How do you encourage a 2 year old cat to be less afraid?

My cat Dream icicle (nick named DC) is a 2 year old, not neutered male. He has this tendency to startle easily. He can be lying next to you and the slightest motion or noise can spook him to running away and hiding. He is sweet as can be, but even walking into a room can terrify him. He won't come in ten feet of people that come over either. He also is absolutely terrified on being picked up, even trying to put your arm next to him spooks him. It is near impossible to get him into the vet without either being shredded or being peed on. I have two other cats, a nine year old male and a one year old female ,both fixed, that are not anywhere as nervous as he is. DC is alright around other cats, though the younger female cat does sometimes swat at him. DC usually just runs away and cries at me to save him. She is not the reason for his skittishness as he has been this way before she came into the household. I just want to know how to help him lose some of his fear and nervousness.

Best Answer

  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    Accepted Answer
    You don't say if you've had DC since he was a baby, but it's possible he was neglected or abused before you got him. It's also possible he has some vision or hearing issues. I have the feeling his concerns go beyong simple behavioral therapy and unfortunately, you do need to take him to a vet. He needs to be examined, and if you would consider it, neutered, and evaluated. At that time, your vet may suggest a short course of anti-anxiety meds used in conjunction with behavioral therapy. If the other animals harrass him, or if you have other humans in your house who do, you need to run defense for him. He should not be exposed to or handled by lots of people, possibly only you. As for hiding when you have visitors, my cats do too, as do the cats of most of my friends. That's not unusual. But I have the feeling that something is freaking DC out and you may have to do some research to find out what it may be.
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