Animal Behavior Network
Error Free Kitten Raising Tips
by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Getting Started - Fears

Fear is a physiologic, behavioral and emotional reaction. The physiologic reaction results in an increase in heart rate, increased respiratory rate (panting), sweating, trembling, pacing and possibly urination and defecation.

Behaviorally, the cat exhibits changes in body posture and activity when afraid. The cat may engage in an avoidance response such as fleeing or hiding. A fearful cat may assume body postures that are protective such as lowering of the body and head, placing the ears closer to the head, widened eyes, and tail tucked under the body.

If the cat perceives a threat, responses can also include elements of defensive aggression. Whether the cat fights or flees when fearful or shows defensive aggression depends on a genetic predisposition and learned behaviors.

Because cats can tell us about their fears, observation of body postures and facial expressions are the only ways for us to conclude that the cat is afraid.

Error-Free Kitten Raising Tips™ and Positive Cat Parenting™ for your kitten.

For your education...

Library topics
Fearfulness- Q&A
Pet Fears and Phobias People

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