Fear in cats and dogs

June 6, 2016

A friend of mine has a cat that hisses and scratches people he doesn't know.  This is a sign of fear.

 

Other signs of being scared for cats are:

  • ears flat back

  • leaning backwards

  • dilated pupils

  • fluffed out tail

  • "trying to get away" (flight or fight) (most species have this including humans)

 

Signs of being scared for dogs includes, but not limited to:

  • ears flat back

  • leaning backwards

  • trying to "get away"

  • barking while backing up

  • growling

  • showing teeth

  • tail is tucked underneath  (tail wagging held up high is not happy, but guarding)

  • hackles up

  • pupils dilated

  • face tense

Signs of being stressed:

  • yawning

  • lip licking

  • looking away  (you meet someone on the street, dog is looking way means, i don't want to interact with this person)  It is called avoidance behavior

  • dilated pupils

  • tail tucked (tail wagging held up high is not happy, but guarding)

  • drooling

  • pacing

  • ears back

  • high pitched whining

  • white of eyes showing (whale eye)

Signs of being calm:

  • yawning

  • looking away (in this case it means "i'm no threat")

  • blinking or soft eyes (i call this love eyes)

  • facing side-wards

  • tail swings in circles (happy wagging) 

  • tail swooshes in a relaxed low to mid position (tail wagging held up high is not happy, but guarding)

 

 

Here are some tips for you to try:

 

First, never go after the cat or dog; it will make her want to run

 

Second, Ignore the cat/dog, no looking or talking to her

 

Third, get small plates and put some tuna/steak and salmon and cheese on them

(One item of food per plate) 

 

Fourth, place the plates in a circle and you sit in the middle.

 

Fifth, wait and be very very patient. 

 

      As soon as the cat or dog comes to check out the tuna, make sure the pet parents are praising her with “Good Girl” while you are looking away.

 

      If she runs away, don’t talk with her or try to coax her, you need to Ignore her!!!

Always look away when she approaches you. Looking away is a calming signal for animals.  You can sit on the floor, but look the opposite way from the cat or dog.

 

      Always have the pet parents praise and treat the cat or dog when she looks at you, takes one step towards you or any type of interaction with you.

 

      This means the parents will have to find something the cat or dog is so crazy about that she will risk her fear to get the treat.

 

      Anytime a person (that the cat or dog is not familiar with) the pet parents need to have treats out (they must be something the cat or dog is crazy about) and start praising the cat or dog and giving her treats.

 

      Hissing and barking are a verbal signs of fear.  If you know what it is like to be scared/terrified, then you will know how the cat or dog  feels.

 

      If this is consistently done, this cat or dog should come around to be more social.  New person at front door equals praise and yummy treats from mum or dad.

 

 

 

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