How to Calm an Anxious Cat

Do you have a scaredy-cat on your hands? Perhaps you adopted a homeless kitty, or fell in love with that one special furball in a shelter. Just like people, every cat is different, and some are definitely bolder than others are. If you have a timid, easily-frightened kitty, read this article from a Bellaire, MI veterinarian on calming an anxious cat.

Settling In

When you first bring Fluffy home, put her in a quiet room with food, treats, toys, a litterbox, and plenty of comfy napping spots. It may help to leave a radio playing softly. Let your cat settle in slowly, and give her time to realize that she’s truly in a safe place.

Offer Safe Places

Make sure that Fluffy has safe places to retreat to in every room. A cat tower with an enclosed level is a great option, but you don’t need to buy tons of kitty furniture. DIY box houses and pet tents will also work. Even a spot under a bed or behind a couch will serve. The main thing is just to make sure that your kitty never feels trapped out in the open.

Don’t Force Attention

Timid kitties can be super jittery. You may spook your cat if you try to pet her, especially on the head. Let Fluffy come to you. Avoid picking her up unless it’s absolutely necessary: you may frighten her.

Gaining Trust

The way to Fluffy’s heart may very well be through her stomach. Offering food and treats is a great way to win your feline buddy’s trust. Hold out a treat, or put something yummy, like tuna, in a small dish before you. Make a clicking noise, call your furball by name, and see if she approaches. If she takes the food, don’t try to pet her or touch her right away. Just talk to her gently at first.


Vigorous play sessions will burn off some of Fluffy’s nervous energy, leaving you with a calmer furball. Try using a wand toy or laser pointer.


It will take time for Fluffy to come around, but love and patience can work wonders on a nervous furball. Don’t give up! You may have that little motor going before you know it.

Does your kitty need shots or an examination? Call us! As your Bellaire, MI veterinary clinic, we are here to help.

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