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Cat scared to death of ceiling fans

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  • Cat scared to death of ceiling fans

    We have a young house cat, less than a year old so no experience with ceiling fans from last year.

    We have found her to be absolutely terrified of ceiling fans. We finally had to start using them and the minute one is turned on she disappears into her "apartment" (bathroom cabinet) and there she stays, for hours, until we turn the fan off and drag her out.

    This poor cat cannot live in the cabinet all summer and I don't know what to do.
    I thought about locking her in a cage in the room with the fan running but don't know if that would terrify her even more.
    Our nine year old cat doesn't even glance at the fans.
    I dread when we have to turn the air conditioner on. :P

    Any suggestions?
    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

  • #2
    If you "play" with it, how does the cat react? If you can reach up to move the blades, will your cat observe, but not be freaked out? Can you attempt a treat reward maneuver if a) kitty is fine with you playing with the fan then b) if kitty will remain in the room if you just turn the fan on for a brief second before turning it off again (just enough to get the blades to move a bit)? Keep treating while kitty remains calm. Turn fan on for a bit longer. Repeat treating. Call it quits while kitty tolerates fan, then try the whole process again in a couple of hours.

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    • #3
      I have one that's the same way. She hides for hours if I turn the fans on, even after I've turned them off. Unfortunately, I was never able to find a solution, so I just don't ever run the fans. I have often wondered if it isn't some ingrained reaction to movement overhead that could possibly swoop from the sky and pick them up.

      I will be watching eagerly to see if anyone out there has actually solved this problem, and, how they did it.
      If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
      Desmond Tutu

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      • #4
        I have a couple that were deathly afraid of the ceiling fans and other fans, but I had help conditioning them. They watched Louie and Da Magpie lie down directly in the blowing air and quickly figure out that fans are not going to hurt them......they ALL learned too well and line up beside me and stop all air from the box fan in the bedroom from ever touching me. They also sit in the middle of the kitched floor directly under the fan.

        I would try moving it by hand as well but the problem may not be the blades at all but the motor noise.
        Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

        Member: Incredible Invisbles

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        • #5
          Wish I could help. My kittehs all seem to find the ceiling fan entertaining!
          What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

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          • #6
            I also had a cat that was terrified of ceiling fans. Apparently it's not all that unusual. Never did manage to cure him of it, but since we only had them in the bedrooms, I didn't try that hard. He'd either stay out of the room while they were on, or he'd come in and dart under the bed or under the covers, though I guess he improved some over time because eventually there was more darting action. And his food and litter were nowhere near the fans.

            He had no problem with air conditioning or regular fans, though, so that's not necessarily going to be a problem.

            Good luck!
            "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
            -Edward Hoagland

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Well just tried the air conditioner and she seems fine with that.
              LOL guess we just won't use the ceiling fans.
              Too bad, some days I do enjoy windows open and fans going....oh, well, can't scare kitty to death.
              You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

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              • #8
                ^^You're a good kitty parent.
                Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

                You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.

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                • #9
                  Can you try running just one fan on a very slow speed for a while? That'd cut down on the noise, wind and scary movement. You might also try running that one fan in a room where she can "go around" it as much as possible, or that she only has to pass by. My foster dog was very worried about my ceiling fans (at least one is always running in my house), but I turned it off for a little while and let him get thoroughly distracted by other stuff going on before I turned it on (at the slowest setting) again. He completely ignores them now, just like the rest of the critters.

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                  • #10
                    I'm of little help -- I thought my youngest might freak out when I turned on the fan last night, and then I could work on solving it, but nope! He sat on the couch, mesmerized, watching the blades go around and round. He even popped up like a gopher to get a better look. If I hung a rope from the blades, I'm sure he would have tried to hitch a ride!

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                    • #11
                      We have a 'cat toy' that hangs from the ceiling and flies in a circle. Its a bat although I think they come in birds too. Battery operated. We hung this toy out of reach of the Siames Mafia (claws will kill it) and turned it on. Once it was going in a circle and flying well we had 7 cats trying to catch it.

                      Maybe a ceiling hung cat toy...would get your cat over the fear of stuff flying over her head in a circle?
                      the NOT!! Spoiled!! Arabian Protectavest poster pony lives on in my heart

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jen-s View Post
                        ^^You're a good kitty parent.
                        Yes you are.
                        "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- George Bernard Shaw

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