By Kylie Mackay, Northshore Pet Resort
We all know that cats are incredibly smart creatures, and if you are a cat owner you will probably know that cats enjoy routines (particularly around mealtimes!).
Our furry feline friends are unique creatures, and each have their own quirks and habits.
When we speak to cat parents, they often tell us stories of very particular, and sometimes rather peculiar behaviours that their kitty cats have.
Here are the top five cat phobias.
Many cats are fearful of new people and will often retreat to hide in a small dark space when new people are around. It’s important never to force your cat our of their safe space, and don’t let your visitor try to pat or hold them. Instead, give them time to adjust, and know that some cats will never come to accept strangers. The number one rule to follow when it comes to our favorited felines – let them come to you!
This probably does not come as a surprise, given how much cats dislike a change to their routines. Bringing a new pet into the home can be a very stressful time for your cat. Start the introductions slowly, by letting them get used to the smells of the new pet. Never rush this process but concentrate on making it positive and gradual instead.
Cats tend to get spooked easily, particularly by unexpected noises. This doesn’t just mean loud bangs from fireworks, but includes things like suddenly starting the vacuum cleaner, car horns beeping outside, or even children running through a house yelling suddenly. If possible, you can help your cat get used to this by exposing them to sounds at a young age and desensitising them to it, but in most cases sudden loud noises will trigger your cat’s natural instinct to hide and protect themselves.
This is a very common phobia. There are many stories in our community about families brining the cat carrier out of storage the night before their cat needs to travel to the Vet or Pet Resort, and they disappear into thin air! In some cases, it has taken several days before their cat resurfaces, which can be frustrating and worrying. Try to desensitise your cat to their crate as early on in life as possible, so that it is not something they fear or associate with a negative experience.
Ever brought home a beautiful brand-new vase or pot plant, only to have your cat attack it and smash it to pieces the next day? Well, plenty of people have! Some cats will find new objects scary and need time to adjust. If possible, put it somewhere they can’t access and let them see and smell it a few times, before moving it to the general space where they might want to take a swipe at it. This will give them time to get used to the new smell and be less afraid of it once it is in place.
Remember, if your cat regularly suffers from extreme fear or anxiety, make an appointment with your local veterinarian, so they can help.