Your Cats Behavioural
It can be difficult to see signs of
stress in a single cat. Some breeds are generally more nervous than others.
For example, Oriental cats can react very badly to strange situations, and
even a visit to a familiar cattery can cause a complete personality change.
Cats show stress more than dogs, but the first signs can be too small for us
When a cat feels vulnerable it will
withdraw into itself, and this is one of the first signs that something is
wrong. When a cat is distressed, the fur is flattened, the tail is curled
round and the cat crouches. If this continues the cat may start to shake.
Salivation, vomiting and defecation can also be signs of nervousness and
A cat may react when it
is frightened. Normally, the pupils are dilated, the back is arched, the
hair stands on end and it will hiss. If you try to comfort your cat it may
Some time symptoms of
fear can be harder to see. The cat may hide, or try to appear smaller by
pulling its ears back and not moving. A timid cat may do this at the
smallest noise. This may be because it was abused as a kitten or because it
wasn't socialized properly. If you breed cats, you must make sure that it is
ready for everyday household life.
An owner may help the cat overcome
mild fear. A timid cat will need a quiet place to retreat to, such as a
covered bed. Don't force attention on your cat, wait for it to come to you.
Move slowly, speak softly and keep strangers away until it has become more
It's important to find
out what is causing your cat's fear so that you can deal with it. This can
sometimes be very hard. There may be an ongoing situation, such as teasing
by a small child, noise or confinement. Once you have discovered the cause
you must remove it straight away, so as to regain the cat's confidence.
You may be able to
persuade your cat to overcome its fears. A cats first reaction when it is
threatened is to retreat and get away. You may be able to control this by
using soothing words or gradually making the cat aware that it doesn't need
to be afraid, by exposing it to the problem little and often.
After the shock reaction,
cats often settle down in catteries or
veterinary hospitals after about 48
hours. If they are handled during that time, they may associated being
handled with the fear, and will be aggressive towards everyone. Left alone
they normally calm down.
If a cat is normally calm, and
suddenly starts to scratch and bite, it may be ill, bored or frightened, and
you should find out what the problem is. It is important to train
from a kitten that aggressive behaviour is not acceptable. A firm no,
immediately stopping play and a light tap on the nose when ever it scratches
or bites should correct this behaviour. You must remember that a cat likes
its independence, and if you try to impose your attention on to it, it may
Often cat owners need
help with cat behaviour problems
which your vet may not be able to help you with. Or there are so many common
cat behaviour problems you are unsure as to where to start.
We have sourced an
excellent guide to help you solve all your
cats behaviour problems.
Click here for more information on the cat behaviour problems guide