Kitties are all very unique. While Fluffy, Mittens, and Princess may all share a few common traits and opinions, they each have different and distinct purrsonalities. Some cats are bold and outgoing, others are calm and laid-back, and some are quite nervous and shy. If your feline pal falls into that latter category, read on! A Cumberland County vet offers some advice on caring for a scaredy cat in this article.
First things first. You’ll need to make sure that your furry friend isn’t acting anxious because of a medical problem. Have Fluffy thoroughly examined. If your kitty gets the all-clear, at least you’ll know her nervousness isn’t sparked by health issues.
Just like other animals, our feline friends have a deeply ingrained fight or flight response. Nervous cats usually opt for flight. Make sure Fluffy always has plenty of spots to retreat to. These can just be spots beneath a bed or behind a couch. Your furball will also appreciate things like cat tents, kitty condos, boxes, and paper grocery bags.
You may also want to get a cat tower, especially if you have a dog that may be making your kitty nervous. That way, your timid pet will always have a vertical escape, somewhere Fido can’t reach. Of course, if your dog is chasing your cat, that’s a different issue. Keep your four-legged friends separated, and consult your vet or a pet behaviorist ASAP.
A good workout (aka play session) will help your scaredy-cat burn off her excess energy, leaving her calmer after. Use toys you control, and be sure to let Fluffy ‘catch’ her prey sometimes. This will also help her build confidence.
Do you have more than one cat? Make sure Fluffy doesn’t have to compete with the others for resources, such as food, litterbox privacy, or your attention. That sort of struggle can lead to stress and bullying with our furry friends.
At the end of the day, you may simply have a timid pet. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as Fluffy is safe, comfy, and healthy. Make sure your feline buddy feels loved, but don’t force attention on her. Who knows? Fluffy may slowly come out of her shell. You just never know with cats!
As your Cumberland County animal clinic, we’re always here for you! Please contact us anytime!