How to Train a Fearful Cat?

By January 10 | See Comments

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How to Train a Fearful Cat?

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A number of reasons can cause a cat to develop anxiety and fear. Limited socialization during the early period in a cat's life is one of the main reasons. A bad experience with a human being or another animal in the past is another. Genetics play a part in the fear factor as well. For instance, some cats are fearful and timid by nature. Poor maternal care or a lack of

nutritional food

while young can affect the emotional development of a cat.Training a fearful cat can be difficult, however, with proper methods and patience, it can be done. The first thing to do is to learn the cat's body language in order to determine the current mood of the cat. The signs that show that your cat is scared includes dilated pupils, hissing, crouching (as if to pounce), growling, eyes going wide, keeping the ears flat and raising the hackles. Most of the cats tend to hide when afraid. The following are some ways how you can train a fearful cat.

Offer rewards

Just like training a normal cat by offering rewards, you can train a fearful cat the same way as well. At first, he/she may refuse to take the treat from your hand, so just toss it near them. Slowly, decrease the distance between you and the cat. Eventually, your cat will take the treat from your hand. You may resort to clicker training as well.

Take it slow

A great deal of patience is required to train a fearful cat. Do not set a pace, go with your cat's pace. If you are trying to get your cat to interact with your family members, do not forcibly take him/her to them. Let the cat approach them on his/her own terms. If you force your cat, he/she will lose their trust in you, and they will refuse to come to you as well.

Play with your cat using interactive toys

Your fearful cat may be afraid to play with you in close proximity. So, keep your distance and play with him/her using interactive toys. For instance, you can use a fishing pole toy to play with your cat. Your cat can stay in his/her comfort zone. Eventually, he/she will warm up to you and play with you more freely.

Training your cat to play with other cats/pets in your home

Place your fearful cat's cage next to the other cat's cage. Do not lock the cage, let him/her be free. However, place the feeding dishes inside the cages during the feeding time. Eventually, your fearful cat will feed while the other cat is also feeding. Then, you can place both the feeding bowls in one cage. Slowly, your fearful cat will bond with the other cat/pet.

Create hidden paths to resources

In case your cat ventures out from under the bed only when you are not home or when you are sleeping, create hidden paths to his/her litter box, to the scratching post, and so on, with paper bags or cardboard boxes. He/she will come out since they are hidden from you. Eventually, your cat will get used to your presence and stop using the hidden ways.There will be many setbacks while training your fearful cat, however, it is imperative that you do not get discouraged and stay consistent in your training process. The pride and joy that you will experience after successfully training your fearful cat will be well worth the effort.

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