What does Anxiety look like in your CAT?
Fear is a normal response that enables a living creature to survive danger. Anxiety is an abnormal display of fear that, if allowed to build, can cause aggression. Most fearful pets do not show aggression but if the source of fear is not addressed or removed, aggression is a natural outcome.
FEAR –> Freeze or Flight –> Fight or Aggression
Think about yourself and your fears, worries and anxiety. You might have fears of being alone, fear of thunder and lightening or maybe fear of crazy driver ahead of you in the road. These are natural to have but if you experience too much fear, anxiety and possibly aggression might arise. How many of us have sworn at that dangerous driver?
Identifying fear at the beginning and removing the source of fear can help prevent anxiety in the future.
Long term fear leads to anxiety and that has many health effects on our bodies. It doesn’t matter what animal you are, if you have a brain you can experience anxiety.
Not all fearful animals behave the same way and many times if the initial signs of fear were not identified then one might only see aggression. Remember aggressive animals were almost always scared before the aggression surfaced.
Subtle signs of a fearful cat are:
* Ears high and out to the side
* Tries to hide
* Hypervigilant – Watching every move and sensitive to fast motions
* Hiss, growl
* Panting (not too hot)
* Stops taking food
* Moves slowly
Here are some examples: