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While felines do not exhibit fearfulness or anxiety as often as canines do, the former too have their own set of stimuli that spark off the flight for survival mechanism among them and cause them to display typical signs of nervousness and anxiety. However, the fact is that every cat will react in a different way to a potential threat or danger. Since cats are typically a solitary species, they prefer to run and hide, than stay and face a dangerous situation like their canine counterparts. Here are some of the common fears and phobias most cats possess.
Fear Of People
As aforementioned, cats prefer solitude to massive crowds of unfamiliar faces around them. Cats can be quite wary of even certain members of their own master’s family. Inadequate socialization in their early years can be a major reason for feral cats to develop an unfounded phobia for people. The owners however can take necessary steps to minimize the pet’s fear by offering rewards and treats for meeting new people. Cats can also develop a phobia for people who they associate with traumatic past experiences such as a vet who might have administered vaccines during a treatment session.
Fear Of Thunderstorms
While more common among dogs, a fear of the thunderstorms has been able to occasionally manifest itself within the feline community as well. Their response to loud thunderstorms and lightening typically includes running away and hiding, in a bid to save themselves from facing the frightening situation altogether. Many cat owners administer homeopathic or allopathic treatments to medicate and desensitize their pets against the thunderstorm phobia.
Fear Of Other Animals
Just like dogs, cats too have significant fear of members of the other four legged communities, especially those that appear larger in size and physically intimidating to them. Cats feel particularly threatened by other larger cats and dogs. A good way to help your cat develop apathy to the presence of another pet in your house is gradual desensitization through mild medication, and provisions of escape around the house as a reassurance of their safety.
Fear Of Unfamiliar Surroundings
Cats can be rightly touted as creatures of habit, and any change in their surroundings or everyday routine can be regarded as a potential cause of fear and stress among them. Regardless of whether you are making a move to a new home, introducing a new pet in the house or merely modifying your daily schedule, a change in your cat’s environment can stimulate anxiety and stress and make them feel perpetually frightened and uncomfortable.
In addition to this, some feral cats that have had a history of abuse or mistreatment are also known to develop phobias and fears of certain situations that remind them of their hurtful past.