Is My Cat going to be traumatized?

well yesterday my mom spotted my cat on the back porch looking at something. He was shaken with fear, he was so scared his hair stood up. My mom came in and told me that there was a rattle snake. i started freaking out because my cat could be in danger. Rattle snakes arent very common in florida so it was a very strange experience, my step dad went outside with his gun and tried to shoot it but his gun jammed and it got away. my cat wasnt harmed but our neighbors dog had been bitten and he died 5minutes after he was bitten :( but the point is that my cat is scared of everything now, he sneaks around the house quietly like hes not himself anymore. and when theres objects on the floor he has to approach them slowly and he always smells from a great distance and pats the object to test the potential danger. what can i do that could make him feel safe and away from phycological damage?

Asked by teddy on Oct 16th 2009 Tagged traumatized in Illness & Disease
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Izadore (Izzie)

I doubt if your cat knew he was stalking a rattlesnake. Something was invading his territory and he would probably have taken it on if you, your mom and your dad hadn't interferred. And, it's probably a good thing you did. More than the confrontation with the snake, your cat is probably reacting to YOUR reaction. If there was a lot of screaming, shrieking and yelling and your stepdad went running out to blast it with his gun, that's probably what scared your cat more than anything else. If your stepdad has ever shot over your cat, he will associate the gun with a lot of noise. What your cat is doing with objectson the floor is what my cats do, too. That's a cat's normal reaction to anything they see (except food, of course!) I doubt if your kitty is psychologically damaged in any way. Play with him, make sure everyone speaks softly and lovingly toward him, etc. Report the snake to your local animal control thru your police department, and try to keep your cat inside.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 10/16/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Izzie I agree with what you say but I think its more than that. Many cats have a natural fear of snakes and his very cautious approach to things on the floor tell me that he was scared by the snake and is now wary that there may be similar dangers inside the house. Your family's reaction to the snake would have reinforced your cat's instinct that the snake was very dangerous. He's having to work through his fears that his house may not be as safe as he thought.

Despite all that I think he'll gradually get over his fears once he realises he's safe in the house and there's no iminent danger. It may take a few weeks and you can help him by keeping things as calm as possible and giving him his space.

My house was broken into while I was at work a couple of years ago and they smashed a glass door and ran around grabbing stuff. My cats were unharmed but freaked out and it took quite a while for them to be OK when friends/neighbours came around.

Jingo answered on 10/16/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer