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How do anxious cats become trusting? Part 2.

Phase 2 of habituation

The first step has been taken: your cat does not entrench itself any more, but has taken all the courage and actively enter their new territory?

Then do not make the mistake now and follow it! Following the motto:

“Ah finally! There she is! She wants to see me … ”

With that, you could ruin everything again! She will probably choose to flee again and stay in hiding for a long time; this is not refreshing for you or the cat.

Therefore, look at the body language of your cat; How your cat looks, if she is anxious, you could already study: she buckles the fur, makes a hunchback, folds the ears to the side, the tail can also be slightly bent. The pupils are extremely dilated in anxious cats:

Interpret the body language of your cat correctly

Your cat tells you everything you need to know with her body.

Therefore, pay attention to their body language :

How does she set ears, tail and whiskers? What does her facial expression look like?

Often, she also adds body language to her with haunting sounds …

Facial expressions and speech for reassurance

If you talk to your cat, then as calm and calm as possible, in low pitch.

Social mimicry works in humans by copying the body language of the other person; the one who is copied feels sympathetic to others.

In cats, this is only limited – you can also mimic bad gestures and facial expressions of your cat, you simply lack the means! (Although there are curious approaches to it …)

You are a human being, but you can also show your cat that you mean well with her and that you are afraid of your very own, “humane communication”.

So, when you see that your cat is afraid – how can you calm it down with your body language and facial expressions?

Do not stare at your cat

An eye for an eye – the cat’s version: If you observe how cats handle each other, you will find that they usually look directly into the eye when an attack is imminent, or when the situation becomes unpleasantly worse.

The direct eye contact is in Katzenkreise as a sign of dominance.

“What are you looking at? – Do you want to challenge me? ”

However, it should rather be avoided a fight: the opponent should – intimidated – best not withstand the gaze and blow to retreat.

If you fix your cat with your eyes, she could think in the worst case, an attack is imminent! Or you make her dispute something. This can feel threatening and withdraw.

Phase 3 of habituation

Approaching the fearful cat

“We have contact” – not with alleged aliens, as Paul Hellyer once said, but for cat owners, this is still a moment like Christmas and Easter together:

The cat has given up her cover!

It’s almost done: you’ve scared your cat. The shy cat has gained confidence. Now you can start tying them to yourself.

But again: do not rush! Do not press!

Let your cat always take the first step! She should approach you – and not the other way around.

When she is ready, she will invite you to more closeness …

The proximity comes from the cat

Stay calm and wait until she comes to you.

Let her first sniff at you; You can also extend your hand slowly to her – but always very gently and preferably in slow motion.

If you notice her flinching, let it pass.

But maybe she also carefully strokes your legs or she rubs her cheek against you – then look forward to it! Because with that you have just been “marked”.

With her smell, she has staked her claim – “My human!” Not only does her scent indicate what belongs to her, but it also shows what she is into.

Your cat shows her affection.

But do not just stroke her abruptly, just let her sniff your hand again – then she’ll know that it’s your hand she wants to touch, and she can assign that.

Start with careful touches

Do not pet without announcement! – already trusting cats do not like that, and those who are still shy, certainly not!

But there is a means that opens hearts.

So many convinced “cuddly-muffle” becomes weak, if the hand that caresses him, also a treat enough.

If your cat approaches and even lets herself be petted, reward her with a small Guzzi. This then remains in good memory and is positively enhanced by the reward.

Who knows? – maybe your fur nose picks up the next petting unit faster than you think! But always nice and easy – do not overdo it!

If you realize that your cat has been cuddling enough, do not press her further.

Increase the bond through common games

Take time each day to play extensively with your cat. This strengthens your bond.

Choose games she likes very much.

Not only is the common game good for your relationship, but it also makes sure that your cat can live out her instincts and move enough.

Playing is therefore especially for pure Stubentiger a must! Here, stimuli are offered and they are busy – at least as important as food and water; Cats without address and employment are increasingly stunted.

Best you plan for the “game hours” fixed times – if it is then if your cat has the most desire and energy to play.

If nothing helps

Sometimes it is very hard to take a cat’s fears away, especially if it has had bad experiences. Their behaviour often gives rise to puzzles. Especially when the animal feels – so apparently out of the blue – so pressed that the fear turns into aggression: just was she still in the cuddle mode and the next moment she bites and scrapes? Please keep in mind: This has a good reason for your cat, even if it is not obvious to you.

Please do not take this personally and do not punish your cat – because that is only the result of their experiences and fears.

You have it all through? Also, a lot of love and patience did not help? – try homoeopathy or pheromones.

Bach flowers for reassurance

Whether homoeopathy helps or not, is a question of faith: the cat owner, who swears by conventional medicine, will only frown and choose other remedies; But whoever believes that this is an approach that works in humans – so why not in animals – we consider this form of therapy as an alternative.

The deep psychology question “Does an animal have a soul?” We, unfortunately, have to leave unanswered at this point – but who, like Bach, the founder of the Bach flower therapy, means body, soul and spirit should be united and harmonized, he can do it with the Try Bach flowers.

The single essence or specifically composed mixtures can then help.

Have a look here – as we had previously reported on Bach flowers and also a book recommendation on the subject.

Insert cat pheromones

Quotes are to be omitted if possible – that’s right. But this fits in too well in the context, the inclined blog reader may forgive me:

“There are more things between heaven and earth than your school wisdom dreams of.”

– Yes! says the cat – the saying was done by William Shakespeare – but this is old hat for fur noses: cats have been communicating since the beginning on levels that are neither visible nor explainable to us; this is neither mysterious nor supernatural, but has simply to do with biochemistry :

Pheromones are chemical substances that are produced by cats; they serve communication and influence behaviour.

Cats form these messenger substances in different body glands. Each odorant has its very own meaning and is left over the face (chin and cheeks), paws or urine in strategically important places by the cat.

The pheromones are divided into different fractions:

Facial pheromones are referred to as “F3 fraction”, or ” feel-good pheromones ” and the “F4 fraction”, the ” social pheromones “.

These messengers can also be produced synthetically.

You can spray them with individual objects or use them (via atomizer or evaporator for the socket) in rooms.

Good and beautiful – do you think – but where can I get these “relax pheromones”?

You can get the fragrance messengers very conveniently in the trade (eg at FELIWAY .)


It is best to use the nebulizer in the room where the cat lives most, at least for four weeks.

Find a vet or cat psychologist

The “hard cases” – the poor creatures, who had to suffer a lot – can often not be helped so easily.

When fear dominates cat life completely, often only going to the specialist helps.

This can be a veterinarian or a psychologist for cats.

A veterinarian can check on the one hand, if possibly physical causes are present and get a picture of the behaviour of the cat.

A layman can not deliver such findings – even if he is still a good cat connoisseur.

The look “from the outside” and corresponding advice can sometimes work wonders:

Many symptoms are often even quick and easy to treat.

If the causes are deeper, ie in the psyche, then an animal psychologist can be consulted, who can propose and accompany behavioural therapies.

Granted – there is no “panacea” applicable to all cats; they are just too different for that. Every cat is shaped in its way – by the mother, the genes and the environment.

The effort to make a fearful cat trusting seems great, the problems are sometimes even insurmountable. – But it’s worth it!

At the latest when your cat releases itself from the invisibility and comes to you the first time, the tail straight up in the air:

At first, you gently stroke her head – still unsure – not that she runs away in a panic again – but this time she stays there!

And she nestles with her whole body in your hand

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