How to help cats with fears & phobias
Typically, cats are happy creatures that mind their own business while bringing smiles to every cat owner. It might come as a surprise to many, that cats too have fears and phobias, the same fears or phobias that a dog or even you as a human might have. To assist cats cope with these fears, you need to understand what triggers them so that you can effectively assist your cats conquer these fears.
But even before you get down to triggers and the phobias themselves, you first need to establish that there are no underlying medical conditions that could be pushing our cats to behave in a manner that shows stress. Undiagnosed medical conditions could lead to anxiety and unsettledness in cats.
Signs of anxiety or phobias
Once you have ruled out medical conditions, you could check some basic signs to assess if your cat has anxiety or phobia issues. These might not be the typical crazy cat with all hairs standing as if it got electrocuted. No! These might be typical cat issues, but they could assist you with seeking assistance for your cat:
- Changes in the cat's weight
- Increased sleeping patterns
- Different soiling patterns, whether in-house or outside
Even though these might be your typical signs of anxiety, there are more detailed symptoms that could even assist you to know the severity of the fears:
- Rapid breathing
- Tail flicking
- Shaking and trembling
- Excessive vocalization by growling, hissing or meowing
- Flattening ears
- Destructive behaviours like destroying furniture
- Aggression towards pets and humans in general
Typical triggers of stress
Numerous triggers could induce fear or trigger phobias in your cat. These are among the most common triggers and should be observed well when identifying a cause:
- Abrupt noise/thunderstorm
- Immense/bright light
- Lack of socialisation
- Detachment from owner
How to help cats deal with fears and phobias
Importantly, when dealing with the cat's fears, the first thing to do is remove the causes of these stresses. If the causes are natural factors that can't be controlled, then let's dive into practical ways to cope with anxiety. It is crucial to identify whether the fears are mild or serious. Depending on the severity, you could easily help the cat with just minor distractions like a walk, petting or a few games.
Letting the cat wander around outdoors can be a great form of distraction for mild to severe anxiety. For cats that mainly stay indoors for most of their time, just buy a Safer Pet cat GPS tracker and let it roam around outside. You’ll be amazed by how easily it reduces your cats fears just by letting it walk about. It’s important to ensure that the cat tracker works perfectly first and it can be easy to spot your cat in case the surroundings are new to it.
2. Environment change
Changing the environment for a while can be a great thing for your cat. This is more like a short holiday, but it can really help boost the spirits and reduce fear in the cat. A change of environment would include taking it to another place where there might be other pets to mingle with or taking it to your grandma's house for a few days. Keep in mind that with the new environment, you need to have a reliable GPS cat tracker in case the cat wanders off and fails to know their way back.
3. Comfort the cat
Sometimes a cat might show signs of fear or excessive aggression when it just needs some attention. Even though we heavily rely on cats for our own stress relief, petting or finding ways to comfort your cat will actually help them overcome fears. The creation of a safe place around the cat is crucial.
For pets to overcome fears and phobias, it’s important to create a safe environment for them to believe that the triggers and threats are manageable. Once you create a safe space, let them have the freedom to wander around, be free and explore new surroundings, but also keep them safe with a Safer Pet GPS cat tracker in case they get lost.