If your cat has suddenly started being afraid, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.
So, why is my cat suddenly scared? Likely reasons why your cat is suddenly scared are that your cat is intimidated by your actions, a change in the environment, injury or illness or that you did something to scare your cat.
There are actually a number of possible reasons why your cat is suddenly scared and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Why is my cat suddenly scared?
Below are likely causes and what would make each of them more likely.
A change in the environment
Cats can often become fearful when there is a change in their environment. If your cat has suddenly started being afraid, after a change in their environment, it is likely to be due to the change. Examples could be if you recently moved home, got a new pet or a new noise was introduced to the house.
Injury or illness
The cause might also be that your cat has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if your cat has started doing it since showing other signs of having an illness or injury such as limping, vomiting a lot more or being fatigued. If it does seem like, illness or injury is the cause, the best option would be to take them to a vet.
A change in how you interact with your cat
The cause could be that your own behavior is causing your cat to become intimidated. If you shout around your cat or you have aggressive looking body language, it will likely cause your cat to get afraid. Instead, it would help to be calm around your cat and to use more open looking body language.
You did something to scare your cat
It might also be the case that you did something to frighten your cat such as step on them or catch them unaware. In this case, your cat should become more comfortable around you again over the course of a few days.
Things to consider
Below are things to consider that should help in figuring out the main cause.
What else happened when your cat started being afraid
It would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started being afraid since an event likely caused the behavior to start. Examples could include if it started since moving homes, getting a new pet or since you stepped on your cat.
The timing of when your cat is afraid
If your cat seems to get afraid more at a certain time, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if your cat tends to get afraid when a certain pet is around, the cause is likely to be that your cat is afraid of the other pet. Whereas, if your cat does it when there are loud noises inside, it would be more likely that your cat is intimidated by the noises.
What to do about my cat being afraid?
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Reward good behavior
It would help to encourage your cat to behave the way you want by rewarding the behavior. So, whenever your cat shows signs of not being afraid, it would help to reward them with a treat that they like.
Deal with changes in the environment
If your cat started being scared since a change in the home environment, it could help to try to revert back to how it was before. Alternatively, you could try giving your cat access to a different part of the house that is quieter and away from other pets that your cat might be trying to hide from.
Avoid intimidating your cat
As mentioned above, it might be the case that your cat has been being afraid because of the way you have been behaving around your cat. Instead, it would help to be calm around your cat and to avoid making bold movements when approaching them. Also, it would help to ensure that you have been petting your cat in a way that your cat likes.
Give your cat distractions
It could also help to give your cat things to be distracted by when your cat is likely to be scared. Things you could give it could include toys or treats.
Why does my cat randomly get scared?
Possible reasons why your cat randomly gets scared are that there are loud noises inside, other pets or people around that it does not like, there is a problem with how you interact with it or because of something surprising it. It would help to consider the timing of when your cat randomly gets scared and what else is happening when your cat does it.