Pet Parenting: Scaredy Cat Solutions

Advice, Featured Article, Pets
on October 7, 2015
scared kitty
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If your furry feline jumps at the slightest noise or scoots behind the couch when friends come to call, these strategies from Marilyn Krieger, aka The Cat Coach can help calm your kitty. “Cats sometimes struggle with change,” Krieger says. “It’s important for us to be sensitive to their natural tendencies and fears.” Test out these tips next time you have a frightened feline on your hands (or under your bed).

Vet Visit Advice

Can’t get Kitty into his carrier when it’s time for his checkup? Make the carrier a regular part of his surroundings at home—a place he can spend time in whenever he wants—to neutralize his negative association with it. In the vet’s waiting room, drape the carrier with a towel, and turn it to face away from the other pets, noise and commotion.

Separation Anxiety Answer

When you’re away at work or on an overnight trip, leave your purring pal an article of clothing with your scent on it, Krieger suggests. If you’re apart for an extended period, supply your boarding facility or pet sitter with one piece of clothing per day, so your cat regularly gets a fresh scent of you.

Moving-Day Maneuver

Help Kitty adjust to his new surroundings by placing him with his bed, toys and other favorite items in a room (ideally the room where he will sleep at night). Close the door while boxes and furniture are hauled into your new space to reduce the runaway risk. When the chaos subsides, let him explore the new house at his own pace.

Weather Worries

Cats pick up on their owners’ anxiety, so remain calm during severe weather to give your feline a sense of security. He may retreat to a favorite hiding place as a coping mechanism. “Don’t try to pry a cat out of its safe place,” Krieger advises (unless the weather presents a significant threat). “That’s how they deal with fear, and it should be respected.”