A phobia is a tenacious and excessive fear of a certain stimulus, like a thunderstorm. An excessive, immediate anxiety response is actually a characteristic of a phobic event, and it’s been suggested that once a phobic situation has been experienced, any event linked with it, or the mere memory of it, is enough to generate a particular response. Cats are easy to get anxious with anything, such as noises from fireworks and thunderstorms. In this article, we will be discussing further what extreme fear and anxiety in cats really is, its causes, symptoms, as well as its prognosis and treatment options. Read on if you want to learn more!
Extreme Fear and Anxiety in Cats: What is this?
Extreme fear and anxiety in cats may be hard for both the cat and the family. A destructive behavior and the loss of appetite may lead to injury or illness for the four-legged friend. In addition, the fear and the anxiety may also cause the cat to become aggressive towards some other pets, as well as the members of the household.
Moreover, cats tend to experience anxiety and fear when a particular situation starts to become too much to handle for them. Additionally, a stressful event may also bring on feelings that range from mild fear to anxiety. A recent situation, memory of an event, or fear of the unknown may trigger these feelings in the cat.
Causes of Cat Fear and Anxiety
The extreme fear and anxiety in cats may be due to a range of circumstances. You might notice a change in the cat because of the following causes:
- Unclean litter box
- Lack of social environment
- Confinement, like sitting inside a carrier or crate
- Plane or car rides
- Bullying that comes from other animals
- Coarseness from people
- Unfamiliar animals, environment, or people
- Changes in the household
- Startling or loud noises
- Traumatic experiences
- Separation anxiety
- Injury or illness
If the cat is injured, sick, or doesn’t feel safe, they might begin showing off the clinical signs of the extreme anxiety and fear.
Symptoms of Cat Fear and Anxiety
The cat might display the following symptoms because of the feeling of extreme anxiety and fear:
- Destructive or aggressive behavior
- Spraying or soiling around house
- Visible trembling or shaking
- Lethargy or depression
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Changes in the appetite
- Excessive vocalization
- Excessive grooming
- Withdrawal and hiding
Prognosis of Cat Fear and Anxiety
If may be hard to take the cat to the vet when they’re displaying the signs of fear and anxiety. Nonetheless, the vet needs to ensure that the symptoms aren’t related to some other health conditions. Further, the vet may talk to you regarding the symptoms, as well as the medical history. You need to expect as well, that you need to discuss any events, which might have contributed to the fear. You may help the vet make a precise diagnosis, by way of jotting down the symptoms, as well as the behavioral changes the cat is showing.
Moreover, there is always a chance an injury, illness, or a toxic exposure is the cause of the fear and anxiety in cats. A physical examination, as well as a blood test may also identify or even rule out some other health illnesses.
It is significant to take the cat to the vet as soon as you notice any indications or behavioral changes. The key here is to identify the problem, as well as help the cat feel comfortable with the case.
Treatment for Cat Fear and Anxiety
The treatment for extreme fear and anxiety in cats is actually done individually. You might be given some techniques that you can try at home, or the cat might need to be hospitalized while the vet works with them.
Training at Home
You must always talk to the vet before you start any training at home. The vet may provide some tips in training the cat based on the fears and anxiety it has. One training could be training the cat to sit inside a carrier during car driving. Small steps may be essential in getting the cat accustomed to a situation. It might start with the cat sitting in the carrier for a few minutes and end with a short drive. Make sure to give it a lot of love, encouragement, and attention so they will feel safe. Further, you might also avoid any punishment, as this might make the cat feel worse.
The cat might need some training to change its behavior, as well as help in coping with their own fears and anxieties. The vet might recommend you to visit a behavior therapist for severe anxiety.
The vet might prescribe to help with extreme fear and anxiety. This might include something that will treat their injury, motion sickness or illness. Furthermore, the cat might also need to stay at the clinic or hospital up until the medications start to work