Have you seen a flying cat? Some said if you place a cucumber beside the cat whilst they are feeding, they would be scared into jumping.
But you were wrong if you think cats are only scared of cucumber, what they’re really afraid of is anything that suddenly appears beside them.
- Stress reaction caused by foreign objects
Strictly speaking, “scared into flying” is an instinctive reaction of animals under the effect of irritation, only cats’ reaction is much stronger than human.
Apart from the cucumber that we all know, others like a thundering, lightning, sudden change of temperature, unfamiliar environment and even too bored at home could hurt their psychological well-being, resulting in a series of stress reaction such as uneasiness, anxiety, evasiveness and depression.
The relationship between excessive stress and health
Is stress reaction harmful to cats? From a health perspective, slight stimulation could make cats stay alert, but it may cause damage to their health if the intensity and frequency of the stimulation exceed their tolerance level.
Excessive stress may speed up heart rate, increase myocardial oxygen consumption, myocardial ischemia and hypertension etc. Even more important is that it may have a psychological effect on cats if they are constantly suffering from threats.
How to relieve harmful stress reaction
Timely appeasement is the key to relieve harmful stress reaction, and this includes physical comfort and psychological comforts.
Physical comfort is to relieve their stress by giving them something that they have used before or are familiar with. If the cause of the panic was by a sudden change of environment, then cat owners can adjust the way of life by for example using softer steps when walking, turning down the volume of the television and using dim light to minimize the impact of the change.
Psychological comfort is to relieve their stress by giving them more petting and touching, and also more interaction to help establish their sense of security.
When we understand why they’re “scared into flying”, we need to stop playing tricks on them. Cats are sensitive, for them to totally trust their owner, we need to pay close attention to their change and needs.