Does yelling scare cats, Thomasina? I yelled at my kids the other day, and now my cat is terrified of me. Why??? I wasn’t yelling at him! I love my cat! I would never yell at him.
— Sad and Confused
Hi Sad and Confused…
I’m sorry your cat’s so upset. Yes, yelling at your kids scares your cat! But he won’t be scared forever.
I was about to say we’re not mind readers. But really, sometimes we are. We pick up on our humans’ thoughts and emotions. And sometimes we know what you’re thinking almost before you do.
But yelling at kids scares cats because it’s a bit different. Your cat could tell you were angry with somebody, and for all he knew that somebody was him. So he figured it was best to just lay low and stay out of the way until you calmed down. He was probably so confused.
The other reason yelling scares cats is that we’re very sensitive to loud noises, and booming voices really hurt our ears.
Believe me, I know how annoying human kids can be! But maybe you could not yell at them when your cat is around. Or if you do, take him some treats and sit with him for a few minutes after the kids have scattered.
Apologize for upsetting him and tell him how much you love him. He’ll appreciate your kindness. And spending a few minutes with him will make you forget those misbehaving kids and feel like all is right with the world again.