There are cats who are afraid of humans, cats who do not trust other cats, and cats who are afraid of any new stimulus. The reasons why a cat is shy or fearful may relate to its personality as well as the trauma it has suffered.
In any case, if you have a cat at home who is a bit wary, who prefers to hide and does not interact with the family, it’s your duty to help It bring out Its personality so that It can have a happy life, both physically and psychologically.
If you want to understand why your cat is afraid of everything and how to find a solution to this problem, we invite you to read this article.
Why is my cat so afraid
As with humans, even among cats, there are some who are outgoing or adventurous, others shy or simple and etc. Not all cats are great explorers, some prefer to stay at home walking around the perimeter of the house, a place they feel safe. However, it’s not just about shyness but what we will address in this article is related to fear.
Before answering your question (“Why is my cat afraid of everything?”), It’s important to mention that when a cat is afraid, there is often a reason behind this behavior. A first reason may be due to the lack of contact with humans, for example during the socialization phase, that is the moment in which a cat is a kitten and begins to have the first contact with the world around it, with other animals and with people.
If the socialization phase does not happen correctly, it’s normal that when a cat feels fear for the first time (approximately the first 12 weeks of life), it will show fear when seeing people.
Similarly, cats that have undergone a traumatic experience, such as in the case of abuse or a simple attack of fear, can develop behaviors towards humans, for example, showing themselves hostile or hiding, avoiding any type of contact with people and even with those people who have good intentions.
It may also be that your cat is a stray cat, i.e. those cats that are not used to contact with people (even in this case it would be a lack of contact with people when it was a kitten) and this explains why it considers them as a possible threat.
These types of cats turn out to be more difficult to tame and will perhaps never get used to your company. If this is the situation you are experiencing, this article will give you some useful tips when adopting a stray cat.
On the other hand, domesticated cats may also be intimidated and this happens for specific reasons. For example, many cats that come from shelters are usually very wary; this is because in these shelters they find themselves surrounded by other cats or dogs but even unknown people.
Without forgetting that most of these places, which should take care of animals in the best way, often fail to offer better living conditions for these animals.
How to know when a cat is afraid?
Before finding a solution to your cat’s behavior, you should make sure that the problem is fear and not something else.
When cats are afraid, they tend to hide and so you will see your cat seek refuge under a bed, inside furniture, or any object that seems perfect for it to hide in. Plus, It’ll start hissing and growling the moment you try to approach and take It away without It wanting to.
It can also happen that the cat stands on end and assumes a defensive posture, placing itself against the floor. But don’t worry, before attacking it will surely give some sign of threat. Its pupils will be dilated and It will be frightened at the slightest noise.
Doesn’t it seem like anything new? That’s right, your cat is showing Its fear.
What can you do to remove the fear from your cat?
You are convinced that you have done everything necessary to help your cat stay safe and peaceful at home. But sometimes it can happen that you do certain things wrong. For this reason, we will shortly provide you with some tips to make your cat stop being afraid and at the same time help It to be comfortable with you:
Try not to distress It
Forcing It to be with you, getting It out of hiding, forcing It to eat will only increase the tension between you and make the process more difficult. The adaptation must occur naturally, beyond the time it will take. The cat must be free to take the initiative.
Don’t stand in front of It
It’s very common for us humans when we talk to someone we look them in the eye, but for cats, this behavior is a sign of a challenge. And therefore, when you approach It staring at It, It will feel intimidated.
Approach It with your body bent and looking away slowly, and then stand next to It as if you don’t care much about being close.
Put yourself at the same height
Standing is another behavior that leads the cat to be afraid and for this reason, it would be better to bend down or stand at the same height as it, remembering to avoid meeting its gaze. Just stay there and wait for the cat to approach. Avoid sudden movements that will help make it more agitated.
Everything is connected with the look
Usually cats look at each other, blink, and then turn away. This code among cats means peace of mind and that they do not seek any conflict. You can imitate this gesture to show your cat that “come in peace” and that you don’t want to hurt It. Discovering the language of cats will surely help you find an answer to why cats are afraid of everything.
It’s important that the cat learns to understand that by being with you, It will have many good things in return. Buy It something It likes and offer It some tasty food when you see It’s getting better. If It gets a little closer to you, give It Its reward. This way, It will associate everything It does with you with positive memories.
Play with It
Play is essential to help the cat feel comfortable and free in the house. Look for a toy It can chase and that will help It wake up Its hunting instincts through a catfishing rod.
Don’t try to force the relationship and don’t ask too much of your cat. Over time it will begin to feel good with you and will give you lots of love. Attempting to achieve this first will only undo any progress made up to that point.
How to accustom a cat to Its new home?
A fearful cat needs to feel safe, not only in the relationship with you but also in the environment around It. For this, you will have to find a place where It can feel comfortable and peaceful, away from the chaos of the house and from the stimuli that can upset It or increase Its feeling of fear.
Prepare a “nest” in a quiet place in the house (which is not passing through) where the cat can take refuge without being disturbed. That place will be sacred to the cat and no family member should try to take it when it’s in its “nest”.
Its bed and food containers will have to stay in this place but also the litter which will be placed away from other objects. Each item will then be distributed in its place.
When introducing the cat to the rest of the family, try to do it calmly and introduce each member one by one so that It can get used to everyone’s sounds and smells. Under no circumstances should you force the cat to show affection. This will happen spontaneously over time and with patience, especially when the cat is afraid of everything.
Make a food calendar for when It will go to the bathroom and for play. That way, your cat won’t feel anxious about what’s going to happen. Remember that cats are very sensitive to change. Since cats like to keep everything under control, the routine will help those fearful cats get used to their new home.
Remember: if your cat is suddenly nervous and fearful, without this being connected to Its normal personality, something strange is going on. Monitor Its anxiety when someone from the family, even other animals, is around It to better understand the problem. Likewise, stressful environments filled with tension and noise will make the cat suffer.
When to seek therapy?
All the advice we have given you is intended to improve your cat’s quality of life. No cat can constantly live in fear or in hiding. And so it’s really important to try to solve the problem.
However, it’s possible that these methods are not effective for cats that have experienced very traumatic situations. In this case, you will need to go to a specialist who will find adequate therapy so that the cat can feel safe and relaxed. Feline educators or ethologistss are among the specialists we recommend.