Why do cats get scared so easily? Does it seem like your feline is jumpy, anxious? My cats jump out of their skin when a plastic water bottle pops in my apartment. They bolt for their lives if a stranger walks in the door. Here are a few answers that may explain this behavior.
It’s an evolutionary trait
The feline species wouldn’t survive in the wild if cats didn’t have acute alertness stitched into the genetic makeup, their DNA. Small predators, living alone without the protection of a pack.
If you have an ability – use it
Cats are blessed with tremendous speed. Recognizing this trait, mother cat teaches her kittens to run from danger. If you can outrun most creatures, why not do it? Why not be ready to use this ability?
Feral cats are more frightened of humans than house cats
Why do feral cats get scared of humans so easily? Not having been raised by humans, and not knowing so much about them, feral cats see a huge creature towering over them. It’s just natural to get scared.
Cats are courageous in their own way
Cats may get scared easily, but they have the courage to fight when their back is against the wall. They don’t submit like dogs, because submission isn’t in the cat’s vocabulary. So the only option left for a cat with its back against the wall is to fight.
Sometimes a cat at the vet may give in from terror and exhaustion, but this isn’t the kind of submission associated with dogs. A cat won’t roll on its back and expose its belly in fear. It won’t try to convince itself that its captor isn’t such a bad creature after all, like some humans may do in similar situations (although usually when being held by other humans, not creatures from other species). Cats don’t suffer from the Stockholm syndrome, and this in itself shows strength and courage. Cats may scare easily, but they’ll fight like mad to defend themselves.
Feral cats are tough
Feral cats are more scared of humans than house cats, but then they’re less afraid of fighting other cats. They seem to be better at it, too.
Cats are braver in their territory
When a new cat enters a house with other cats, the feline who considers itself the owner of the house will attack, and the new cat is likely to run.
I had a cat called Milky, who was a lousy fighter. But she did try to fight a cat that had gotten in from outside. She swatted at him in a motion that looked more like petting than swatting, but he ran, because it wasn’t his territory. Of course, he came back again and again, and eventually, she left him alone. Like I said, lousy fighter. A Persian against a feral cat.
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