Please tell me how long will this fear last... my poor girl is nothing like herself anymore.

SoftAries

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I posted here a few days after it happened now, but something terrified one of my kittens (most likely her nemesis, the glue trap behind our garbage can).
And since then she has been on extreme high alert, and refuses to do anything she used to. She's simply "searching and slinking" about and staring with big black eyes at everything. It's been about a week or so now that this has been going on. It's getting better by the smallest increments, I think...

It's honestly been really difficult preventing her from getting scared again as everything and anything, even me clicking my tongue to greet her makes her jump.
I feel like she would be feeling a lot better already if it wasn't for a giant piece of cardboard resetting her fear about 4 days after the last incident.

How long will this last? Will she ever get over it? I just really miss my curious little sidekick...


Things I'm doing to help:
I've been enlisting the help of things I found online that people suggest you do for a cat who has suffered a fear.
Catnip, play (this one really seems to distract her once she gets in the mood), calming treats and other snacks she likes (waiting on a Jaxon Galaxy one called Scaredy Cat to arrive), petting her, and leaving her be.
Recently I noticed she is extremely unsure of cardboard boxes and anything with dark areas. So I have since removed all of the boxes and even a bunch of the play tubes that seem to be setting her off.
 
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Mamanyt1953

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I am reasonably sure that she WILL get over it, but how long it takes varies from cat to cat. I'd suggest, if you haven't already, removing glue traps from your home. You do NOT want to risk her encountering one again, and turning a fear into a phobia. Give her time, continue doing those things that seem to help her, and exercising patience. I think that she will come around, and be herself in time...HER time, not yours. Bless you, you are trying so hard, and I know it seems like nothing helps, but it does, a tiny step at a time.
 
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SoftAries

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I am reasonably sure that she WILL get over it, but how long it takes varies from cat to cat. I'd suggest, if you haven't already, removing glue traps from your home. You do NOT want to risk her encountering one again, and turning a fear into a phobia. Give her time, continue doing those things that seem to help her, and exercising patience. I think that she will come around, and be herself in time...HER time, not yours. Bless you, you are trying so hard, and I know it seems like nothing helps, but it does, a tiny step at a time.
Oh gosh, thank you so much for such a reassuring message!! It's just been so sad seeing her so scared. Patience is definitely needed, I'm just glad there will be an end at some point. I'm just trying to go slow for her.

That's a good idea about the glue traps. A phobia is not what I want. I had originally moved all the ones that she could get near when this happened the first time many months ago. But not the hidden ones thinking she'd not figure a way to get near them, which I was wrong about.
Out they go!
 

maggie101

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I also used Jackson galaxy scaredy cat. She was so terrified of my cats that her tail would quiver. She came out on her own. XI had chew toys for her and would play with her. It took Coco a year. Difference is I had just rescued her so she will soon feel secure enough
 

Mamanyt1953

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Kinda like catnip, calming products work VERY well on some cats, and not at all on others. But they are SO worth trying!
 
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SoftAries

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I also used Jackson galaxy scaredy cat. She was so terrified of my cats that her tail would quiver. She came out on her own. XI had chew toys for her and would play with her. It took Coco a year. Difference is I had just rescued her so she will soon feel secure enough
Ohhh, did the Scaredy Cat work well?

Have you had her checked by a vet to make sure she is okay?
No, but it's definitely a plan if she continues. She's been getting better little by very little and I'm hesitant to shake up the progress with a vet visit just yet.
 
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SoftAries

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Who knows if it really works,but I have also used purina proplan calming care (only at vets)and feliway
Kinda like catnip, calming products work VERY well on some cats, and not at all on others. But they are SO worth trying!
So far feliway seems to give her a calming effect, but weirdly enough she has to see me spraying it for her too like it.

The calming treats with the theanine and chamomile don't really seem to have that much of an effect. So I'm really hoping the Jackson Galaxy tincture works once it gets here.

Interestingly, catnip and play still seem to be the main help!
 

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Cats have a very good sense of smell. It is how they survive. If there is still a glue trap in your house anywhere, or any of the glue on the floor or on a piece of furniture, she can smell it. It is the smell of a predator, the smell of death to her. She will continue to be afraid as long as she can smell it.

Edited to add - when you dispose of a glue trap be certain you have covered the glue part so that no animal can get stuck in it at the landfill. The animals who live at the landfill have a hard enough time without glue traps.
 
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SoftAries

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Jg did work. I even got space savor and have a pic of my cats that don't get along sleeping together. Hope it works for her
The Jackson Galaxy Scaredy Cat solution came last night and I'm excited to report that it actually worked!!!!!! I have been reading so many negative reddit comments about it that I was starting to get a little worried. As Jackson is a little bit hush hush about exactly what the ingredients are. But I fully do believe in things like valerian root and other natural remedies.

But not too long at all after I gave it to her she started adventuring around. I did it again this morning and she actually went into a dark shelf space to be her usual nosey self! If this maintains keeping her calm so she can explore and reassure herself, I really do think she'll end up getting over this even quicker.

Cats have a very good sense of smell. It is how they survive. If there is still a glue trap in your house anywhere, or any of the glue on the floor or on a piece of furniture, she can smell it. It is the smell of a predator, the smell of death to her. She will continue to be afraid as long as she can smell it.

Edited to add - when you dispose of a glue trap be certain you have covered the glue part so that no animal can get stuck in it at the landfill. The animals who live at the landfill have a hard enough time without glue traps.
That's an absolutely great point. I definitely know it must be smells. I have watched her go from being calm, to freaking out when she gets a whiff of something. I have a super keen sense of smell myself so I do know that they have a very gluey smell. And similar products, like tape, kind of freak her out now due to it.

Also, thank you for the great advice. I do know to fold them into themselves if they are empty. TMI, but oftentimes I can't get them to stick to themselves again due to the amount of bugs we catch. The Mojave desert has some BIIIIG ugly cockroachs and other bugs. Enough that the trap is covered top to bottom and apparently too full to trap anything after that point.
I own tarantula and black widows, otherwise I would go the spraying the outside route, but I really don't want to risk killing my insect pets. 😭
 

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I'm not sure about the bugs, but we've been taking loose leaf peppermint tea and putting it outside and it's certainly keeping rodents away.
 
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SoftAries

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Maggie and Peaches after using space saver on Maggie. They do not get alongView attachment 478555
That's so cute!!!! And a shock. It's worth the slightly high price for some help easing a better routine in.

Wonderful news! I'm so glad that your girl had a good reaction to it!
I was worried, she's quite strange when it comes to Feliway. But I'm relieved. She's actually entered the kitchen again. Giving her a mountain of treats when she does seems to be convincing her it's safe again.

I'm not sure about the bugs, but we've been taking loose leaf peppermint tea and putting it outside and it's certainly keeping rodents away.
Hey, it's worth a try!
Thank you!
 
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