My Cat Is Scared Of Something I Can’t See! (Vet Thoughts)
Last night something strange happened that I can’t explain. I was sitting in my chair watching TV when all of a sudden my cat, who was curled up on the couch, jumped up and ran into the kitchen. She seemed terrified of something, but I couldn’t see anything.
I followed her into the kitchen, but there was nothing there. She was crouched down in the corner, hissing and growling. I had never seen her act like this before. I tried to calm her down, but it was like she was looking at something that I couldn’t see.
Eventually she calmed down enough to come out from the corner and after a few minutes she seemed back to normal. But I can’t help but wonder what she was so scared of. Did she see something that I couldn’t see? Or was she just reacting to a noise that I didn’t hear? I may never know, but it was definitely something strange.
So I researched a little bit deeper and found out some possible reasons behind this strange behavior. Keep reading more to find out why your cat may be scared of something you can’t see!
Possible Reasons Why Your Cat Is Scared Of Something You Can’t See
Every cat is different, so it’s hard to say definitively why your cat may be scared of something you can’t see. However, there are a few possible explanations.
1. Your Cat is More Sensitive to Sound Than You’re
Yes, it’s true that cats have much better hearing than humans. They can hear frequencies that we can’t even perceive. Once I read that cats can even hear the ultrasonic calls of bats!
While this heightened sense of hearing is usually an advantage, it also means that your cat may be more sensitive to sudden noises than you are. So if there was a noise that you didn’t hear but your cat did, it’s possible that this could have scared her.
2. Your Cat is More Sensitive to Movement Than You’re
In addition to having better hearing, cats also have better vision than humans. They can see in much lower light levels and they have a wider field of view. But one of the things that makes their vision different from ours is that they are much more sensitive to movement.
So if there was something moving that you couldn’t see, it’s possible that your cat saw it and got scared. This is especially true if the thing was moving quickly.
3. Your Cat Saw or Smelled Something That You Didn’t
Another possibility is that your cat picked up on a scent or sight that you didn’t. Cats have a much better sense of smell than we do, so it’s possible that she smelled something that scared her. Or she may have seen something in the peripheral vision that we don’t have.
4. Your Cat is Just More Skittish Than Usual
It’s also possible that your cat is just naturally more skittish than other cats. Some cats are just more prone to being scared of things, and there’s not always a clear reason why. If your cat is normally pretty laid-back but you notice her getting scared more often, it’s possible that she’s just going through a phase where she’s a bit more on edge.
5. There Could Be a Medical Reason
Unfortunately, there’s also the possibility that there is a medical reason for your cat’s behavior. If she’s acting more scared than usual and you’ve noticed other behavioral changes as well, it’s possible that she could be sick or in pain. So if you’re concerned, it’s always best to take her to the vet to get checked out.
How Do I know If My Cat Is Just Being Skittish or if There’s a Medical Reason?
If you’re not sure whether your cat’s behavior is just a phase or if there’s a medical reason for it, there are a few things you can look for.
1. Look for Other Changes in Behavior
One of the first things you should look for is other changes in behavior. If your cat is suddenly acting scared and you’ve also noticed that she’s not eating as much or she’s lethargic, there could be a medical reason. These are just a few examples, but any sudden changes in behavior could be a sign that something is wrong.
2. Check for Physical Changes
Another thing to look for is physical changes. If your cat seems to be in pain or if she’s lost weight recently, these could be signs of a medical problem. Again, these are just a few examples, but any physical changes should be checked out by a vet.
3. Talk to Your Vet
If you’re still not sure whether your cat’s behavior is normal or if there’s cause for concern, the best thing to do is to talk to your vet. They will be able to give you their professional opinion and help you figure out what’s going on.
How Do I Know If My Cat Is Scared Of Something?
A cat’s body language can be a good indicator of how she’s feeling. If your cat is crouching down, her ears are flattened, and her tail is tucked, these are all signs that she’s scared. Another thing to look for is if your cat is hissing or growling. This is usually a sign that she’s feeling threatened and wants to scare whatever it is away.
If you wonder why is my cat scared of something, it’s important to remember that cats are very sensitive creatures. They rely heavily on their senses to survive, and so they’re often more attuned to things than we are. So if you notice your cat acting scared, it’s possible that she’s picked up on something that you haven’t.
Here I’ll cover seven possible indications that you can look for if your cat is scared of something.
1. She May Try to Hide
One of the most common signs that a cat is scared is that she will try to hide. If you notice that your cat is spending more time hiding under furniture or in her carrier, it’s possible that she’s feeling scared.
2. She May Become More Vocal
Another sign that a cat is feeling scared is that she may become more vocal. If you notice that your cat is meowing more often or she’s making other types of noises that she normally doesn’t make, it’s possible that she’s trying to communicate her fear.
3. She May Try to Escape
Another common sign of fear in cats is that they will try to escape. If you notice that your cat is trying to climb out of windows or she’s scratching at doors, she may be trying to get away from whatever is frightening her.
4. A Cat Freezes In One Place
Instead of trying to hide or escape, some cats will freeze in place when they’re feeling scared. If you notice that your cat is standing very still and she’s not moving, it’s possible that she’s trying not to draw attention to herself.
5. She May Have a Change in Appetite
Another sign that a cat is feeling scared is that she may have a change in appetite. If you notice that your cat is eating less or she’s losing weight, it’s possible that her fear is causing her to lose her appetite.
6. She May Show Physical Signs of Stress
Finally, another way to tell if your cat is feeling scared is by looking for physical signs of stress. If you notice that your cat is shedding more than usual or she’s licking herself excessively, these could be signs that she’s feeling stressed out.
7. Flattened Ears and a Stiff Tail
In addition to the physical and behavioral signs listed above, there are also some specific things to look for that may indicate that your cat is feeling scared. One is that her ears will be flattened against her head, and her tail will be held stiffly. If you see these signs, it’s likely that your cat is feeling scared or threatened.
What Else Can Make Your Cat Feel Afraid Or Uncomfortable?
Here I’ll go over a few of the other things that can make your cat feel afraid or uncomfortable.
1. Loud Noises (Thunderstorms, Fireworks)
Loud noises are one of the most common things that can make your cat feel scared. If your cat is afraid of loud noises, it’s important to try to keep her as calm as possible during these times. You can do this by turning on some soft music or putting her in a quiet room.
Besides, try to avoid leaving your cat alone during thunderstorms or fireworks displays if possible. If you must leave her alone, try to do so during the day when the noise isn’t as loud.
2. New People or Animals in the Home
Another thing that can make your cat feel scared is if there are new people or animals in the home. If you have friends or family members who are visiting, it’s important to introduce them to your cat slowly. Let her smell them and get used to their presence before allowing them to pet her.
If you’re introducing a new animal to the home, it’s also important to do so slowly. Allow the two animals to sniff each other under the door before letting them meet face-to-face. And when they do meet, make sure it’s in a neutral territory like a room that neither of them considers their own.
3. Changes in the Home (Moving, Renovations)
Changes in the home can also be stressful for cats. If you’re planning on moving, it’s important to start preparing your cat early. This means getting her used to her carrier and introducing her to the new home gradually.
If you’re planning on renovating your home, it’s also important to take steps to minimize your cat’s stress. This may mean keeping her in a separate room from the construction noise or setting up a safe space for her to retreat to.
4. Routine Changes (Vacation, Staying Late at Work)
Routine changes can also be stressful for cats. If you’re going to be gone on vacation or you’re going to be working late, it’s important to make arrangements for your cat in advance. This may mean hiring a pet sitter or having a friend or family member come over to check on her.
5. Vet Visits
Vet visits can be another stressful situation for cats. If your cat is scared of going to the vet, it’s important to make sure she’s as comfortable as possible during the visit. This means bringing along her favorite toys or treats and trying to keep her calm during the exam.
You should also avoid taking your cat to the vet if she’s sick or injured. This is because she may associate the vet with being in pain and become even more scared of going.
Grooming can also be a stressful experience for some cats. If your cat doesn’t like being brushed or trimmed, it’s important to go slowly and stop if she becomes upset. It’s also a good idea to have her groomed by a professional who knows how to handle scared cats.
Why Does My Cat Only Act Scared At Night?
Nighttime can be a particularly scary time for cats since they’re not able to see as well in the dark. This can make them feel more vulnerable and scared of things that they normally wouldn’t be during the day. But why does this happen?
Here I’ll go over a few of the reasons why your cat may only act scared at night.
1. Predatory Instincts
One reason why your cat may only act scared at night is that her predatory instincts are more active during this time. Cats are natural predators, and they’re most active at dawn and dusk. This is when their prey is most active, so they’re more likely to be on the lookout for something to hunt.
At night, your cat’s predatory instincts may be more active, and she may be more likely to see things that scare her. For example, she may see a shadow that looks like a predator and become scared.
2. Poor Vision in the Dark
Another reason why your cat may only act scared at night is that she has poor vision in the dark. Cats have great daytime vision, but their night vision isn’t as good. This means that they’re not able to see as well in the dark, which can make them feel more vulnerable.
3. Fear of the Unknown
Another reason why your cat may only act scared at night is that she’s afraid of the unknown. Nighttime can be a scary time because it’s dark and there are less people around. This can make your cat feel like anything could happen, and she may be more likely to act scared.
4. Separation Anxiety
If your cat only acts scared at night, it could also be due to separation anxiety. This is when a cat becomes anxious or stressed when she’s away from her owner. Cats who have separation anxiety may yowl, pace, or hide when their owners are gone. And they may become more clingy and scared at night because they’re worried that their owner won’t come back.
5. Fear of Noises in the Night
Another reason why your cat may only act scared at night is that she’s afraid of noises in the night. This is especially true if there are loud, unexpected noises like thunder or fireworks. Cats may also be afraid of more common nighttime sounds like cars driving by or people walking outside.
What Can I Do to Help My Cat If She’s Scared?
If your cat is scared, there are a few things you can do to help her feel more comfortable. Here are a few tips:
1. Find What’s Causing the Fear
The first step is to try to find out what’s causing your cat’s fear. This can be difficult, but it’s important to try to identify the source of her fear so you can avoid it or help her feel more comfortable around it.
To start this process, you’ll need to observe your cat’s behavior and take note of when she seems scared. This will help you narrow down what’s causing her fear.
2. Remove the Source of Fear If Possible
Once you’ve identified the source of your cat’s fear, you should try to remove it if possible. For example, if your cat is afraid of loud noises, you can try to keep her inside during fireworks displays or thunderstorms.
3. Help Your Cat Feel Safe
If you can’t remove the source of your cat’s fear, you should try to help her feel safe. This may mean providing her with a hiding place where she feels secure, such as a cardboard box or pet carrier. You can also try using pheromone diffusers or sprays to help calm your cat’s nerves.
4. Desensitize Your Cat to Her Fear
If your cat’s fear is severe, you may need to work on desensitizing her to it. This process will take time and patience, but it can be effective in helping your cat overcome her fear.
To start, you’ll need to expose your cat to the thing she’s afraid of in a controlled and safe way. For example, if your cat is afraid of thunder, you can play a recording of thunder at a low volume while she’s in her safe place. Gradually increase the volume over time as your cat becomes more comfortable.
5. Talk to Your Veterinarian
If you’ve tried everything and your cat is still scared, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian. They can rule out any medical conditions that may be causing your cat’s fear and help you create a treatment plan. Medications may also be recommended in severe cases.
Tips for Nighttime Scared Cat
If your cat is scared at night, there are a few things you can do to help her feel more comfortable:
1. Provide a Safe Place
One of the most important things you can do is provide your cat with a safe place. This may be a hiding spot where she feels secure, such as under a bed or in a closet. You can also try using a pet carrier or cardboard box.
2. Use Pheromones
Pheromones are natural chemicals that can help calm your cat’s nerves. You can find pheromone diffusers and sprays at most pet stores.
3. Keep the House Quiet
Try to keep noise to a minimum at night so your cat doesn’t get scared. This may mean turning off the TV and avoiding loud music. You should also avoid making sudden noises or movements.
4. Give Your Cat Lots of TLC
Make sure to give your cat plenty of love and attention at night. Spend time petting her and playing with her before bedtime. This will help her feel more secure and less scared.
5. Talk to Your Veterinarian
If your cat is still scared, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian. They can help you create a treatment plan and rule out any medical conditions that may be causing her fear.
What You Shouldn’t Do When Your Cat Is Scared?
There are a few things you should avoid doing when your cat is scared. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Don’t Pet Or Hug The Cat
Some people think that petting or hugging a scared cat will help calm her down, but this can actually make the situation worse. Your cat may interpret your touch as a sign of aggression, which will only make her more scared.
Besides, your cat is already feeling vulnerable, and she may not want to be touched when she’s in this state.
2. Don’t Yell At The Cat
It’s important to remain calm when your cat is scared. If you yell at her, she may interpret this as a sign of aggression. This will only make the situation worse and may cause your cat to become even more scared.
3. Don’t Chase The Cat
Some people think that chasing a scared cat will help them catch her, but this is a bad idea. Chasing a scared cat can cause her to become even more afraid, and she may end up running away or hiding. If you need to catch your cat, it’s best to do so in a calm and gentle way.
4. Don’t Ignore The Cat
It’s tempting to ignore a scared cat, but this is actually one of the worst things you can do. When you ignore a scared cat, she may interpret this as a sign of aggression. This can cause her to become even more scared and may make the situation worse.
5. Keep Your Distance If the Cat Is Hissing
Hissing is a sign that your cat is feeling scared and threatened. If your cat is hissing, it’s important to give her some space and avoid getting too close. Getting too close may cause your cat to feel even more threatened, and she may lash out in defense.
If you need to interact with your cat while she’s hissing, it’s best to do so in a calm and gentle way.
Therapy Suggested by our Veterinarian
If your cat is still scared after trying the tips above, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian. They can help you create a treatment plan and may suggest therapy options, such as:
1. Behavior Modification
Behavior modification is a type of therapy that can help your cat learn to cope with her fear. This may involve slowly exposing your cat to the things that scare her in a controlled and safe environment.
To do this, you’ll need to work with a certified animal behaviorist. They can help you create a customized plan that’s tailored to your cat’s specific needs.
In some cases, medication may be necessary to help your cat cope with her fear. This is usually only recommended if other treatment options have failed.
Your veterinarian can prescribe medication that can help your cat relax and feel more comfortable. They can also help you find the right dosage for your cat’s specific needs.
Pheromones are chemicals that can help your cat feel calm and relaxed. There are a few different types of pheromone products available, including sprays, collars, and diffusers.
You can find pheromone products online or at your local pet store. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully to ensure that your cat gets the right amount of pheromones.
I hope now you have a better understanding of why your cat is scared of something you can’t see. As a cat owner, it’s important to remain calm when your cat is scared and to avoid doing anything that may make the situation worse.
If you’re concerned about your cat’s fear, be sure to talk to your veterinarian. They can help you create a treatment plan and may suggest therapy options, such as behavior modification or medication.
Did you ever meet a cat that was afraid of something you couldn’t see? What did you do to help the cat feel better? Let us know in the comments below!