9 Tips: To Care for an Abused Cat

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If you are taking care of a cat that has been mistreated, try not to raise your voice or speak in a loud, upset tone. This could make the cat more stressed. Keep your cool and wait.

1. Be calm and use a quiet voice

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2. Move slowly

Abused cats are easily startled, run when they are nervous, and may lash out.  To gain their trust and avoid triggering reactive behavior, move slowly and quietly.


Cats who have been mistreated need a place to sleep and feel safe, like a cat tree or a hidey-bed.  It's very important that people give them space and don't bother them.

3. Give your cat a safe space

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4. Allow your cat time to heal and trust

Cats who have been hurt need time to trust again, so be patient.  Some people trust right away, while others only trust in their safe spaces. Don't expect quick healing.


Be patient as abused cats need time to rebuild their trust. Don't expect instant relief.  They may only trust their safe haven.

5. Don’t make direct eye contact

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6. Don’t reach out to the head and face right away

Slowly approach cats and avoid reaching for their heads or necks. Avoid petting their bellies. Respect their boundaries and give them the opportunity to show you what they like.


Positive reinforcement, such as treats, toys, or attention, can help your cat develop trust. Every step towards socialisation and confidence should be rewarded.

7. Use positive reinforcement

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8. Let them approach you

Be patient, avoid abrasive behavior, respect their personal space, and provide attention on their terms.  Allow the abused cat to come out of its shell at its own pace.


Seek professional help from a veterinarian or veterinary behaviourist in cases of severe cat abuse, avoiding unqualified trainers or breeders.

9. Seek professional help

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