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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17658
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I have a male cat who suddenly acts like I am going to t m

Customer Question

I have a male cat who suddenly acts like I am going to hit him when I reach down to pet him. Is there something I can do to help him get over this? I have never hit any of my cats, I do clear out the gunk around their eyes, and think that maybe what is scaring him??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Now Eclipse's behavior is not an uncommon one. Despite being the bane of wildlife, cats are a prey species. This means that if there is anything they are unsure about (like a sudden movement), they will react in a defensive manner as he is. To his instincts, it is just common sense and a way of keeping himself safe.

Still, with time and patience, we can overcome this and help him associated your hand movements with something positive. Therefore, further to giving a pet/ear scratch/positive contact when you move towards him, you can offer a treat (especially if you are reaching to do something like clean his eyes). This will help retrain his brain to associate your reaching out to him as leading to something positive. Further to this, if he is a shy kitty anyway, you could even use a feline relaxing treat like Composure (example). That way we are teaching him that handling is a positive experience and allaying any worry/anxiety he may have when in these situations.

Please take care,

Dr. B.