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Kitty Calm

Kitty Calm

Sometimes a cat’s anxiety and fear will manifest as what is perceived as bad behavior. They will scratch and bite anyone who gets within their paw’s reach when they are fearful and cannot appropriately regulate their emotions. Laila was like that when she first came home. The shelter took her to multiple adoption fairs but no one wanted her. Well, I saw her photo and knew right away she was the missing piece to the family.

Her first months on this earth were rough. No one knows what went on during that time but she probably did not have anything to eat on many days. She is fully grown but remains on the smaller side of average. During those first few weeks with us she hid a lot but allowed me to let her go under the blankets and curl up next to me. But, she would scratch and bite if I tried to pet her. Laila was in desperate need of ways to reduce her anxiety so she could regulate her emotions. Once she started making more appearances, and for longer periods of time, it was time to help her do just that. In addition to her usual hiding spots, I introduced cat tunnels into high-traffic areas. Laila was immediately intrigued, went inside to explore, and loves to play and hide in the cat tunnels to this day. Being able to get to know her new surroundings on her terms reduced her anxiety so much she stopped scratching me. Laila would sit in her tunnels and see the movements of her family without anyone knowing she was in there (she is a dark-colored cat and you can barely see her when she is inside a cat tunnel).

 Having places to hide right out in the open helped Laila regulate her emotions so well that she began letting Bluebelle join her in the cat tunnels. Now, they play together in Laila’s safe space. Her anxiety has been reduced so much that she no longer hides constantly. She still loves her cat tunnels but she never hesitates to come out and join the rest of us when asked.

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