Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
Have you ever noticed your cat is scared of a specific noise? You may already know that with Kalista it’s the sound of strangers, or… well just about anything, but with Beau, it’s oddly the sound of crinkling and plastic bags.
A few days ago, as we were getting ready to leave, we put out Beau’s food and started doing some last minute chores. One of the chores was emptying the garbage bins and even though Beau was on the other side of the apartment (which is at least 20 feet away) Beau scrunched up in fear and ran away from the sound. He got so scared that he hid under the bed, which isn’t usually a thing he does.
Normally when Beau is scared he jumps on top of our bed as it’s considered one of his “safe spots” and we actually trained him to jump onto the bed every time he hears the fire alarm, which he’s also afraid of, just to make sure he’s accessible if we need to pack him up and get out of the apartment. So, it was a bit shocking that a plastic bag scared Beau enough to ignore his “safe spot” and hide somewhere where we couldn’t reach him.
We quickly finished packing up all the bags of garbage and went to see if we could encourage Beau to come out from under the bed, moving the food closer to him, but no luck. Even after calling his name multiple times, he just hid and stayed as close to the wall as he could.
I’m wondering if his fear of plastic bags has to do with some sort of trauma he had when he was a stray. I know a lot of strays are scavengers who get food from the garbage, but I’m wondering if a lid smashed on him or something.
What I find a bit more crazy is the fact that anything that makes a crinkle terrifies him, even crinkle balls. I had bought him one from the local pet store a few years back to see if he’d like it, this being before we knew about his plastic bag fear, and he immediately ran away from it.
The more odd thing is the fact that we gave Kalista the crinkle ball a few weeks into having her, this time forgetting that Beau was afraid of it/plastic bags, and although he was skittish at first, he ended up sitting and watching Kalista play from afar.
So, this brings my question. Is Beau getting better in terms of sounds? Is it possible to get him to become less afraid of plastic bags? I had assumed that since he was getting over the fear of crinkle balls, he would also get over the fear of plastic bags… but I guess that’s not true.
I’m going to do some research and see if there’s a way to help our little guy out, because I don’t want him to be afraid every time I change a bin, however, if you have any advice for us before I do the research let me know! I definitely don’t want to traumatize him any further.
Have any of your pets been afraid of specific noises? What did you do to help them?