my cat is afraid of everything

Hide, crawl, freeze in place. If you have a shy kitten, you know how heartbreaking that can be. You think you’ve created a safe environment for cats, but Kitty never comes out of her shell.

Why is your cat so anxious, panicking and avoiding? What can you do to make Kitty more comfortable? Find out why cats are scared and how to create a cozy home for your shy kitty.

Why are cats shy or fearful?

Shy or fearful behavior is often caused by negative associations formed early in life. If a cat doesn’t interact with people often or suffers abuse or trauma later on, they may be afraid to trust human caregivers and become a capricious cat. Other shy or fearful cats may simply be because they have a genetic predisposition to have higher levels of excitement. For these cats, it will take a long time to calm down and learn to trust their new surroundings and new people (something they may never quite do).

Here are some common reasons cats exhibit scary behavior. Remember:
No reason is necessarily the only reason your cat is scared.

Your cat is not used to you

You were so excited to have a new furry friend in your home, but you were so disappointed, Kitty seemed scared of her new surroundings. Days or weeks later, Kitty shows no sign of settling down. Although it could be for a number of reasons, if your cat comes to see you on the street (as far as you can tell), rule out the possibility that it won’t. separate from its original owner and don’t try to shout, “This isn’t my home!” Check city and shelter pages online and have your veterinarian look for a microchip to see if the owner can be identified.

Your cat is not used to humans

It’s possible that Kitty has had some human interactions in a shelter, but without experience living with humans, feral cats will have a hard time getting used to a permanent human home. It takes a lot of patience and consistency to create a sense of security in this situation (but it is possible!).

Your cat does not like other animals or children

Some cats don’t get along well with other cats, dogs, or small children. Watch out for fights your shy cat may have with other pets, and teach children to be gentle and careful around cats. It may be necessary to designate a cat area away from children’s play areas so that you can supervise your child’s interactions with your fussy new cat.

Your cat is not well socialized

Although every cat is different, it is generally assumed that cats need active human interaction during the first two months of life if they want to feel comfortable with their owners. Also, introducing new people regularly can help keep them from becoming too shy or scared to meet someone new.

Your cat is sick

Cats don’t like to get hurt when sick or injured, so they often hide while they recover. If your cat is generally friendly but suddenly begins to hide, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Rule out injury or illness before considering environmental factors that might cause your cat to become shy.

Your cat has suffered abuse

Without knowing the details of your cat’s history, you may wonder if your anxious cat has ever been abused. Unfortunately, once a cat has been abused by a human, it has the ability to fear all humans. You may notice that your cat has certain triggers or experiences that remind them of a negative or abusive incident, causing them to revert to old ways of coping (i.e., avoidance).

Create A Safe Environment For Your Cat

You might think it’s good to let your cat roam freely around the house. However, for fastidious kittens, a large plot of land can be overwhelming. Cats are territorial, so by letting them take control, you are actually giving them a large territory to protect and guard. Also, you don’t want your furniture, family members, and activities to become intimidating obstacles that get in the way of your cat and its basic needs.

Instead, comfort your scared cat by shrinking its world. Choose a quiet room to temporarily place food and water bowls (away from each other, if possible), litter boxes, and toys, where the cat can acclimate to its new environment. Preferably a guest bedroom or other room that is not frequented by many other people and animals. If you’ve been at work all day and the house is quiet, turn on the radio or TV in Kitty’s bedroom so she can get used to normal noise levels.

Part of the goal is to get your fussy cat used to being outdoors, so cover up where it might be hiding. (This could mean pushing extra blankets, pillows, or trash cans around the bed and around the closet.) Leave your cat’s crib outside and place a soft blanket or old t-shirt inside (additional if that smells like you) to create an “allowed” safe place for Kitty to hide.

This manageable environment will reduce disturbance and help your cat explore more confidently. It’s important that your cat can trust that the trip to eat or go to the bathroom won’t frighten her too much and doesn’t expose her to too much. Every cat is different, but Kitty will likely stay in this miniature world for a few weeks while you work to build trust and get along with your cat.

Be patient with introducing yourself

Even if you regularly put food and water in her bowl and clean the litter box – or just empty the litter box, if you have a self-cleaning litter box – Kitty may still see you as an invader violate its safe zone. Start introducing yourself slowly and patiently.

Take your cat into a safe room and sit quietly on the bed or on the floor. At first, don’t try to approach and pet the cat or even call it. Just start with a non-threatening presence and let Kitty come to you when she’s ready. Face it and let Kitty sniff around. Raise your hand slowly to feel it. Repeat this for 10-15 minutes 2-3 times a day or as often as possible. If the safe room is also your bedroom, come and go as usual; you don’t have to turn every interaction into a socializing activity (and that gives Kitty a chance to observe you at your normal pace).

Try to speak softly to your cat, but be careful not to make loud noises or sudden movements. You will likely see all your progress evaporate before your eyes! When you think your cat is ready, try gently stroking Kitty’s head and around her face. If she backs away or retreats, leave her alone. Don’t chase it or try to pick it up. Let her feel completely safe and in control.

Play with your cat

Once your creepy cat starts to trust you and accept the rewards you offer, start introducing toys and play. Bring the toy with you when you visit and take it with you when you leave, so that it becomes another item that Kitty (positively) associates with you.

Once Kitty has approached you, slowly place the toy on the floor near you. Don’t throw it to Kitty or do many things at first; just let her smell it and get used to it. When she’s interested, take her slowly and gently stroke around her head and face. If your cat is receptive, let your hand stroke your cat, around its face and top of its head. Maybe that’s all you do the first few times. Then, when Kitty feels more comfortable, start playing and see if she plays along, then quickly get back to playing. This process will help normalize and create a positive association with touch. Throughout your game interactions, be aware of your body language. Stay low so you appear less threatening. As your creepy cat learns to trust you and you can pet them more, try placing one hand on their back for a few minutes and stroking them with the other hand, then release. This will help him get used to the more immersive experience. move.

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