People come up with the phrase "scaredy-cat" for a reason: the felines could be startled by pretty much everything. Loud noises, unfamiliar faces, new furniture,... these should send the average cats into a panic. Additionally, because of their sharp senses, cats could notice and feel terrified by things that ordinary humans fail to see. Hence, "my cat is scared of something I can't see" is among the most common issues that veterinarians and feline experts hear from cat parents these kinds of days.
So your kitty seems to be frightened of invisible forces and you don't know what needs to be done? If that is the case, this article is for you. Down below, you would be provided with essential information that cat parents must remember regarding fears and anxieties in cats.
Notable Signs Of Terrified Cats
Before we actually get to the issue of "my cat is scared of something I can't see", it's a good idea to talk a bit about the behaviors of cats in panic mode. If you know what a scared kitty looks like, you could avoid adding unwanted stress and possibly pinpoint the trigger.
- Dilated Eyes: Generally speaking, eyes of the felines would dilate because of two things: fears and excitements. Once that happens, the eyes of the pets should look mostly black from the outside. To be certain that your fluffy friend is currently scared of something, look for other signs aside from dilated eyes.
- Flattened Ears: A worried cat often turns its ears to the side slightly but if a cat is terrified, its ears shall be flattened to the side.
- Freeze: Many pet owners assume that while facing threats, cats have two options: fight and flight. In fact, if your furball is deadly afraid, it might simply freeze in place hoping that whatever out there would fail to detect its presence.
- Run And Hide: Most cats prefer to stay away from potential dangers if possible so if your cat constantly runs and hides, it must be scared of something.
- Heightened Aggressiveness: In case your fluffy friend feels cornered by perceived threats then it's going to fight. Bared teeth, repeated hissing and so on should be some telltale signs of cats preparing for a brawl. Needless to say, for safety reasons, people must refrain from approaching cats in that state as the pets could attack their owners through redirected aggression.
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What Often Frighten The Felines
All in all, different cats have different troubles but if it comes to the issue of "my cat is scared of something I can't see", it's widely advised that you consider the followings.
- Strangers: While kittens that receive proper socialization at an early age rarely have become skittish after they grow up, most cats have certain reservations around strangers. Aside from guests that actually get into the house, the average felines might be intimidated by people in the outdoors. As cats could sense presences of people through their ears as well as nose, it would seem that your kitty is scared of something invisible.
- Animals: Nowadays, people around the globe often raise cats as indoor pets so they face virtually zero threat and have excellent access to food, water, litter,... However, being originally territorial predators, the felines still keep an eye out for potential invaders. That means if your furball detects animals, especially ones that seem much stronger than it, right outside the house then it could go completely bonkers. On the bright side, cats should eventually settle down once the animals leave the scene.
- Objects: Cats like everything in the house to stay the same which is why the sudden appearance of new objects should make them feel pretty anxious. Overall, most cats don't get scared of inanimate objects, they just need a bit of time to familiarize themselves.
- Spaces: Being both predators and prey, cats prefer to move undetected which is why if your cat is exposed to wide open space out of the blue, it would feel stressed. So if you move house, it's strongly recommended that you temporarily put your kitty in a small room with food and water for acclimation. When your furball looks confident enough, you could let it roam free through the interior.
- Punishments: Every cat parent agrees that the felines would cause messes from time to time and give their owner heavy headaches. Nonetheless, it's unwise for you to last out against your kitty as cats learn through positive reinforcement, not punishment. In the case you often resort to punishments, it's only natural that your cat would be scared of you.
Keeping Cats Calmed And Relaxed: Suggestions For Novice Pet Owners
After knowing all the causes to the issue of "my cat is scared of something I can't see", it's highly likely that you would want to know how to properly address the situation. Well, in case you wish to improve the life quality of your fluffy friend, you have a couple of solutions to alleviate its stress.
- Leave A Frightened Cat Alone: If your cat is eating, drinking and eliminating naturally then you don't have to get it out of its hiding spot. Forcefully dragging a fearful cat out into the open only makes things worse. Of course, you could attempt to lure your furball out on its own initiative using treats, toys and so on.
- Keep Distances From Aggressive Cats: Cats would turn aggressive in order to intimidate potential adversaries. Because of that, you must keep distances from aggressive cats but avoid retreating completely as that reinforces the behavior. Instead, proceed to ignore the felines and keep holding your ground.
- Teach Cats To Get Used To Triggers In The Vicinity: Your cat is afraid of strangers? Then you should ask some of your friends to come by and play with it every now and then. Your cat happens to be intimidated by the vacuum cleaner? Then put its favorite treats, toys and so on right on top of the cleaner. All you have to do is to take things slow and in the end, your kitty should be invulnerable to common triggers in the house.