Abused cats, whether physically or emotionally, are no different than any creature who’s had to deal with a bad situation. They can be difficult to deal with because of the abuse and it will take patience to get them back to normal. Physically abused cats are obviously easier to spot since they likely will show physical damage to their bodies. However, those that appear to be in perfect shape on the outside may have sustained internal or emotional damage and are more difficult to spot. Physical damage is certainly bad, but emotional damage is a lot tougher to repair. However, cats who’ve been physically abused will still respond to a soft touch and voice, as long as they know the abuse has ended.
If you’re dealing with a cat who’s been emotionally abused, your best plan of action is to wait until the cat comes to you. This will require patience, since the cat will be confused and not know if you’re planning to hurt her or not. If you take your time and let her know she doesn’t have to be afraid of you, she’ll eventually come to you and when that happens, pet her gently and let her sniff you. She’ll start to understant that she can trust you and will come to you when you call.
Raising your voice and yelling or using a flyswatter or water gun to disipline a cat in an improper manner can lead to emotional damage. If you continue to use the wrong means of discipline on an already emotionally damaged cat, you can cause her to become mean or lethargic. If a cat has become mean from physical or emotional abuse, they’re easier to reach because they still care somewhat about what happens to them. On the other hand, a lethargic cat could care less and will be more difficult to return to normal.
Cats who’ve become lethargic won’t play, take treats or respond to anything anyone says to them. Therefore, one of the best ways to get her to respond is to bring in a companion cat. Eventually a lethargic cat will start to crave some attention, either a scratch or a pat and when this happens, always speak in a soft voice and give her a loving snuggle. Of course, you should never raise your voice but try to let the cat know that this behavior is better.
When you’re around a lethargic cat, it’s best to make slow movements since she’s still quite traumatized. As she gradually starts showing some life and letting you touch her again, you’ll know she’s getting back to a normal state of mind. Remember, however that this may take some time, which isn’t surprising in this situation. If the cat starts to get upset again or if you start to raise your voice, she’ll just start hiding again, so make sure you continue to use a soft voice, remain patience and she’ll eventually get past this behavior. If you have to deal with a letargic cat, be prepared for a long and very intense healing process.
Mean cats, on the other hand, will either fight and scratch or just run away and all you can do to deal with this attitude is to use a gentle treatment and a soft voice. Never raise your voice or use strict discipline because this will just make a mean cat even meaner. Never try to trap a mean cat either because this will make the cat react badly and try to fight back. Patience, as always, is the key and once the cat understands you’ll be there for her, she’ll eventually calm down and get back to normal behavior.
Any living creature who’s been abused is truly a sad thing and an abused cat will react no different than an abused person, especially those who were physically abused. For an abused cat, the solution to bringing them back to normal behavior is to give them a loving home and a loving owner who’ll provide them with a friendly environment and take care of their every day needs. Gentle and loving treatment will do wonders in restoring the physical and emotional health of an abused cat and, if you’re patient, they’ll eventually respond with the same loving companionship as any other cat.
Glenn Cutforth is a writer, eBook publisher and graphic designer.
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