20 Things That Cats are Most Afraid Of

Scared cat

You may notice that your cats are scared of many different things. Additionally, you may think that some of their fears are irrational. However, fear triggers started at birth. Moreover, these instincts helped the species thrive in the wilderness before being the domestic house pets we know today. When your cat gets scared, it’s best not to celebrate it or post something on social media for all your friends and followers to chuckle and laugh at. Instead, you want to let them have their space and try not to do any of the things listed. However, if you notice a pattern, it’s best to seek a vet for further information. With all this said, these are 20 things that cats are most afraid of.

1. Water

Ever heard the phrase baptize a cat? Undoubtedly, it stems from a cat’s fear of water. Thankfully, a cat spends so much time bathing you will probably never have to wash them, unlike their canine counterparts. One of the reasons cats hate water so much is that their coat is more oily than other pets. This makes it harder for cats to dry themselves.

2. Household Cleaners

Keeping up your house is something everyone must do, even if they own a cat. Even though you may think that the sound of spray is barely audible, each time you spray it, your cat runs across the room. Undoubtedly, this ties into several other cat fears that are also listed. Your cat has a logical reason it tears across the room; the household cleaners affect their respiratory tracts. So, next time you need to clean your cat’s litter box, choose something that has a little to no smell. Just remember, they may still tear off across the room because of instinct.

3. Thunderstorms

It’s impossible to avoid this one, but there are some things that you can do to try and help your cat. One of the mistakes people make is thinking that it will help ease their tension if they distract their cat. However, instead of offering food or trying to play with them, it’s best to find the quietest space you can and allow your kitty to self-soothe. According to India Times, if you live in an area with many thunderstorms, you can also talk to your vet and see if there is a mild anti-anxiety medication you can give your cat.

4. Discipline

More often than not, cats think they are on the same level as humans. Additionally, they don’t have the same reactions when they do something that displeases you. More often than not, you’ll probably notice a whatever look on your cat’s face when they destroy your blinds or careen into a table and knock over your favorite lamp. Unfortunately, giving them a bad kitty routine or another form of punishment you might do with your dog will not have the same effect. In fact, they may be prone to do the behaviors again because all they feel is fear.

5. Moving Furniture

One of the things cats thrive on is routine. Also, when you see them zooming around the house, they get used to their beaten path. When you decide that you need to spruce up the home, chances are your cat may stay away from you for a few days. After all, like other types of change, cats don’t adapt as well as you might think. Chances are, they will cool off after a couple of days, but it’s still best to monitor their behavior and make sure they don’t have long-term anxiety. One of the best things you can do is move the furniture slowly. Even though cats are bothered by the slightest changes, it won’t be as traumatic for them if you move things slowly.

6. New People

If you own a dog, you may often joke that you’ll know if you want to be around someone by the way they react around someone you just met. DOn’t expect the same treatment from cats. When you first got them, you may have noticed that they hid for a while or acted stand-offish. This is because they don’t adjust quickly to new people. So, don’t feel bad if you have a colleague over for work or meet someone new. It’s best to let your cat calm down and perhaps give them an extra treat or two.

7. Overly Energetic Play

According to Pet MD, it’s never a good idea to surprise your cat with its favorite toy. Even though cats enjoy exercise with their humans, you should introduce the toys when you have their attention. A cat cannot focus more than 10 inches away from its face and definitely won’t notice if you put a toy behind them. It’s best to show them the toy gradually. If they are in the mood to play, they will certainly let you know.

8. Startling sounds

Cats have an acute sense of hearing, and even though you may think thunderstorms are loud, which is why they’re scared of them, loud noises like that aren’t the only sounds that cats find jarring. Even the slightest foreign noise can send your cat into a tizzy which is why the following item is on this list.

9. Too Much or Not Enough

It’s hard to gauge how much attention you should give your cat since they are unpredictable and always changing their minds. The best thing you can do so they don’t feel overwhelmed is to let them guide you. If your cats walks away mid cuddle, don’t take it as an insult. Instead, let them be themselves. They’ll come back when they feel like it.

10. Household Appliances

No, it would be best if you didn’t give up vacuuming your rug for the sake of keeping your cat worry-free. However, you also shouldn’t make a game of using it either. Even though some people find it funny to post videos on YouTube, your cat is less than amused. Humans aren’t bothered by everyday appliances like a coffee grinder or blender. However, a cat doesn’t understand the need for these things and may tear across the house to avoid them.

11. Being Held

This is not to say that your cat doesn’t enjoy a good snuggle; on its own terms. However, much like a cat’s attitude about life in general, they want to love and attention on their own terms. If your cat resists curling up on your lap, don’t try to keep them there. You may likely get a scratch or two for your efforts. Instead, let them come to you, and hopefully, when they decide to, they don’t do so at a moment when you don’t have the time to give them the attention they want. Another thing you may find is that they twirl around to show you their rear. This isn’t a mark of disrespect. Instead, a cat is asking you to get to know them in a way that they would figure out other cats.

12. Dogs

This one is a bit obvious since the phrase “fights like cats and dogs” is often used. However, this is a biggie that ties into many cats’ fears. As a species, cats like to be the dominant species. After all, they are hunters by nature. So, when a dog, even a tiny breed, comes into the house, they are naturally going to feel threatened and hide out until they think that the danger has passed or, more aptly, get used to the fact there is a new pet in the house.

13. Cucumbers

We’ve all heard the phrase “curiosity killed the cat,” so perhaps they are heeding this phrase. According to Cattitude Daily, several years ago, there was a barrage of videos showing cats freaking out over these seemingly harmless vegetables. One of the main reasons they hate cucumbers is that they look like a snake. A cat’s natural reaction is to run and hide from them, and so, their defensive instincts kick in almost immediately. This fear isn’t limited to cucumbers. Any object that resembles a snake will elicit the same response.

14. Balloons

Aside from cats being afraid of them, they are also a choking hazard. Balloons and cats should be avoided at all costs, even though some cats might try to pounce on them because they move like prey. A typical cat will run and hide because the object changes when it loses air, and a cat won’t know how to react around it. So, if you feel like throwing a birthday party and have a cat, it may be best to utilize streamers or other decorations so you can avoid the pitfalls of cats and balloons.

15. Spoiled Food

It’s improbable you will feed your cat something past its expiration date. However, even if the food only smells slightly off, chances are your cat will turn its nose up at it. It’s best to only leave it out for a short period and give the cat a portion appropriate to their size. This is especially true if your cat prefers its food warmed up.

16. Tummy Rubs

Chances are, if you have a dog, he’s constantly rolling over wanting to have one. And even cats will sometimes offer their belly as a sign of trust. However, the best thing to do is look but don’t touch. Cats don’t like this sensitive spot connected, and more often than not, it freaks them out. The best places to pet a cat are under their chin or maybe an ear scratch from time to time. Otherwise, you will likely startle your cat and get an armful of claw marks for your efforts.

17. Routine Changes

According to Animal Wised, it’s best to keep your cat on a strict routine. Think about it this way; they depend on you for their meals despite being hunters. Even though a cat might kill and devour an occasional mouse, they rely on their daily meals at specific times. When a cat doesn’t receive their meals as expected, it can trigger a fear instinct, making them worry about where their next meal will come from or if it will be there at all. Unlike Play which is typically on a cat’s schedule, this is one you want to stick with; otherwise, a cat may lash out in fear until they get your attention and their daily kibble.

18. Staring Contests

When a cat looks at you and blinks, it’s a sign of trust. If they do this, it’s best to blink back and not watch in awe at how much your cat loves you. Like many other things on the list, looking at your cat without blinking will trigger a fear response because they start to wonder if you are trying to hunt them. Although this may sound silly, cats still maintain many of their wild instincts despite being domesticated. Because of this, they will feel threatened and maybe even run and hide because they feel like they could be in danger.

19. Mirrors

Cats don’t like strangers, and even though they look at themselves, they don’t understand what they see. Because of this, cats are more often than not scared of their reflection. Although they may seem like divas, constantly grooming themselves, they don’t look into a mirror to see if their fur is a mess. So, if you see your cat jump up on the bathroom sink and quickly run away, it’s because they don’t know the four-legged staring back at them is really themselves. Although the look of shock may make you want to take a picture, it’s best not to capture it, especially if you have a flash on. After all, this will just create more fear with your cat.

20. Wide Open Spaces

Ever wonder why cats run and hide when they feel scared or frightened? The most straightforward answer is that they like to nest in a tight space because it makes them feel safe. Additionally, cats love the warm, confined space of your laundry basket since it affords them a place to hide out and feel tucked in. When your cat decides to find one of these spaces, it’s best not to pull them out and try to soothe them. Cat’s have their own unique way of dealing with things, so it’s best to let them sort it out unless you notice a pattern of hiding and often times see them shaking. Then it’s best to contact your vet.

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