Feline Fear and Stress

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Feline Fear and Stress
This section is part of Problem Behaviour

Fear is very commonplace in the feline population, with, for example, many cats showing avoidance behaviour when there are visitors to the house. The most commonly documented fear-inducing stimuli in cats include other animals (both cats and other species), strangers (human), noises and unusual experiences such as travelling or visiting the vet. Cats can also become so afraid of other neighbourhood cats that they refuse to go outside.

Stressed cats are often hard to spot because usually cats become quiet and withdrawn when they are unhappy. Some typical signs of stress include excessive grooming (this may result in bald or sore patches), lack of activity, hiding, jumpiness and wariness or fighting around resources. Cats that stop playing become reluctant to move about or eat. When in close proximity to each other, the cats may move very slowly, as they are frightened of being chased or attacked. Cats may spend most of their time hiding in the same place and will not come out to feed or interact. If the cat is jumpy and easily startled by movements or sounds, this can be a sign of stress. The cat may seem hesitant/nervous to approach cat-doors, food and toilets. There may be hissing and spitting when other cats approach. A household full of very passive cats that seem to spend all their time sitting still and watching each other probably indicates a high degree of stress.

Section Content:

Fear of Other Species (except humans)
Fear of People
Feline Fear of Inanimate Stimuli
Feline Attachment Problems


The creation of this content was made possible by Ceva Santé Animale as part of the feline behaviour project. Ceva logo.jpg

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