3 Reasons Why Your Cat Is Scared of the TV All of a Sudden? 

A cat doesn’t always fit the definition of a scardey cat. Some domesticated felines are quite bold but a lot of that depends on the breed, size, and personality. Pet owners who notice a dramatic change in their cat from bold to fearful become concerned. 

Our boy Coco 7
Our boy Coco 7

What are 3 reasons why your cat is scared of the TV all of a sudden? The obvious answers are the TV is different or the sound and picture are different, the cat’s routine is different, or something has happened to traumatize it. 

Read on to find out what could have turned our lion-hearted feline into a mouse and what you can do about it. 

Things Cats Hate

Felines are different from breed to breed and even from cat to cat. However, one common element is they all don’t like certain things. 

None like changes in their routine, unfamiliar objects, people or pets in their space, wide-open spaces, bigger animals, separation from their owners, traveling in a car, and visiting the vet, which includes a car ride making it twice the trauma for them. They also don’t like loud noises. Things cats hate may have a role in their reaction to your TV.

New Televisions

One reason your cat may be afraid of your television could be two-fold. If you recently bought and installed it, it could be your cat doesn’t like it because the television is something different.

It may be big and hanging on a wall in place of a smaller model or a picture. A cat can see that as a threat since it doesn’t understand it and it’s unfamiliar to them.

A new flatscreen could also be louder or offer a sound that puts fear into your cat. Animals sometimes don’t always understand when noises come from a television versus real life. Your cat may hear gunshots, fireworks, or a dog barking on the television and not realize it can’t hurt him. 

New televisions also have better pictures than before so your cat also may confuse what it’s seeing on the television with reality. 

Cats hate things they aren’t exposed to and will jump when they are placed around them.

Read: Why Does My Cat Crouching When Walking Outside?

New Routine

Television can change our routines. Cats don’t like changes in schedules and may be making that clear by being afraid of the television. 

Look at how your routine has changed in recent months. Many people change routines in the fall when kids go back to school and again as they are preparing for summer break. These types of changes may have unnerved your cat. 

Cats are highly sensitive to change and take more time to adjust. Major changes for cats include moving to a new location, adopting a new pet, having a baby, or you taking a different job that changes your daily routine.

Any of these can cause your cat to suddenly act fearful rather than the confident animal he once was. It could also be your cat is injured or suffered a trauma.

Read: Are Bengal Cats Stronger Than Maine Coons?

Unknown Trauma

Cats don’t always show when they’ve had a trauma or injury. They may get injured, and you won’t find it for days until they are feeling terrible with an infection. Being scared of something like television may be a reaction to pain.

The television is, in simplest terms, annoying them because they are in pain so they avoid it and hide. Illness

Along with trauma, cats are also good at hiding it when they aren’t feeling well. Being frightened by the television could be a reaction to that as well. Your cat is feeling vulnerable and the TV makes it worse. 

How Do You Know When a Cat is Scared?

A cat will exhibit certain behaviors when they are frightened. The common reactions are freezing on the spot with its back up, pacing, and overgrooming itself in an attempt to self-soothe. 

However, your cat shows other behaviors when frightened including:

  • Urinating in odd places
  • Being aggressive
  • Vocalizing much more than usual
  • A dramatic change in eating habits
  • Pacing and constantly looking out windows
  • Must sit in your lap or clings to you more than usual

Read: Are Bengals Good Travel Cats? 

Soothing a Scared Cat

Cat owners can’t allow their pets to continue to be frightened. An insecure cat will only increase anxiety and fears. That can lead to some bad behaviors that are harder to fix. 

The one thing you shouldn’t do is scold your cat for being frightened at your television. That won’t work because he hasn’t done anything wrong. Plus, the cat now learns that you disprove him being scared which will increase his stress and anxiety.

Here are some pointers for how to soothe your cat

Gently Pet the Cat

Cats need to be reassured they are okay. Gently pet and talk to your cat when you first notice anxiety. See if this has any effect. If it works, then you can move on to more long-term solutions. 

Look for Injuries

A cat that isn’t easily soothed may have an injury. As you are petting and soothing your feline, check to see if it’s been in a fight or has any scratches. You may need to take it to the vet if you spot something. 

Get Your Cat Acquainted with the TV

The television may be something new for your cat, especially if you are doing something different with it like adding surround sound or putting it on a different wall. Start this therapy with the sound on mute and see if your cat has the same reaction. 

A calmer reaction means it’s the sound that bothers him. Give him a treat if he’s calm. This creates a positive association with the TV. Gently turn up the sound and give your cat a treat each time. 

A cat that remains afraid may be afraid of the picture or movement. Turn the TV to a channel that could interest him like one with flowers or birds to watch his reaction. A cat that goes from fearful to predatory will show you he just doesn’t like what you’re watching because it frightens him. 

Give your cat a treat and then flip some channels to expose him to other movements. Give him treats each time he reacts calmly. 

You may want to hold your cat and take it up closer to the TV when it’s off and then when it’s on. Depending on the reaction, put him close enough to sniff it. Give him a treat each time you do this.Approaching it will give your cat a sense of victory that he stood up to his fear and won the domination game. 

Read: Why Does My Cat Wobble When Wearing a Harness? 

Use Scents, Herbs, and Medicine

You can use some natural solutions to calm your cat. Things like catnip and chamomile playthings can help cats relax as long as you allow them in small quantities. 

There are over-the-counter soothers like synthetic pheromones and CBD oil added to some cat treats. they are available at both discount and pet food stores. A diffuser is one popular and safe option. 

Read: Is It Common for Bengal Cats to Be Overweight?

Final Thoughts

Cats’ behaviors can change over the years but, typically, those changes are gradual rather than sudden. A sudden change of behavior like being afraid of the TV indicates something is wrong. Looking at things like recent changes made in the home and your cat’s health are sure ways of figuring out the mystery.