What scares cats?

Cucumbers placed behind cats scares them when they suddenly see them. Strange people making strange sounds can scare cats. Although it must depend on the cat. Some cats are more timid than others. They’ll be scared more. Some cats are very laid back. They’ll be scared by something but they’ll be more tolerant. The reason why a cucumber will scare some cats is because it is a strange object that could be alive and the cat has just seen it close to him.

Scared cat

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

If you want to know what scares a cat in general terms it will be unfamiliar noisy sounds such as fireworks and unfamiliar large (usually) creatures such as humans and some dogs. We know fireworks scare a good percentage of cats and dogs. Today I had a man in my flat. He was taking measurements with a large metal tape measure which rattled in the room where my cat sleeps.

My cat was in his bed on the cat tree. He raced out through the cat flap despite my attempts to calm him. He looked scared. As soon as he was about five paces from the flat in the garden he sat down, had a little scratch and carried on as if nothing had happened.

My late lady cat was always scared of builders and tradesmen in the home. I think it must have been the noise that they made. The noise their boots made when walking on a hard floor. Or the noise of a powered device such as a drill. She may have had a bad experience when young. Bad experiences in the formative months of a cat’s life can have a lifelong effect.

Perhaps the word ‘scared’ is wrong. Cats will automatically respond to potential threats. This response is more a concern than being scared. The concern may be acute and last a while. It may cause anxiety. Acute axiety is being scared.

You may find in some homes that dominant cats bully more timid cats. The timid cat might be scared of the dominant cat. There should be a place to hide for scared cats.

There is a large black cat where I live who is aggressive to my cat, Gabriel, who gallops in through the cat flap looking quite shook up. He makes a massive sound as he charges in. I immediately know what is happening.

People who want to prevent a neighbor’s cat coming onto their propery might ask: What scares cats? They might shoot some water at a tresspassing cat. That won’t really scare the cat. It will make the cat retreat but it will be a temporary solution I believe.

Scaring a neighbor’s cat for this reason it not wise or sensible. It would be far better to discuss the matter with your neighbor to try and find a solution. The best solution is an enclosure for the cat if the neighbor really is hot under the collar about cats coming onto his property.

When cats move to new homes, sometimes they will be scared of the entirely unfamiliar surroundings. They’ll probably hide somewhere such as under the bed or at the back of a cupboard. It does depend on the cat though. More confident cats might see it as an opportunity to explore and be stimulated by the unknown.

Cats being placed in shelters (rescue centers) are likely to be scared as the place is possibly noisy and also unfamiliar as are the people working there. Also in general shelters are not always welcoming places. They usually don’t exude a warm ambience.

Some cats will rise to the occasion and fight while others will run. This may happen in an encounter with a large dog or a person who is being aggressive towards a cat.

As is the case for humans, being scared depends on the personality. This is both inherited and dictated by experiences: nature and nurture.

What scares your cat?

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.
Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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