Felines are known to take fright at many things, leading to the terms scaredy-cat or fraidy-cat being used to describe nervous, jumpy people. Some of the things that terrify your kitty might surprise you. You might not even have thought they could have such a profound effect on a cat.
Like humans, cats have unique personalities. What scares one feline will not do the same for another. Cat parents need to observe their kitties to see what frightens them. While these things cannot always be avoided, owners can mitigate their feline’s exposure to them. Here are five everyday things that most cats find terrifying:
Among the weird things cats find terrifying that most people know about is water. Cats have a strong aversion to water, with some having a meltdown if a few drops get onto their bodies. Therefore, any cat owner attempting to bathe their feline like a dog should prepare themselves for a fight, with the cat’s claws grabbing at anything to avoid the water and yowling and other vocal protests. Indeed, feline owners are likely to walk away from the encounter with scratches to show for their efforts and a smug cat that did not get the intended bath.
Cats are hygienic animals that keep themselves clean by grooming. However, that does not mean that they cannot benefit from the occasional bath. For the best results, let a cat experience bathing from a young age as it will not frighten them as much. Introduce the water slowly, using positive reinforcement for good behavior. If your cat objects to bathing, make it a two-person job, and remain calm throughout the process. As an add-on, you can offer it some good cat supplements and treats from Hill’s, Scruffy Paws Nutrition, Iams, Purin or Tiki Cat.
A quick search online will reveal hundreds of videos of cats being frightened half to death by cucumbers. While there is no scientific reason to explain what it is about a cucumber that scares felines, animal behaviorists suspect that it resembles a natural predator, such as a snake or reptile. The other explanation is that the color, texture, and size of cucumber might repel acts. It is an odd phobia that humans might find challenging to understand since we regard a cucumber as an innocuous object.
Marrows, squash, and bananas have a similar effect on felines, causing them to jump or run to escape them. As their appearance is much like that of a cucumber, it stands to reason that these fruits and vegetables would frighten a kitty. The anxiety caused by exposing a cat to something they are afraid of harms their physical and mental well-being. The physical stress places a strain on the feline’s heart, and it could sustain joint and muscular injuries during its attempt to get away. On the mental front, it can lead to anxiety.
Humans associate balloons with happy occasions like birthdays. Unfortunately, your kitty does not see them the same way. Once an inflated balloon starts floating around and hovering above them, a feline might perceive it as a predatory threat. Assuming it is in danger, the cat will attempt to escape, causing some of the negative consequences mentioned before.
If a curious cat swats a balloon, its claws could cause the inflatable to pop. When a cat believes it is fighting off an attacker, it will pounce on a balloon with its claws extended, leading to its destruction. The accompanying bang will send the feline running. The sound is louder for cats than humans as they have highly sensitive hearing abilities.
Cats are creatures of habit and do not like having their routine disrupted. Bringing a new person or animal into their territory can terrify them. Cats are wary animals, and it takes a while to earn their trust. Therefore, owners should not expect their feline to bond with an unfamiliar human or pet right away. Even after giving the situation time to settle down, cats might still distance themselves from new people and things.
Even the friendliest of cats will not take kindly to having someone new introduced into their home. They are territorial and perceive it as an invasion of their space. Therefore, they will be reluctant to share their territory. You might find that your cat runs away and hides from people and animals.
Many cats do not like thunderstorms and fireworks. The loud sounds are amplified by their heightened auditory senses, amplifying the noise beyond what a human ear hears. A feline will become jumpy and skittish when they hear these loud bangs. Your kitty might start showing signs of stress when you cannot hear any noises. They can hear better than you and know thunder is approaching or someone quite some distance away is using fireworks.
Cats also get frightened and attempt to escape if they hear any other loud noises, such as something falling. Often, they cause that scary sound by knocking things off surfaces while they climb and explore your house.