Is Your Cat Afraid of Everything? Here Are Five Ways to Help Your Cat Calm Down

“Fear is healthy and adaptive. If we were not afraid of death and dying and getting hurt, we wouldn’t look both ways before crossing the street,” explained Thompson Davis, PhD, a phobia specialist and chair of psychology at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

However, according to Everyday Health, fear begins to harm our overall well-being when it gets prolonged. Our body produces more cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, which makes us more anxious or fearful. Our heart rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure become abnormally high. The immune system may go haywire, resulting in pain disorders and autoimmune diseases.

Photo: YouTube/AnimalWised

Now, you shouldn’t think that only humans can be afflicted by fear, stress, and anxiety. Animals can suffer from these powerful emotions, too. We humans are more equipped to deal with life’s anxieties and challenges, but animals need our help to feel safe and secure.

Here is a story of a rescue cat who is afraid of everything, although he’s deeply loved and no longer “alone” in life.

His fur mom, named Ginny, wrote about his problem in PetHelpful’s Ask-A-Vet section, “I adopted a kitten from SPCA to keep my older cat company. They get along great. My issue is my young boy has become so skittish. He has been with me now for 5 years and is freaked out about everything — even a plastic shopping bag sends him running. I just got a new storm door, and he won’t go into the kitchen to eat if the solid door isn’t closed. He is loving and sleeps with me, but I feel horrible that he is afraid of everything. Any words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated!”

Photo: YouTube/AnimalWised

Here are the expert recommendations of Dr. Mark dos Anjos:

  1. Feliway Diffuser. This diffuser contains a pheromone that is similar to a cat-appeasing pheromone, which cat moms produce to calm down newborn kittens and to create a bond with them while nursing. It is effective in almost all types of emotional stress and handy to use if you reside in an apartment or if your cat is an indoor type.
  2. Feliway Spray. This spray contains a pheromone too, but is recommended to be used in only highly stressful situations. For a more effective treatment for a cat’s anxiety, it’s best to use a diffuser all day, while opting for this spray only when it’s necessary.
  3. Calming Collar. This is also known as a pheromone collar, but it is often infused with essential oils like lavender and feline facial hormone. There’s no scientific research to prove its effectiveness, although some owners claim these collars work on their pets.
  4. Photo: YouTube/AnimalWised
  5. Calming Treats. Choose treats that are made with tryptophan since they may have the most effective calming effect. But you should also take note that some hemp and herbal products don’t work so well. Try to buy a variety of these calming treats to experiment with your cat.
  6. Anxiety Medications. According to some studies, clomicalm benefits cats a lot. And once their anxiety is treated, this medications is stopped. On the other hand, you should avoid homeopathic products such as Rescue Remedy, which has a mere placebo effect on humans and no proven advantages for animals.

Dr. Anjos advised Ginny to try the diffuser for a few weeks first and observe her cat’s response to it. But if there’s no improvement, a calming medication may be of help.

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