Infographic on anxiety-reducing products for domestic cats
Anxiety is a massive issue with domestic cats. It is often a hidden condition because cats hide their anxiety and sometimes their caregiver is insufficiently involved with their cat to recognise it.
But if a cat is hiding a lot and behaves in a fearful way, he/she will be feeling anxious. And you can presume that a timid cat will feel anxious in a noisy, busy environment or when and if bullied by another cat in a multi-cat home. It is the opposite emotion that a responsible caregiver wants their cat to feel.
It is a great pleasure and one of the prime objectives of a cat caregiver to engender a feeling of calm and contentment in their cat. This is what cat welfare is all about.
These products should be a stop gap measure except for play which should happen regularly and permanently in an ideal world. The underlying cause needs to be isolated and if possible, removed. This is not always possible hence the infographic.
Anxious cat painting by an AI computer
This is a unique image ‘painted’ digitally on command by me. I asked it to paint an anxious cat. I gave not help or input.
Living with a timid cat
Living with a timid cat can be frustrating. There are rewards however. One that comes to mind immediately is that they are less adventurous which means they are less likely to get into trouble and be harmed. It is the young, bold, confident male cats that are allowed outside that tend to end up being run over on the road.
Another reward is that you can give a timid cat confidence with your love and caregiving. You can see them progress which I think is very pleasurable.
The downside is that they are less likely to be engaging and to come forward. Normally people like domestic cats to be confident because they seek interactions with their caregiver.
Some guideline on interacting with a timid cat
- Let your fearful cat find their own hiding place and don’t try and force an interaction with him or her.
- You can gradually reduce their fearfulness by desensitising him or her to the things that make them fearful. But this cannot be forced in any way.
- Avoid direct eye contact because this might be scary for shy cats.
- If they’ve shown a slight aversion to being petted and stroked, avoid it and use gentle words instead combined with some nice treats.
- Playing with a fearful cat will help to tease out some confidence. Playing with your cat is a great healer on many fronts. This is because play for a cat is hunting which is instinctive and which gives them purpose and pleasure.
- Stick to routines because when a cat follows a routine it gives them confidence because they feel certain about what will happen in the future. The environment becomes more predictable and predictability leads to calmness.
Below are some more pages on anxiety which may assist.