First, it’s important to understand that all cats react to fear differently and are afraid of different things. A cat that is a little more jittery and cautious than normal, may spend a great deal of her life hiding. A cat that is a little more resilient, will be more sure of herself and bounce back from mishaps that she may encounter. 

For instance, one cat will retreat from danger, another will face it head on by spitting, hissing and puffing up. Whatever the reaction is, they’re all symptoms of fearing a potential threat. As a cat owner, you may have to deal with a frightened cat from time to time. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take, in helping to calm a frightened and stressed cat. Below are a few tips to consider.

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How To Tell If A Cat Is Frightened

Aggressive behavior:
• Flattened Ears
• Swishing Tail
• Arched Back
• Puffing Fur & Tail
• Scratching
• Biting
• Swatting
• Growling
• Hissing
• Spitting

Other Signs:
• Runs off scared
• Hides away
• Standing still
• Uncontrollable eliminating
• Eliminating outside litter box
• Anal gland discharge

What Triggers A Cat’s Fear?
An important part of reducing your cat’s fear, is the ability to identify what is triggering it. Below are a few signs to look for, when trying to understand why your cat is frightened.

• A quick and sudden motion
• Unfamiliar surroundings
• Unknown people
• New animals
• Hyper active children
•An unsettling activity
(veterinarian, moving or traveling)

What Is Normal Behavior?
It’s perfectly normal for your cat to react to certain events with insecure behavior. For instance, if you’re moving it may take her some time to get acclimated to the new surroundings. Therefore, it’s natural for her to hide away for several days, until she feels comfortable.

When experiencing an unsettling activity like visiting the vet, your cat might spend some time in her favorite hiding space. Introducing new animals into the home can also have this effect.

There are some cases where a cat is always on edge and are in a perpetual state of aggression. In these cases, the fear is being turned outwardly and aggressively toward other animals and humans.

When She Hides
Hiding is pretty normal behavior, so if your cat is not in need of immediate medical attention, it’s best to just leave her alone. She’ll emerge when she feels comfortable. If you try to make her come out before she’s ready, you’ll increase her fears. Be sure to make food and water available to her. Also, give her access to a clean litter box. Make an effort to change them daily, so that you are aware of her eating and eliminating habits. 

Furthermore, food can be a good way to coax your cat out of hiding. If your cat is having trouble adjusting to her new environment or maybe even you. Try persuading her to come to you with meals or treats.

Dealing With An Aggressive Cat
If your cat is being aggressive toward you, someone else or another animal and it’s happened on several occasions, it’s important to immediately seek help from a cat behaviorist.

To reduce the amount of incidents concerning your aggressive cat, consider isolating her in a room. Try to reduce the amount of people and animals that come into contact with her. Until you can get her aggression under control. There should only be one person interacting with her.

If someone unfortunately sustains a cat bite, scratch or any injury as a result of dealing with an aggressive cat, it should be taken seriously, as the wound can potentially get worse—infection.

Pheromones
Scientist have developed synthetic pheromones designed to calm, relax and convey a sense of familiarity. In nature, pheromones are chemicals released from the glands of your kitty, to communicate with other felines. The message that comes in handy here, is that you are safe.

Pheromones are ideal for:
• Introducing new pets
• Vet visits
• Reducing aggression
• Traveling
• Moving
• Stressful encounters

Synthetic Calming Pheromones are available in sprays and room diffuser plugins. Spraying your kitty’s favorite blanket or diffusing a room she frequently is in, can help to reduce her fearful experience. 

Note: Even though cat owners have had success with pheromones, every cat is different, therefore you should consult a qualified veterinarian to help you find a suitable solution for your cat’s issue.

Herbal Remedies
There are particular herbal remedies available that act as a sedative to calm your kitty and help her sleep. For instance, valerian causes a sense of euphoria, making your cat submissive and sleepy. Also, catnip may initially excite your cat, but after she comes down from her high, she’ll relax. 

Herbal remedies are usually available as dried flowers and plants; however, Bach Rescue Remedy is an exception, with which pet owners have had success. Bach Rescue Remedy is a liquid blend of the essence of 5 flowers, which is designed to balance the nervous system. This helps to reduce the anxiety and fear of the patient.

Note: Even though cat owners have had success with Herbal Remedies, every cat is different, therefore you should consult a qualified veterinarian to help you find a suitable solution for your cat’s issue(s). Also, it would be helpful to look at the ASPCA’s complete listing of non-toxic and toxic plants/herbs for cats.

In conclusion, it’s quite normal for cats to be afraid of new situations. Since every cat is different, it’s important to pay attention to the signs that alert you to their fear and what triggered it. Then you can take an informed approach to calming them down and letting them know that they are in a safe space. Hopefully, the above tips can help you out, when you’re calming a frightened cat. Thanks for reading “How To Calm A Stressed Cat”.