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How To Make A Cat Feel Safe

Phase 3 Cat Meets Dog

How to Make Your Cat Happy â 10 Tips for a Content Cat
  • Bring the dog in on a leash. Once the cat is used to your home, let the cat roam loose in one room. Keep the dog on a leash and have dog treats ready in your pocket. If possible, have another person the cat is familiar with on the other side of the room to reassure and distract the cat from the dog.
  • Sit and meet. Keep the dog seated and focused on you as the leader. Try offering the dog a toy. If the dog focuses on or accepts the toy, reward the dog with a treat. If the dog tries to stand and move towards the cat, correct the dog slightly with the leash and reward him or her with a treat. If at any point the dog is not responding to your commands or the cats stress level appears elevated, remove the dog from the room. Keep repeating this process until the dog is responding to you and either ignoring or accepting the cat. This process helps teach the dog that cats are not prey, toys to be chased, or threats.
  • Watch. Never leave the dog and cat unsupervised until you are absolutely sure they have built up a mutual, trusting and respectful relationship.
  • Make sure kitty has some space for alone time. Even once the cat and dog are comfortable with each other, cats still like having the option to retreat to a space away from the dog. Place a baby gate across the doorway of a room in the house where the cat or cats like to hang out, or buy or build a tall cat tower so they can retreat when needed.

A Nice View Of The Outside World

Image by: Natures Hangout Window Bird Feeder

Cats can spend hours and hours resting in front of the window and looking at the birds and squirrels. Make sure your cat has a decent view on the outside and a place where they can lie for hours while enjoying the sun. Having a cozy window perch in front of the window is an excellent way to make your cat comfortable while they watch their kitty TV. A bird feeder you can attach to the window such as Natures Hangout Window Bird Feeder makes a great show thatll entertain them for hours.

A Tired Cat Is A Happy Cat

Cats are natural athletes and its all too easy for an indoor cat to go stir crazy if it cant work out that excess energy. The good news is theres no shortage of awesome cat toys that will keep your cat moving. There are toys that look like mice, toys with feathers, battery-powered toys with flashing light and sound, laser pointers, toys that move, toys on stringseverything that you need to help keep your cat pouncing and stalking safely indoors.

Keep your indoor cat active and engaged with toys.

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Keep Their Environment Clean

Cats are neat freaks and they want their living space to be nice and clean. They will not tolerate a dirty litter box. Some cats might even protest if youre not scooping the poop often enough by not using the box. Cats dont like to do their business in a stinky toilet and who could blame them? Clean the kitty toilet at least once a day, or even better scoop as soon as your feline uses the box.

Cat Fear: How To Help A Nervous Cat

Strategies to Make Your Cat Feel Safe at Home

From the loud bangs and the bright lights of fireworks, to storms and lots of festive visitors the world can be a scary place if youre a cat! Thankfully, there are lots of ways you can help your furry friend through their anxieties and fears.

Weve all heard of the term scared-y cat, but sadly when a cat is scared its more than just a phrase. Cats can be afraid of lots of different things and for many owners finding the cause of the problem and knowing what to do next can be a challenge. Unfortunately if your cat is left without any help their fear can lead to stress, anxiety and even illness, especially as fears tend to get worse over time.

Our vets have put together some tips to help you know if your cat might have a fear or phobia as well as advice on how to help them. Its always important to get your cat checked by your vet if theyre suddenly acting differently. Although most fears are a behavioural issue, your vet will be able to look for any medical problems that could be causing your cat to feel anxious and if needed they can refer your cat to an accredited behaviourist who will be able to help them.

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Ways To Help A Shy Cat Feel More Comfortable

If a shy cat has recently become a part of your family, it may be tempting to rush to show her how wonderful and safe your home is and how much love you have to offer. The problem though is that a shy or timid cat will view your attempts with worry and even fear. You cant rush the process but there are some things you can do to gently help a shy cat begin to trust and feel less anxious. Here are some tips to get you started.

1. The Right Environment

You may have a big, beautiful house and you want your new cat to see how much space shell have, but for now, that environment is overwhelming. She needs a limited amount of space so she can get her bearings. Think about lighting and sound as well. Lower the lights so she doesnt feel so exposed and make sure theres no loud music playing or loud talking.  

2. Provide Hiding Places

The ability to hide is a valuable coping mechanism. Dont view it as a negative that the cat wants to hide. Its while shes hiding that she calms down and can start to evaluate her surroundings. To encourage a cat to begin investigating more of her territory, provide hiding options throughout the environment. Hiding places can be created by providing tunnels, cave-style cat beds, open boxes or paper bags placed on their sides or any other creative idea you come up with. If using paper bags though, be sure to remove any handles, and never use plastic bags.

3. Provide Scent Opportunities

4. Use Food for Trust-Building

5. Use Interactive Play

Tip 3: Create Little Hideouts For Them

Photo by Izabelle Acheson on Unsplash

Hideout spaces are a must for cats, theyre like little safe havens . Its best to provide one or two safe places to keep them feeling safe and comfortable in your space.

  • If you brought your cat home in a cat carrier, its a good idea to leave it accessible for them. Keep the door open at all times to provide the option to go in and out when they feel like it. 
    • When purchasing a cat carrier, make sure to take your space and your cats size into account . 
      • As a rule of thumb, your cat carrier should be 1.5 times larger than your pet. There are many different options to choose from, check out this article to explore options. 
    • An alternative to a cat carrier is simply a cardboard box. Find one thats just the right size, add a blanket and cut out a door on one end for the perfect hideaway. Plus, you can put one in every room. 

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Simple Ways To Raise A Confident Cat

Cats are territorial creatures of habit. They crave dependability, familiarity, and knowing that the boundaries to their homes are safe and secure. A cat who isnt confident may be withdrawn, aggressive, or display other behavioral problems like inappropriate scratching or spraying. Here are 11 simple ways to provide the tools your furry friend needs to be a confident and secure cat.

#1 Address behavior issues consistentlyIn order to feel confident in her environment and in her relationship with you, your cat will need to be able to reasonably predict the outcome of her behaviors and actions. That means youll have to be consistent in the way you deal with behaviors such as her jumping on the kitchen counter or scratching the side of the couch. Pick your battles and stay consistent with your reactions. If you want your cat to stay off the kitchen counters, for instance, youll need to discourage the behavior every time, not just when you are chopping vegetables for dinner. Your cat wont understand the difference between that time and any other time you allow her to be up there.

#4 Provide a safe spaceEven the bravest and most outgoing cats may need a break sometimes from an active home. Your cat may create a safe space on her own by taking over a corner of a closet or by pawing into the cabinet under the sink . If she hasnt taken the initiative, you can create a cozy retreat for her in a quiet corner of your home thats away from busy, high traffic areas.

Know Your Rescue Cat Is Healthy

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After youve picked up your cat from the cat rescue or animal shelter, call your local vet for availability. A quick appointment will allow your vet to tell you if your new cat is up to date on their shots and will make sure your cat isnt bringing any medical problems home to your other pets, which commonly happens when cats have spent time in crowded shelters.

Read Also: How To Train A Cat To Behave

How Do I Know If My Cat Is Nervous Or Afraid

Sometimes its clear when your cat is upset about something, but some cats can hide their fear and you may not realise theyre uncomfortable. You might not to see their first reaction when something scares them, especially if it happens while theyre outside, so you may only see the end result which is often hiding or stress.

Signs of fear in cats include:

  • Freezing in place or making themselves small by crouching low to the ground and lowering their head
  • Running away
  • Arching their back and puffing up their fur
  • Wide eyes with big pupils that look like ovals or circles
  • Tucking their tail under them or swishing the tip quickly side to side
  • Moving their ears quickly or flattening their ears close to their head
  • Hissing or spitting
  • Scratching or biting
  • Peeing or pooing outside their litter tray.

If youre seeing any of these signs, it could be your cat is afraid, anxious or stressed and its important to get take the steps below to help.

If you have an anxious or fearful cat, they can develop a condition called stress cystitis which causes pain, blood in the urine and can even lead to a blocked bladder. Contact your vet for help as soon as possible if you see signs of these or any other symptoms that are worrying you.

Why Is My Cat So Timid

Like humans, a cats behaviour and character are shaped partly by its experiences as a kitten. These experiences create your cats personality and most adult cats appear confident enough to face most situations. If your cat hasnt been exposed to a full range of experiences , the likelihood of it being scared of these experiences will increase.

Timid behaviour could be caused by:

  • genetics – some cats are naturally more cautious than others.
  • lack of socialisation – if cats do not socialise with humans, particularly during their first eight weeks of life, they may be stressed or frightened by human contact.
  • bad experiences – if your cat has been harmed or scared in the past, they may be more wary of people.

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Part 2 Of 3: Keeping Your Cat Healthy

  • 1Stay up on vaccinations. When cats go outside, they’re exposed to many more diseases than they are when they stay inside. These diseases can be carried by other cats, for instance, or insects that come in contact with your cat. Keeping your cat up on vaccinations helps prevent them from catching these diseases.XResearch source
  • Even if your cat never comes in contact with another cat, diseases can be left in places like soil, meaning your cat can still catch them.
  • At the least, your cat should be vaccinated against core diseases once a year. Some vets only recommend every 3 years unless your cat is at a high risk, which outdoor cats are. The core vaccinations are for rabies, feline calicivirus, feline panleukopenia , and feline viral rhinotracheitis.XResearch source
  • Make sure your vet knows your cat is an outdoor cat, so she or he can recommend the appropriate vaccinations and schedule.
  • While your cat is at the vet, it’s good to get a checkup, too, as outdoor cats are more likely to run into trouble, including getting into fights, catching parasites and pests, and catching diseases. While you’re trying to protect against these problems, your cat may still catch something.XResearch source
  • A male cat who isn’t neutered will be much more likely to try to escape the yard, as well as wander much farther than a neutered male.XResearch source
  • If you have trouble remembering, set a reminder on your phone.
  • Your vet can provide you with the appropriate medications.
  • Ways To Make Your New Cat Feel Right At Home

    How To Make A Cat Feel Safe In A New Home

    Thinking about welcoming a new cat to the family? Your local animal shelter is a great place to start. Youll not only be saving a life, youll also be rewarded with years of love, companionship, and fun.

    While this will be an exciting and wonderful time for your family, it can also be stressful for its newest member. Cats are territorial creatures, so moving to a new landscape where nothing is familiar can be unnerving and make your cat scared. Here are some tips that will help your new cat or kitten make a smooth transition.

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    Be Your Cats Catnip Supplier

    Its no secret most cats like to get their dose of catnip from time to time. Catnip contains a chemical compound called nepetalactone. Nepetalactone is a stimulant that makes cats high; they get euphoric, hyperactive, and simply enjoy those 10 minutes of ecstasy. It is completely safe for our kitties so its no harm to treat them with this exciting plant from time to time. You can get catnip in a bag and give your cat some when you feel like it. Or you can opt for catnip toys consider making them yourself if youre DIY savvy.

    Make Sure She Is Being Fed Well

    The fastest way to your cats hear is absolutely through her stomach. The person who is regularly feeding her is normally the first person the cat will connect with. Feed your cat on a regular schedule; it is recommended that the cat will be fed twice a day.

    Make sure that there will also be an accessible bowl of fresh water at all times.

    Also Check: When Will My Cat Stop Hissing At New Kitten

    Things To Look Out For

    Runaway cats. When moving to a new area, it is common for cats to attempt to return to their old stomping grounds. Its safest to keep your cat indoors all the time. Even if you plan to let the cat go outside eventually, keep them indoors until you are sure they have bonded with the new space. It is best to keep your cat indoors for a minimum of two weeks. You can encourage positive associations with your new home by feeding your cat more often with small meals and incorporating more treats and play into your cats day. When you do let your cat outside, make it short at first, and keep an eye on them. Call the cat in after 10 minutes to start, and work your way up to longer times outside.

    Neighborhood cats. If you do start letting your cat wander the neighborhood, stay vigilant and listen for the sounds of a catfight. Keep a close eye on your cat until both of you are familiar with any other cats in the area.

    Stressful events. Even after you and your cat have settled, stressors like thunderstorms or fireworks can unsettle your cat during the early days in your new home. Take extra precautions to keep your cat indoors, safe, and secure in their new home.

    Consider Access To Resources

    Caring for your cat – keeping indoor cats happy

    Is your new kitty able to access everything they need? Hiding behaviours can limit your pets access to resources as they may be too afraid to go to them.

    If another cat is scaring your pet, or blocking their access to resources, this could also be a cause of hiding. If your cat is hiding and not eating, this can be very concerning behaviour, so be sure to pay attention to your pet to ensure they have access to their own individual resources, and are using them.

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    Offer Safe Outdoor Access

    Keeping your cat strictly indoors or letting them go out is an age-old question that many cat owners deal with from time to time. It can be a really tough decision to make, especially if your cat is always meowing to go outside.

    Luckily, I live in a safe place in Europe, with no big roads nearby and the most dangerous animal living here is Bambi. So I let Okica go out in the yard and she loves it. Shell go for a stroll around the yard, explore new, interesting scents, sleep in a sunny spot, and then shell come back in.

    Now, I dont suggest you leave your cat out unsupervised if its dangerous where you live. Safety should always come first. But consider these safe ways to let your cat enjoy the outdoors:

    • Fencing your yard so your cat cant get away but can still enjoy the fresh air and sun
    • A screened porch

    If outdoor access is not an option after all, here are 7 ideas on bringing outdoors inside to your indoor cat!


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