Even though cats seem to strut around fearlessly, there are still a few things that cats can be afraid of. For instance, have you ever seen videos of cats running away from cucumbers on the internet? In this article, we’ll go over the most common cat fears and how you can help your cat deal with them.
What are some common cat fears?
The fears that cats have can be surprising. When we are afraid of something, it is often unconscious and difficult to manage. Like us, cats can have fears that seem unreasonable. If you are aware that your cat is afraid of something, it is best to avoid making your cat uncomfortable by making them face their fears.
This fear of cucumbers is probably one of the strangest cat fears! Have you ever bought a cucumber and noticed that your cat was acting strangely, sometimes even violently, to this vegetable? Some cats are so afraid of cucumbers that they can have severe reactions: such as jumping, screaming, or going a bit crazy.
While cucumbers may seem harmless to us, the shape of them make them look a bit like snakes to cats. Their strange reactions are, therefore, completely understandable. For them, it’s seems like they are in danger.
Humans are not the only ones who can have globophobia, otherwise known as the fear of balloons. There are several reasons why cats can be afraid of balloons. For one, they can look like a predator to a cat. These round balls roll around, move and in some cases float around. This can look like owls or eagles to cats. A cat’s initial instinct is to associate them with danger.
Additonally, balloons make lots of different kinds of noises. For example, when you rub them, they squeak. When they explode, the sound is deafening for cats. These are a few reasons why some cats are wary of these objects. If your cat is in the presence of balloons, do your best to make sure that your cat does not eat them. This can be harmful to your cat.
Cats are known for being afraid of water. But that’s not the case for all cats. For instance, some cat breeds like Maine Coons or Turkish Vans enjoy bathing and swimming. However, it’s safe to say that it is quite rare for a cat to not be afraid of water. This might be because in the past, cats lived in desert areas.
There are also other hypotheses that try to explain this common cat fear. One reason being that cats hate having wet fur. When rain falls on them, this weighs cats down, ultimately slowing them down and hindering their movements. Cats instinctively know how to swim, but their instincts tell them that being wet can be dangerous because they move a lot slower.
Although water can terrify cats, many cats can also find it fascinating. Have you ever noticed your cat being captivated by water streaming from a faucet or while you’re preparing the bathtub? Try to prevent your cat from getting too close because they might slip and fall into the water. This can make your cat panic and their fear of water will be perfectly justified!
Does your cat run away when you vacuum or use the hair dryer? Cats have very good hearing, which makes loud noises particularly disturbing to them. Cats can hear frequencies up to more than 60,000 Hz, while humans cannot hear frequencies beyond about 20,000 Hz. Fire sirens and fireworks are already loud for humans. Imagine how unpleasant it must be for your cat to hear these sounds. These noises also frighten them because they don’t necessarily understand what is causing these sounds. This can make them feel like they are in danger.
Similar to cucumbers, this fear can seem a bit unreasonable. Cats can be afraid of socks. Some of them are even afraid of shoes.
Some believe cats are afraid of socks because they can look like snakes or reptiles to them.
Another reason why a cat might act strangely around socks is because our feet release pheromones that cats can smell. When you go through your day with worries and stress, these emotions can be detected through your socks.
Cats are very wary animals that do not trust easily. Even cats who are super cuddly with their owners can bolt when they see someone they don’t know. This is because they have no idea who they are dealing with.
This fear can be due to different factors such as limited socialization or a more solitary personality. In addition, strangers disrupt your cat’s daily routine. This can be very stressful for cats. For example, strangers make noise and occupy your cat’s territory. Even a mailman can scare your cat when they hear the doorbell ring.
How do I help my cat deal with these fears?
Helping your cat deal with their fear of strangers
As you may have already noticed, cats know how to deal with this fear on their own! They isolate themselves in another room, trying to hide. If you have friends or relatives over, you may want your cat to come out a bit. However, you’ll have to be patient. Cats should not be forced to come outside. In fact, it would be counterproductive to force them to leave their safe space. If you want your cat to feel comfortable, continue to talk to your cat or maybe present them with food. Furthermore, ask your guests to respect your cat. They shouldn’t bother them.
If you see that your cat is observing from a hiding place, ask your loved ones to take a toy and start playing with your cat. Make sure to be there so that your cat doesn’t see this as an aggression. For example, they might be asking themselves why their toys are being taken. Eventually, your cat will be interested in what’s going on and may start to approach your loved ones. Make sure to let your cat come on their own.
If there are children present, you’ll have to explain that your cat doesn’t know them and doesn’t necessarily want that to change. They should leave the cat alone, otherwise your cat could become aggressive.
Helping your cat when they are afraid of objects
If your cat is afraid of socks or cucumbers, do your best to show them that there’s nothing dangerous behind the object. For example, leave a cucumber on the table or leave a sock on the floor for several hours . Your cat will observe this unknown object from a distance. Brave cats might try to approach it. Try to let your cat react to it without intervening.
Even if your cat doesn’t approach the object, they will probably see that nothing bad happened to them in the presence of the object. This should be done several times to help your cat get used to the object.
Calming your cat’s stress due to noise
It is not easy to accustom your feline to noises. Cats react immediately and it is not possible to explain to them where the noises come from. This is especially the case if your cat was not accustomed to these types of sounds when they were young. However, we do have a few tips. If your cat is confronted with intense and repeated noises, such as a construction site near your home, you can try to comfort them and use anti-stress diffusers.
If your cat is terrified of the sound of the TV, you’ll need to show them that the TV is not a threat. Start by turning on your TV and keeping the sound very low, then gradually increase the volume as your cat accepts the noises coming from it. However, you should let your cat run away if they are feeling frightened.
You can also start playing with your cat when it is noisy. Your feline might start to associate this noise with fun times. This can work in some cases.
Helping your cat overcome their fear of water
The fear of water is one of the most common cat fears. As you may know, giving a cat a bath is not an easy task! However, the best way to get you cat accustomed to water is by starting to wet the tip of your cat’s paw during a play session when they are still young, for example.
With that being said, we understand that this is not always possible. You must show your cat that water is not an enemy. This means avoiding spraying water in their face. Create a small water park (a simple little bowl of water will do!) and invite your cat to play with you. Your cat may not play with the water right away, but they’ll be able to watch you play with it and enjoy it. Eventually your cat will dip their paw in and see that it’s safe. It might take a long time for your cat to accept playing with water, but it can be a good solution.
As always, never force your feline to do something that they do not want to do. Some cats will never like water and nothing can be done to change their mind.
If your cat needs a bath and hates water, you can take them to the groomer.