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Sat Jul 25, 2020, 09:19 AM

Does anyone else's cat have shower anxiety?

Not for herself, but for me.

It happened occasionally when my cat was younger. She's 4 years old now and it happens quite often.

When I get in the shower, kitty grabs her comfort toy (a feathery wind-up chicken) and walks around meowing in her high pitched anxiety tone. I have to call her name several times and say, "It's all right. I'm right here." Or poke my head around from the shower curtain to let her see that I'm ok. She stops the anxious meowing then, but stares at me, chickie in her mouth, looking very concerned, until I come out to dry off.

She likes to watch water go down the drain in the kitchen sink, and if there are suds in it, she tries to hold them back with her paw. When they disappear, she puts her whole face into the drain, looking for where they went. But she does not like to get INTO water.

Is she projecting her own anxiety about water onto me? Never before had a cat do something like this. Anyone else have a cat that acts anxious when they shower?



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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sat Jul 25, 2020, 09:21 AM

1. Naw, My cat could care less about what I do, except for brushes and cuddles.

She demands those.

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sat Jul 25, 2020, 09:22 AM

2. Not sure if it was anxiety, my cat used to jump on the rail of the shower stall and watch

I guess he was making sure I didn't drown.

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Response to Merlot (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 25, 2020, 09:36 AM

4. LOL. Years ago I had a kitten

who walked the edge of the tub when my husband was showering, and took swats at the shadows of the drops on the shower curtain. Until the time he swatted too hard, lost his balance, and fell into the tub, startling both himself and hubby.

Same kitten stood on hind legs, front paws on the toilet bowl, to watch hubby urinate. Kitty pushed his head up too close to the stream and got peed on.

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sat Jul 25, 2020, 09:28 AM

3. A very interesting display of empathy?

I never witnessed that from my cats towards a human but after reading this story, I remember one of our cats coming into the bathroom meowing and acting concerned while we were washing the other cat.

If cats fear/severely dislike water, it kind of makes sense that they'd feel concerned watching others being subjected to it.

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Response to Hav (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 25, 2020, 09:37 AM

6. They do have concern for each other

One of our cats HATES going to the vet, thankfully only once a year for his checkup, so the vet prescribed a tranquilizer we have to give him 2 hours before his appointment. Its loads of fun giving him the pill. When we do this his brother is always underfoot. No, not you!

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Response to Freddie (Reply #6)

Sat Jul 25, 2020, 10:02 AM

8. My cat also hates the vet's office

so they gave me capsules to give one to her 2 hours before her appointments. I pull apart the capsule and pour the powder into a teaspoon of canned cat food and mix it thorougly. Works best when she hasn't eaten for a while so she's hungry enough to eat it all. Canned food is a treat for her because she normally gets dry food. I use salmon flavored Fancy Feast to disguise any odor the pill might have and because she LOVES fish. Works like a charm. If it was a pill instead of a capsule, I'd crush it before mixing it with food.

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Response to Hav (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 25, 2020, 09:48 AM

7. My friend's dog (Jack Russell terrier)

hated getting bathed. When their other dog was getting a bath, the Jack Russell would stand outside the bathroom door, whimpering in sympathy - or empathy.

Just seems unusual for a cat to be like that.

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sat Jul 25, 2020, 09:37 AM

5. I imagine since most kittehs hate water, they naturally assume we do too.

And it concerns them that we are getting covered in it, willingly!

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sat Jul 25, 2020, 11:09 AM

9. Maybe its the sound of the water that frightens her not the water itself

You said she likes to watch water at other times and the shower sounds quite different from another source. Maybe she thinks its heavy rain. Is she afraid during storms? Maybe she hears the shower and thinks storms are coming?

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Response to Runningdawg (Reply #9)

Sat Jul 25, 2020, 12:07 PM

11. She notices storms, but

doesn't show any fear or anxiety about them. Looks out the window when there's lightning, and looks at me when there is a loud nearby thunderclap, as if to ask, "Did you hear that?" But she doesn't meow or hide.

Heavy, hard rainfall makes a loud noise falling on the window air conditioner in my bedroom and she goes in there to check it out, but doesn't seem frightened, only alert.

I usually let the shower run a couple minutes before getting in. She doesn't react, though, until I actually get into it.

There's a joke that dogs think that they are members of their human family's "pack," but that cats, in their self-centeredness, think humans are members of the cat's society. So I'm wondering if she extends her own dislike or fear of being in water to me, as a "member" of her cat world.


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Response to wnylib (Reply #11)

Sat Jul 25, 2020, 12:16 PM

12. Yep it could be just that.

I have cat that hates bananas so much she will slap one right out of your hand.

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sat Jul 25, 2020, 11:31 AM

10. We clipped our Persian regularly in hot weather. Our Siames would walk around the table

And howl until the process was finished. It was the only time she howled.

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