How to catch a scared cat?

If your cat is scared, don't bother him

If you dedicate yourself to taking care of a feline colony, or if you are one of those who when you see a furry that needs help with the car and goes looking for it to provide it with the attention it needs, surely you have asked yourself more than once how to catch a scared cat, Right?

It's not really easy, but it's not impossible either. Of course, it is important to keep in mind at all times that hurries are not good companions, and less when it comes to getting a feline that feels tense to enter the cage or the carrier. Let's see how can we achieve it.

How to catch a scared cat?

Scared cats can run away

The first thing we have to do is observe the cat, see what behavior it has at that moment. We know you're scared, but will you let us get closer? If we offer him a treat, does he reach out to take it? These are things we have to find out before deciding how to catch it, for our own safety and also for the furry himself.

Catching a docile cat

If it is a calm and more or less docile animal, what we will have to do is earn your trust. How do you do that in five minutes? Well, the truth is that you can not do so for a short time 🙂, but we can make you understand in a short period of time that we do not want to do you any harm, only to help you.

To do this, we will sit with our backs to him, at a distance of about 2-3 meters (whatever he allows us), and we will offer you a cat treat. If he is hungry, no matter how scared he is, he may go looking for it, but if we see that he is doubtful, we will throw it at him so that it falls very close to him. We will do it again several times, throwing it with less force each time so that it falls closer to us.

Now, we will move on to the next step: try to caress it. For this we will show you the hand so that you can simply smell it. If he's curious, we can stroke his nose first and then his head. In the event that he is nervous, we will slow down.

Then, we got up, without haste and without making sudden movements, and we put a treat in the carrier. Afterwards, we move away a little bit (not too much, because we will have to act quickly), and when he enters, we close the door, cover him with a towel and take him where we have to take him.

Catching a »wild cat»

Cat trap cage

Cat trap cage

When it comes to catching a "wild" cat that needs veterinary attention, the most effective way is setting trap cages like the one we can see in the image above, hidden among herbs, woods or logs. Then, it will only be a matter of walking away and waiting to see if there is luck and the furry enters. When it does, we will cover the cage with a towel, as this will keep something calm.

These cages are designed so that the cat, once it enters, cannot leave if the door is not opened. In addition, the vet will be able to give you the injections you need safely.

How to gain the trust of a scared cat

If you want to earn a cat's trust, no matter what their personality is like, you must establish mutual trust. Whether the cat is the cat is shy, fearful, aggressive ... you must earn their trust. It's much easier to build a cat's trust from scratch than to try to rebuild it after you've broken it..

However, cats are often forgiving creatures that don't hold a grudge (and they never act out of revenge or spite - cats just don't think that way). Over time, you can improve (or repair) your relationship with your cat to one of comfort, ease, and predictability.. Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to build the cat's trust.

Respect the cat's space

The cat will need some time to adjust if it is new to the home; some take longer than others to do this. Let the cat find comfortable places to hang out and do not invade those spaces. This general rule of thumb will continue even after you are comfortable at home. Cats enjoy their independence and will let you know when they would like your attention (or give you clues as to when they don't want it, if you are a space invader).

Observe body language

The cat will communicate primarily with its body language. Respect what they are telling you. Is she crouched away from you or is her body facing you? Are you wagging your tail in annoyance or are you relaxed? Pay attention to the position of their ears, how wide their eyes are and the position of the body ... A scared cat tells you how he feels with his body language.

Let the cat come to you

Don't force trust to trust you if he's scared. Let the cat decide how comfortable it feels and when it wants to interact with you. Cats learn a lot just through observation, so while you may not be interacting directly with him, he is learning a lot about you if he is simply looking at you from a window or the couch. Let him observe and learn about your movements, smells and sounds!

Differentiate the cat's limits when it comes to touching him

If your cat is suspicious, give him space

Take a gradual approach to learning where and how you like to be touched. Never push or tease when trying to touch or pet the cat. Always use predictable movements. Be mindful of your body language so you know where and how the cat likes to be petted. If your cat is aggressive with petting, try to limit petting sessions both in terms of where you pet and for how long.

Give the cat options

Whether it's a place to nap or sit, or an opportunity to play (or not), letting your cat decide what it wants to do will build confidence and help it learn that you are not going to force it to do anything. Cats get stressed when they have no control over their environment (that's one reason why animal shelters can be so difficult for them) and they enjoy having options about when, what, where, how, and with whom to interact. It's not funny when someone is constantly trying to control what you are doing, so why would your cat like that?

Be predictable

Try to move and talk so that you don't startle or scare the cat. Don't suddenly rush or stomp on the ground, and try to keep your voice steady and calm. This applies at all times, not just when you interact directly with your cat..

It can be difficult if you have children or other pets (DOGS) in the house, but if you have a shy kitten, this could be important. Some cats are very calm and don't really care what is going on around them and can nap during anything. But with a more sensitive kitty, this is a good opportunity to teach children about empathy and the needs of others.

Positive interactions with the cat

You have control over whether the interactions you have with your cat will be positive or negative. Playtime can be a lot of fun for both of you, for example, but be warned: what you think is playing can be interpreted as aggressive teasing or teasing your cat. Always use toys to play with and let him take the toy from time to time. 

Before interacting with a particularly sensitive cat, really try to think about what you can do to make that interaction positive so that it builds your cat's confidence. Take every opportunity you can to create a positive association with yourself!

Use positive reinforcement to reward positive interactions

You can use treats, a soothing voice, play or even petting (if he likes it) to reward any good behavior. Also, you can use any of these things to encourage your kitty to do something (like come out of hiding, for example) ... but respect their decision not to do something as well (just don't provide the reward). 

Positive reinforcement, given consistently, can be a great way to build your cat's confidence and communicate that you've done something good. It's also a great way to teach him to do anything, including tricks ... The kitten will appreciate the mental stimulation and it will give you another great way to bond with him.

Remember that the cat is scared and that the trust process is not instantaneous, it will take several days or even weeks for the cat to get used to you and trust your intentions. Once he feels that you are trustworthy, everything will go smoothly and you can establish a strong bond between you.

Take care of your cat and respect it so as not to scare it

We hope it has been useful to you.

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