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How Do I Help My Cat to Not be Afraid of Everything?

Fluffy Gray and white and light brown Mother cat and kitten with mother cat looking at the camera and kitten looking at her paws.

Cats have great survival instincts and are naturally very aware of their surroundings. This also may make them more fearful than they need to be. For many pet parents, this is a heartbreaking daily reality for their furry friends. Cats, like humans, may develop fears, yet with proper guidance and support, they can overcome them. Many cat parents wonder, “Why is my cat so afraid of everything?” Learning more about what cats are afraid of and their causes, will help you to better love your furry friend and assist them in being more content and less afraid.

Table of Contents

1. Fears in Cats

Fears are intense and irrational responses to certain objects, situations, or events. These fears can cause severe anxiety and panic in your kitty. Fears may show up as many different behaviors and physical reactions. Fears and anxiety may come from many different things, such as previous bad experiences. Your cat may not have had enough experience in different situations or enough socialization when they were young. Your cat could even have been born with the tendency to be afraid. If your cat is new to your family, they will naturally be nervous and need time and space to adjust to their new home. Check out the helpful tips here for helping an adult cat adjust to their new home

2. Common Fears Cats Have


Even brave, relaxed cats may be afraid of some noises. Cats can hear higher pitched sounds than their humans, so sirens, vacuum cleaners, whistles, and even high pitched alarm clocks or ring tones may scare them. When cats hear loud noises, they might freeze, hide, pant, scratch, act aggressively, or try to run away.

Separation Anxiety:

About a third of cats feel anxious when apart from their favorite human. When cats are stressed out from missing their person, they may show it by lots of meowing and crying, destroying things, or not using the litter box like they usually do.

Stranger Anxiety

Many cats are naturally shy around strangers, but some will be aggressive. Cats who don’t enjoy meeting new people will usually find a place to hide.

Fear of Other Animals

When cats are afraid of other animals, they may be aggressive. If your cat has had a bad experience with other animals, this will cause them to be scared. Kittens need to be around other animals when they are two - seven weeks old or they may be fearful.

Fear of Certain Places or Situations:

Kitties are creatures of habit, so they don't usually enjoy new places. Many cats are afraid of veterinarian visits as they remember pain and strange surroundings. Car rides might be stressful too, but with practice they may learn to like them. Certain times of year, such as 4th of July with the loud fireworks also stress out many cats. 

3. Why is My Cat Afraid of Everything?

Some breeds of cats, such as Maine Coons and Bengels, are naturally confident. While genetics may be part of a cat’s natural personality, experiences are a huge factor too. If kittens are not exposed to certain situations, noises, other animals, or humans when they are two to seven weeks old, they are more likely to develop fears. If a cat has a bad experience, they will remember that in the future, and they will be afraid. Cats love routine and familiarity, so being taken away from their people or their territory will likely scare them.

4. How Do We Help Cats to be Less Fearful?

Much as our society seems to enjoy roller coasters, scary movies, and pranks, it is not fun to live with constant fear. Cats suffering from too many fears may have nervous overgrooming habits, destructive behaviors, try to escape or hide, and even be aggressive towards other pets or people in the home. Helping your cat to be less afraid is so important - stress and anxiety are known to actually shorten a lifespan! Our Pet Relax Stress and Anxiety Relief Remedy is formulated to gently calms the cat's nervous system without making them drowsy. There are ways to help your cat feel more safe and secure, and less afraid:

1. Make your home a calm environment

Everyone benefits from a calm and peaceful home! If you are a young family with small children in the house, of course there will be some chaos. Be sure to teach your children how to be gentle and loving with the cat, and minimize unnecessary noises, such as loud toys or devices. Without or without children regularly in the home, be sure to have high perches (kitties love to be able to feel hidden while able to supervise their surroundings) and calm places that your cat may escape to. If you have a new cat that is afraid while adjusting, keep things as normal as possible, being extra mindful of calm voices and avoiding sudden loud noises. Our blog 7 Tips For Introducing a New Kitten to your Cat will be helpful if adding a new cat family member.

2. Make a Quiet Safe Space

Choose a quiet and calm area in your home where your cat can retreat when they feel anxious. It could be a spare bedroom, a cozy corner in the living room, or a designated crate or kennel. Ensure that this space is always accessible to your cat. Have kitty’s favorite blanket, toys, and even a piece of your clothing in the safe space. Familiar smells are calming when cat’s are stressed. Creating a safe space for your cat is an important part of helping your cat to stay calm and be less afraid. It took time to develop the fears and bad habits are hard to break. Be patient and keep a good routine for your cat, so they will build confidence and learn to cope with their fears, ultimately leading to a happier and more relaxed furry friend.

3. Identify Your Cat's Triggers

Perhaps asking, “why is my cat afraid of everything?” is too vague. Cats usually are not actually afraid of everything, but they will have things that will always send them under a table or behind the couch. The first step in helping your cat overcome fears is to pinpoint their triggers. Is it loud noises like thunder or fireworks? Is it chaotic noise from the TV or loud family members? Is it separation anxiety when you leave for work?

Knowing what makes your cat scared is so important for making them feel safe. If there is another cat or dog in your home that is making your cat feel afraid, it’s necessary to work hard to help both animals get along. When animals act afraid, it unfortunately will encourage the other animal to attack. Our Peaceful Paws Cat Aggression Remedy may be a help with working to help your cat through their fears and training the cat who attacks to play nicer. 

4. Be Calm and Reassuring

When your cat is worried, they will look to you for help. Speak to kitty with a gentle, soothing voice to help calm them when they are stressed or scared. Don’t give too much attention, or they might become more scared. If your cat is afraid of loud noises, like thunder or fireworks, try using other sounds to make those less noticeable, such as playing calming music or turning on a white noise machine. Close windows and curtains to muffle sounds and dim lights.

5. Training

To help your cat not be afraid of everything, training is the best way to help them get over their fears. Getting kitty used to the scary situation slowly is the best way to move past the fear. For cats afraid of car rides, work to make the car a friendly and fun place, instead of just the thing that takes them to the vet.

Even just 5 minutes a few days a week to let your cat explore and rub on the car spreading their scent could make a big difference. Maybe have your cat enjoy a treat or a meal to slowly help them to not have the outward signs of fear: puffed up fur, ears back, crying. When traveling in the car, always have your cat in a carrier, as a loose animal in the car is dangerous to themself and the driver alike.

For cats afraid of loud noises, start helping them to be less afraid by playing recordings of the sounds at a low volume and gradually make it louder.

If your cat is afraid of visitors, have a friend come by, and have your friend enter the room with the cat, staying at a distance that the cat feels safe. Try to increase the time and close the space between the “stranger” and the cat, eventually having the friend give treats. If you are able, use different “strangers” to help your cat get used to more people.

Stay positive! Cats love praising words, being pet, and treats as rewards.

Helping your kitty be Calm and Confident is Worth the Time!

Cats have fears and triggers just like we do! They are amazing companions that deserve our love to work with them to help them be comfortable and feel safe. It’s totally normal for cats to be afraid of some things, and part of what helps them survive, especially outside. Helping your cat to learn how to trust their home to be safe will be healing for their heart, mind, and body. Use our all natural remedy to help calm your kitty as you work through this together. 

Be patient! It will take time and patience to love your cat through their fears. Remember, it is possible to help them overcome their fears. Watch for the small but steady changes, and be thankful for any positive progress. Every cat is special and unique, and will need you to care enough to figure out how they may best be helped. In the end, our furry family members are worth it!


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