Are Your Cats’ Afraid of Noises? Some Tips to Conquer Their Fear!
4 January, 2016
Some cats are not the least disturbed by any random sound or noise while other cats run and hide if someone simply slams the door! While most of the time, the fear is short lived, it can sometimes lead to skittish and even aggressive behavior. In most cases, our cats’ fear of noise are caused by deep seeded insecurities and sometimes a lack of trust or feeling secure.
Below are some ways to make your cats feel less afraid of noises and/or loud sounds.
Why are your cats afraid of noises?
Cats are inherently attuned to noises because their senses are highly developed. Therefore, adverse reactions to loud noises are perfectly natural in cats, but some cats have an excessive fear of noises. These cats may have troubles adjusting to their surroundings and their quality of life might be affected.
Make your cat feel secure at home by creating a ‘safe haven’
In order to help your cat feel more secure in your home, you need to create a safe hideaway where your cat won’t be disturbed when he hears a loud noise. Usually, a cat will pick out his spot, but everyone in your home needs to know that this is your kitty’s ‘safe haven’ and to leave him alone when he or she goes there. If your cat is having trouble finding a safe place to hide, try to provide one of your own with a box, his favorite bag or wherever else he or she likes to hide and feels comfortable.
With practice and rewards, you can help your cat conquer his fear of noise
If you can control the noise that causes your cat to be fearful, it can really help the process. If your cat is afraid of the doorbell or the vacuum cleaner, that’s an easier one. Try showing your cat that a vacuum isn’t that scary by just walking right by them as you vacuum as if you are just strolling by. Your cat will run away but try giving leaving treats nearby to see if you can eventually get your cat to come out.
Use the radio or a specific sound to show your cat that noise isn’t that scary at all!
If there is some particular noise that frightens your cat, try to make the noise at a very low volume. During this time, play with your cat and speak with an upbeat tone. Stop the attention as soon as the noise stops. When there is no visible sign of fear, you can increase the volume slightly to make sure your cat gets used to the sound. Slowly wean your kitty off of these distractions and continue to praise your cat when he does not over-react to noises.
Once your cat is accustomed to one noise, try different sounds and situations
Once your cat is comfortable playing while the sound is being played at a “normal” level, you can repeat the exercises with different sounds or add in different situations, such as having a stranger at the door when the doorbell rings. Your cat’s ability to generalize and display calm behavior around a variety of sounds and situations will depend on how often you can repeat these exercises and add in different elements.
When is it time to talk to the vet?
If your cat is afraid of a loud noise and you can’t get him or her to relax, there really is no big threat at stake. Just let the time pass and your cat will come out of his favorite hiding place and be fine. However, if your cat’s fear is affecting his or her quality of life, it is time to talk to your veterinarian for help and recommendations.