introducing a cat to a new cat, dog, or baby.
  3. Noisy appliances. Appliances such as vacuum cleaners, blenders, washer/dryers, and hair dryers can cause cats to panic.
  4. Veterinary visits. Leaving the familiar can be frightening for many cats.
  5. Moving to a new home. A frightening experience for cats and for many people.
  6. Cucumber ……. Quite a bit!” Cats are especially vulnerable and are easily startled when distracted, such as while eating or by a change in environment. For this reason, it is not recommended to sneak unfamiliar objects near cats while they are eating,” stresses Dr. Delgado. (In general, do not sneak up on any pet!) ) “It’s a good idea to keep your cat away from things you don’t know about.

What you can do to ease your cat’s fear.

You can help your cat overcome its fears! Photo © OlegMalyshev | Thinkstock.

It is very important to realize what not to do!” Dr. Delgado said. Dr. Delgado says. One thing that many well-meaning people do is try to “tell” a scared cat that it’s okay to be scared. For example, if a cat is afraid of visitors, a guardian might drag the cat out when a stranger comes to visit and convince the cat that the visitor is safe. This is called ‘flooding’ and the cat has no control over this exposure, thus creating the illusion that it is very nervous.” Dr. Delgado stresses that this approach will only backfire and make the situation worse.

However, he recommends management and desensitization methods for phobic cats. For cats who are afraid of vacuum cleaners or visitors, they can be placed in a safe room before something scary happens. Desensitization is often closely related to anti-conditioning (changing a negative response into a positive one). Basically, expose your cat to the “scary thing” so that it no longer develops a fear response, and reward your cat for the behavior. If your cat is afraid of people, sit him quietly next to them and feed him tuna. Over time, it will be able to approach the cat. Clicker training is a teaching method that usually works well with scared cats.

The best cure is always prevention: socialize, socialize, socialize your cat. Experts agree that the best way to help cats overcome their fears is to remain patient and let them pace themselves.

Tell me what your cat is afraid of. How can you help it overcome its fears?

Thumbnail: Photography ©lopurice | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

author : By Denise LeBeau

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