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How to calm down a cat?

Nervous cat under the bed advice
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Cats already have a reputation for being easily startled, jumpy and sometimes quite erratic. But how do you calm down a cat if she is stressed and frightened?

By Dawn Parrish

First of all, cats like routine. Once they have settled into their home and everyday life, even small changes will upset them. Likewise, a cat can sometimes understand when their owner is going through emotional or physical upsets. There are many reasons and causes why a cat can become alarmed, anxious or frightened. It is probably a good plan to first understand your cat’s behaviours and discover what is causing the problem and is making her run around erratically.

Signs of a frightened or hyperactive cat

Your pet might display one or more of these behaviours is she is anxious or fearful. Certainly, any forms of aggression such as swishing her tail, arching her back, scratching, biting, growling, hissing or spitting are all signs that she is afraid. She might also:

  • Run away
  • Hide away from you
  • Stay in one place and “freeze” her stance
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Release anal glands

Recognise your pet’s behaviours

If you have had your kitty for some time, chances are that you already identify with her personality. When a cat becomes anxious or frightened, this is usually triggered by specific stimuli. These frightening provocations could be unfamiliar people, loud shouting, thunderstorms or even a visit to the Vet’s surgery. You probably already know what sets off your cat’s anxiety and stress.

But what can you do to prevent the cat’s fears and worries and settle her down? Here are three steps that you can use to chill out and calm down a cat.

Step 1 Play with your cat – a brilliant way to calm down hyperactive cats

This will distract her from being a crazy kitty. Use a toy on a piece of string and get her to chase after it. Your cat will very soon be tired out running around trying to catch the toy. Likewise, a laser light shone around the room will soon have her absorbed. This is also a fantastic task to tire out your cat at night-time. Consequently, this will hopefully prevent any early-morning wake up calls too.

Step 2. How to calm a cat down at night - have kitty cuddles

This certainly doesn’t need much action–packed exercise on your behalf. Pick up your cat and give her plenty of loving cuddles. Very often, cats are not too keen on being held and snuggled in close. To make her stick around, offer her a treat while she is lying on your lap. Likewise, a kitty chin-rub usually work wonders, to get her to stay.

Step 3. Calm down a cat by holding her by the hair on her neck

How to best calm a cat who is running around crazily. You can essentially immobilise a cat by “paralysing” her. By gently squeezing the skin at the back of her neck as you pick her up, this move is reminiscent of her mother picking her up. She will momentarily be stunned and remain quiet and calm.

Unfamiliar objects and places can make a cat anxious or stressed

Many cats become comfortable with familiar everyday things around them at home. However, when you introduce new people or situations that aren’t as well-known, a feline cat very easily become upset. This often happens when owners take their cats to the surgery. A cat can very easily become harassed and jittery because the cat basket, the journey in the car and the Vet’s surgery are all alien to her. To calm down a cat when going for an appointment, these tips could help the situation:

# Respect and understand that your cat needs time to adjust to new places, people and situations

# Place the cat basket in full view at home so your pet can sniff around and familiarise herself with it

# So that she understands that a car journey doesn’t mean a trip to the Vets, consider a few shorter journeys beforehand

# Reward her for positive behaviour. If she is happy to sit next to, or in her basket, offer her a treat. Positive reinforcement works wonders, even with cats.

First of all, understand that no two cats have the same personality or behaviour traits. Similarly, each cat has a different way of responding to stressful, fearful situations. As a natural instinct, to calm down cats, try to sit quietly with your kitty and give her affection. This can be either just a normal stroking session, gentle ear rubs, or a daily grooming. Your touch alone will reassure your cat that all is OK in their feline world.