Why Are Cats Afraid of Thunder?

Your pet may get frightened of an unexpected thunderstorm, and storms also make your cats quite anxious. But most cat owners think that it is just a myth, but what’s the truth? Why Are cats afraid of thunderstorms? But it might be difficult for most cat owners to calm felines in this frightening situation.

Cats can experience fear during thunderstorms, and there are several reasons for this fear. Thunderstorms are loud, unpredictable, and often accompanied by bright flashes of light. These stimuli can be overwhelming for cats, and they may feel threatened or in danger. So, when cats hear the sound of thunder, they hide. A frightened cat may act out prior to the storm starting if it has a severe phobia of noises.

Moreover, cat anxiety can be triggered by heavy rainfall throbbing on the house roof, flashing lights, or a reduction in air pressure prior to a thunderstorm.

Don’t worry; in this article, we’ve disclosed some simple ways that will help you to make your cat feel relaxed and prevent them from being overly excited or frightened when thunderstorms are nearby.

What Is Thunderstorm Phobia in Cats

What Is Thunderstorm Phobia in Cats?

An extreme anxiety reflex to severe weather conditions like thundering, lightning, rainstorms, and powerful wind gusts is known as thunderstorm phobias in felines.

While the majority of felines don’t exhibit violent behavior in response to storms, you might notice your feline fleeing for cover when a thunderstorm threatens. Severe phobias harm a feline’s health since they result in the brain producing too much stress hormone.

Severe storms can frighten anybody, even a cat because they’re abrupt, intense, and loud. Cats afraid of thunderstorms experience acute anxiety when they listen to one coming and are aware of fluctuations in air pressure before and after a thunderstorm.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Like Refrigerators?

Why Are Thunderstorms Scary for Pets?

An unexpected thunderstorm can scare any pet, and they become very nervous during thunderstorms. Pets may become anxious during thunderstorms, throwing rain, and lightning storms. It’s common for every pet to get scared of loud noises, especially thunderstorms.

The reason behind this is that pets have incredibly sensitive hearing, which is why they can hear at a range of 65 kHz or roughly 2 octaves beyond the human listening range.

Furthermore, some pets can get frightened during thunderstorms for reasons other than just lightning and hailing. Most pets detect a reduction in the air pressure and accumulation of electrostatic discharge in the air irritating. This accumulation typically occurs before a thunderstorm; that’s why many pets hide or display fear before hearing the first distant thunderclap.

Find Out: How To Stop Cat From Jumping On TV Stand?

Why is My Cat Scared of Thunder?

If there is a severe storm with thunderstorms, cats become very scared. They aren’t used to hearing these sounds, so they get scared. Felines typically hide under mattresses or in calm, dark places when frightened.

Why is My Cat Scared of Thunder

You can try several actions to help your feline feel safer during a thunderstorm. Provide your feline some additional comfy hiding places if it likes to hide under the mattress or in a cabinet.

It’s important to keep in mind that anxious behaviors are common in cats when they’re experiencing stress, but if the behavior doesn’t return to its normal pretty quickly, contact your veterinarians.

Is it Normal for My Cat to be Afraid of Storms?

It is not uncommon for cats to be afraid of storms. Even though cats are more likely to experience thunder phobia because they’re scared of sudden, loud noises and storm-related lightning strikes. Felines may also be hypersensitive to and capable of detecting minute variations in air pressure.

So, it’s quite normal for them to become afraid of storms. But if they don’t become normal after the storm passes, you must consult your vet about your feline.

Check Out: Do Cats Like The Rain? Where Do Stray Cats Go When It Rains?

Causes of Thunderstorm Phobia in Cats

Cats may develop phobias as a result of various thunderstorm characteristics. It could be strange storm-related noises or bright lights. It is believed that a newborn cat’s lack of exposure to thunderstorms has an effect on how thunder phobias arise. The following might be the cause of triggering phobia in felines:

  • Loud noises: Thunderstorms are often associated with loud and sudden noises that can startle cats.
  • Vibrations: The vibrations caused by thunder can be felt by cats, and they may interpret them as a threat.
  • Changes in air pressure: Thunderstorms can cause a drop in barometric pressure, which can cause discomfort and anxiety in cats.
  • Gloomy Sky: Another factor contributing to a cat’s fear of thunderstorms is the gloomy sky that often accompanies the storm. Cats are known to be sensitive to changes in weather, and a sudden shift from sunny to gloomy can be disorienting and scary.
  • Previous traumatic experiences: If your cat has experienced a traumatic event during a thunderstorm, such as being trapped outside during a storm, it may develop a fear of thunderstorms.
  • Outdoor odors during rain: Outdoor odors can also contribute to a cat’s fear of thunderstorms. The scent of rain can be overwhelming for cats, and if they are caught outside during a storm, they may associate the smell with the fear and anxiety they experience.
  • Fear of the Unknown: Another reason cats may fear thunder is the fear of the unknown. Thunder is a natural phenomenon that cats may not understand, and this lack of understanding can cause them to become frightened. Gusty winds and dark skies can further exacerbate a cat’s fear.
Causes and Symptoms of Thunderstorm Phobia in Cats

Symptoms of Thunderstorm Phobia in Cats

When a thunderstorm is about to happen, you can notice that your feline is acting strangely or fearfully. To avoid the cat escaping in terror, it might be advisable to keep it inside. These are some fear symptoms that your feline may exhibit when she’s frightened of the thunder:

  • Anxiousness
  • Quivering
  • Enlarged eyes
  • Vocalizing, Chirpy sound
  • Hiding under furnishing or in cellars
  • Pawing at the Doors
  • Rushing here and there in fear 
  • Peeing throughout the house

How to Calm Your Cat During a Storm?

You can take several measures to preserve a calm place when a thunderstorm comes, even though you can’t completely avoid the potential of terrible weather or frightening noises. Still, these tips will help you to calm your furry friend during a storm:

How to Calm Your Cat During a Storm

1. Offer Protected Hiding Locations

If your feline typically hides out in a cabinet or beneath the table, you must offer them some alternative cozy hiding places.

Cat cots in the “Igloo design” will be a great choice. Your felines can use these cots as a hiding place if you place them in your living room, where you spend most of your time with your furry friend.

2. Sound Therapy

Sound therapy involves using calming sounds, such as white noise or music, to help your cat relax during a thunderstorm. You can purchase special CDs or apps designed for pets or play soothing music from your phone or computer.

3. Relax Yourself

As felines can sense our feelings, they’ll become frightened if we become anxious. Don’t aggressively comfort your cat. Your felines will feel more at ease if you maintain your temper and communicate with them normally. 

4. Use Stress Wraps

Some felines respond well to the stress wrap, a stress wrap designed to have a relaxing effect. When felines get frightened, they love to be wrapped up or cuddled. But it’s advised that you should make your feline used to these wraps before a storm hits.

5. You Must Do Desensitization

If you are located in a region where storms frequently occur over an extended time, you might want to consider desensitization. This method rewards your feline for maintaining her calmness while exposing her to suppressed signals of a storm, for instance, a recorded sound of falling rain. The concept is that the feline’s reflex response to a storm diminishes with time.

6. Medicine

Consulting your vet is advised for felines having severe storm phobia situations. To assist your feline in remaining calm while thunderstorms occur, your vet may give anti-stress medicines.

7. Keep your Kitty inside

When a thunderstorm comes, take your feline indoors. If your feline comes to you whenever you call its name, this job will be a lot simpler! Because when you try to force your cats to come inside when a storm hits, it has a negative impact on them.

You may have to attract outside cats indoors with snacks, meat, or tiny sleigh bells. Shut the door and lock it when everyone is inside to prevent them from going back outside.

7. Let your Feline make the Choice

Don’t compel your cat to leave its hiding area or to play with you. These actions just worsen your anxiety and enhance your risk of receiving cat claws.

Allow your cat to choose the location in which it feels comfortable. Try to maintain a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere, and remember that once the thunderstorm is gone, his behavior will quickly return to normal.

Intresting Reading: Why is My Cat Afraid of Ceiling Fan?

Treatment of Thunderstorm Phobia in Cats

A cat with severe thunderstorm fears can be treated using a variety of techniques or therapies. It’s possible that you’ll need to keep experimenting with various options till you discover the one which your feline enjoys.

Treatment of Thunderstorm Phobia in Cats
  • The use of Pheromones: Some items, like collars or air fresheners, release aromas that resemble the relaxing feline’s pheromone. Switch on the air freshener or put the feline collar on if a thunderstorm is approaching.
  • Give them Sedative Medications: Prescription drugs often have soothing properties, so when you give your feline these medicines, they won’t react violently during a storm. Moreover, oral soothing chews and snacks containing tryptophan are examples of over-the-counter medicines.
  • Calming Supplements: Several calming supplements can help reduce cats’ anxiety. These supplements may contain natural ingredients such as chamomile and valerian root or synthetic compounds such as pheromones.
  • Natural Methods for Soothing: When a storm arrives, giving cats remedies like thunderstorm Soother or Rescue Remedy will help to keep them quiet.
  • Seek Professional Help: If your cat has a severe fear of thunderstorms that affects its quality of life, it’s important to seek professional help. Your veterinarian or a certified animal behaviorist can provide advice and treatment options to help manage your cat’s fear.

Also, Check Out: Do Calming Collars Work For Cats?

Common Misconceptions about Cats and Thunderstorms

There are several misconceptions about cats and thunderstorms, including:

  • Cats are not affected by thunderstorms: This is false. As discussed above, cats can experience fear and anxiety during thunderstorms.
  • Punishing your cat for being afraid will help: This is not true. Punishing your cat can make their fear worse and damage your relationship with them.
  • All cats are afraid of thunderstorms: This is also false. While many cats do experience fear during storms, some may be unfazed by them.

Also Read: Cat Myths And Misconceptions

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cats scared of the wind?

Felines are scared of the winds as they relate them with approaching thunderstorms. Things in your backyard or surrounding may potentially fall apart due to high winds. Felines may be scared by these disturbances since they don’t like sudden, loud noises. Due to all these situations, unexpected stress may develop.

Are cats scared of rain?

Cats are afraid of rainfall, as felines generally hate it since it harms their fur. The rain makes their fur denser, which makes movement far more challenging. Additionally, cat fur requires a few days to dry completely. Cats with wet fur may become extremely cold and lose body temperature. There’s a huge chance that they may get frostbite.

Do cats know when A storm is coming?

Yes, Cats have a heightened sense of hearing and may be able to detect changes in atmospheric pressure and other environmental cues, such as fast winds and thunder sounds, indicating a thunderstorm is coming.

Why do cats go crazy during storms?

Cats who are afraid of thunderstorms react fearfully to frightening noises and sudden light flares. Felines, like other pets, are hypersensitive to and capable of detecting minute variations in atmospheric pressure caused by thunder. Thus, they may react violently or go mad while detecting environmental changes.

Do seasonal changes affect cats?

Yes, cats are usually more energetic in the spring and autumn because the temperature is more pleasant—neither too chilly nor too warm. However, most want to cuddle up in warm places in the winter months and love to lay in cold places in the heat.

What do cats do when a storm is coming?

However, most cats experience anxiety in storms and frequently display their anxiety by avoiding people or sheltering under furnishings until the storm has passed.

Final Verdict!

It’s important to keep in mind that your feline has a strong reason to fear thunderstorms because they aren’t habitual of lightning, heavy winds, thunder noises, etc.

Rather than badmouthing or spoiling your feline for displaying anxious behavior, be calm and teach them good defense strategies. They’ll see that thunderstorms aren’t all that horrible and for all thanks to you. Although a cat’s phobia of storms is completely normal, there are steps that you can take to help your cat cope with their anxiety and not be terrified of storms.

Moreover, by following the above tips and treatments for calming your felines, I assure you that you can easily make your cat fearless of thunderstorms. If you still have any doubts, you can clear them in the comment box.

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LearnAboutCat Author Isabella

Who is Isabella?

My name is Isabella, and I am a dedicated and knowledgeable cat enthusiast. With years of experience caring for cats and a deep love for felines, I made a mission to help other cat lovers navigate the challenges of cat ownership.

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