Cats have a reputation for being easily frightened. It was so bad that the term “scaredy-cat” was coined. However, some of the most terrifying things to cats may be things you haven’t considered before. You may be unaware that you have been scaring them, having caused cat anxiety. Some may be unavoidable, so we’ll also show you how to reduce their fear in specific situations.

Before we discuss these things that scare cats, we should make clear that this is not a how-to guide for scaring cats. Cats are easily scared and timid. Scaring them on purpose will not only increase their anxiety but will also jeopardize their overall well-being and weaken your bond with them. It is also worth noting that not all cats are equally terrified of the items on this list. 

Some may enjoy the things that frighten other cats. This highlights the importance of getting to know your cat’s personality.

When we consider what scares a cat, we often find that it is similar to what scares people. While we may be able to determine whether a stranger is a threat, some signs should make us cautious. 


Cats are much smaller animals than humans and thus have reason to be concerned. They bond with their family because they know we will provide them with food, water, shelter, and care, and, most importantly, we will not harm them.

Numerous cats will lack confidence in the presence of strangers. They may not flee immediately, but many will come to a halt out of fear or apprehension. Furthermore, some people may appear more daunting than others. 

This could be due to body posture, smell, or any number of other reasons only the cat knows about. Some cats, like others on this list of things that scare cats, are very friendly and will approach strangers without fear. We believe these cats are in the minority.

Cats have highly developed senses, such as excellent hearing. Their spending time outside necessitates a keen sense of hearing. Cats are often solitary animals in the wild, and they must remain vigilant in case predators approach at a vulnerable time. 

This means they are delicate to noises in their surroundings. Because cats do not fully comprehend all of the modern conveniences of human life, numerous items in the home can scare them with noise.

Fireworks, vacuum cleaners, storms, horns, and everything else can make a loud, unexpected noise. To be fair, these are all noises that can startle us if we aren’t prepared for them. It is important to remember that cats are often in a constant state of fear, so we must be extra cautious around them. Here are some particular sounds that cats loathe.

Cats are routine creatures. They enjoy having a routine and sticking to it. They eat, sleep, play, and then do it all over again. Disrupting this routine can frighten them. It might not be the jumping scary that you see in YouTube videos. It’s subtler. They become concerned that something bad will happen to them.

If you move their mealtime to a different time of day, they may become concerned that they will not be fed. They don’t die if they don’t eat, but the thought can be terrifying. However, it is typically the larger changes in routine that end up causing the most anxiety. This could be a new member of the family, a move to a new home, or even the start of a new job.

cucumber cat

One of the most common is to put a cucumber next to a cat and watch their exaggerated reactions. Cucumbers are everyday objects that do not appear to be frightening. The size, texture, color, and shape of a cat may resemble that of a top predator, such as a snake or other reptile.

They may presume they are about to be attacked if they see a cucumber and do not expect it to be near them. Some other vegetables and fruits can give the cat a related shock. Some examples include courgettes, squash, and bananas. Scaring your cat in this way is generally cruel and can cause unnecessary anxiety, so it is best to leave these objects in the fruit bowl where they pertain.

When we encounter balloons at a party, our first thought is that they are colorful, fun, and happy. They may appear to a cat as terrifying airborne rubber monsters. A balloon can move when it is pressurized and exposed to the air currents in a room. To a cat, this may appear to be a living creature. More than that, it’s a living flying creature. If the cat sees the balloon floating over them, he or she may believe it is an animal about to attack.

What does it mean to fight like cats and dogs?

The balloon, like some other scary objects to cats, can surprise them. A cat’s claws may be effective at deterring a more traditional carnivore, but when they stick into a balloon, the resulting pop can be quite frightening. This is particularly true if they are already nervous cats.

There is a reason why the phrase “fighting like cats and dogs” exists. Numerous cats and dogs get along well, but this is not always the case. Cats and dogs who are socialized together as early as possible can become best friends. This is the process by which they help each other realize that neither of them is a predator and that they are not required to fight for resources as they would in wild.

If a cat sees a dog they do not even recognize or misinterprets a playful dog’s motives, it can give them quite a scare. Sometimes cats and dogs who normally get along may have exchanges that scare each other. Positive reinforcement and a safe environment are the most effective ways to help them deal without being scared.

Predators in the wild will give warning signs that they are about to strike. They may resemble the expressions given by Border Collies when herding sheep. We can frighten our cats if we stare at them. They are afraid because they believe you are stalking them or attempting to fight them. 

A cat, on the other hand, will not be scared simply because you look into its eyes. It all comes down to your body position and facial expression. You may frighten the cat if you appear intimidating. They will be convinced if you appear loving, imploring, and gentle.



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