How to Calm a Nervous Cat

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If your cat is less like the king of the jungle and more like the cowardly lion, then there are a few ways to help them get their confidence back.  It’s not unusual for a cat to experience some nervousness from time to time, but if it’s causing them to miss out on life, then it’s a problem you should really try to address.

In the following article, I’m going to share a few tips and tricks to help calm a nervous cat.  Just be aware that every cat is different, so you should take it slow, and look for little signs of progress, and don’t expect your cat to change overnight.

Pheromones to calm a nervous cat

Feline pheromones are chemicals that cats release to communicate information about their physical and mental states.  When a cat rubs their face on something they are actually releasing pheromones that signal that the object or person they are touching is safe.  When any cat smells these pheromones they have a calming effect that will help put them at ease.

The nice thing about feline pheromones is that they not only help calm nervous cats, but they can also take the edge off an aggressive cat as well.  This is perfect if your cat’s anxiety problem is related to being constantly bullied by another cat.  The pheromones will help give your nervous cat more confidence, while at the same time they should help minimize the risk of a fight breaking out.

There are a number of different products that contain feline pheromones.  Some of the more common ones are diffusers, sprays, and collars.  Diffusers act like plug-in air fresheners, except instead of releasing a fragrance they emit scentless pheromones into the air.  Pheromone sprays are also very useful if you need to spot treat a cat carrier before you travel with your cat.  Collars, on the other hand, will keep your cat calm everywhere they go since the pheromones will always be around their neck.

If you have a house cat then getting a diffuser is probably the best way to test feline pheromones out.  If your cat is afraid to enter a certain room then you can put a diffuser near that area to see if it helps your cat out.  Otherwise, if your cat is nervous everywhere then you might need to get multiple diffusers, or you could use a pheromone collar instead.


Praise and rewards are still one of the best ways to teach a cat.  You can use treats to train them to associate things they are afraid of with a pleasant experience.  Moreover, you can stroke them and speak to them in a calm soothing voice if they are feeling stressed.   As long as you remain diligent about giving them positive reinforcement you will eventually start to see some results.

If your cat isn’t responding quickly enough to your training methods, then one other alternative is to use treats that are specifically designed to calm cats.  These treats use a special blend of natural ingredients that help ease nervousness without sedating your cat.

Some cats might not be motivated by food and praise, in that case, you might have to try a different tact. Another option is to find a toy that will help motivate your cat.  If you can get your cat to chase and play with a new toy that can be enough of a distraction to help bring their real personality out.

Personal Space

One reason your cat might be so nervous is that they don’t have a safe place to hide when they’re stressed.  Since cats are solitary animals by nature sometimes they need a little time alone by themselves.  In some cases, if they feel like they don’t have their own territory, it can be one of the reasons why they never relax

A good way to help a fearful cat calm down is to give them a good hiding place to go when they need a break.  A cat condo or a hideaway bed can give them some privacy, and they can also be a great place to take a little nap.  Some other cats might prefer a cat tree with a high perch, so they can get a good view of everything in the house.  Elevated platforms can also help certain cats feel safe since it makes them feel more in control, like when they climb a tree to get away from a threat.


Always make sure to keep an eye on your cat’s reactions to any changes you make.  This will help you judge if any of the methods mentioned above are really helping your cat out.  If one technique helps more than another just stick with what works.  After a little time and effort, I’m sure you will have your cat all figured out.

About the Author:

Mark Young is an avid pet lover and writer on When he is not writing he spends his time taking care of his wide assortment of pets, and he also volunteers his time at local animal shelters.


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