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Basically my cat tipped a small cabinet over and got its tail stuck between it and the wall, of course I immediately pulled it back and helped him out.

but now he just runs from me and avoids me at all cost.

Any advice to better the relationship again?

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  • How recent was this accident? Could you somewhat tell if your cat is strictly avoiding only you, or does it seem to be generally scared of all people since the accident?
    – lila
    Apr 28, 2020 at 13:12
  • Are you certain that his tail was not injured in some way? Pain can cause a cat to be skittish and want to hide because they feel vulnerable. It may be good to have him checked at the vet to rule out any treatable injury.
    – Meg
    May 14, 2020 at 20:37

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I'm sorry that you're in this situation! Having your buddy scared of you is no fun at all. Your cat has unfortunately associated you with the scary incident. Which sucks, but the relationship is reparable! It will just take some time and patience. Take things slow, do not rush it. Use your kitty's favorite treat. This treat needs to be SUPER good - so in this case people food is okay unless he has a super favorite cat treat.

Keep tabs on about how far away you can be from your cat before he runs away. Make sure to stay outside of that range and toss treats in his direction as you're walking around. Basically, if you can get 10 feet (around 3 meters) from him before he runs away, toss treats from 12 feet (around 3.6 meters) away. Or if he's shrinking down on the ground as you walk by him, just drop a couple of treats as you walk by without looking at him. He probably won't eat them while you're watching, but that's okay. Over time he'll start associating you with good things instead of the scary thing.

Other things you can do to calm him down are Feliway plug-ins around the house. Feliway mimics the natural cat appeasing pheromone and makes them feel more at ease over time.

If at all possible, try not to force any interactions on him until he starts coming to you on his own again. If you have to force an interaction (if he needs medication, needs a vet trip, etc), stay super calm and make the interaction as low stress and short as you possibly can.

I hope these tips help.

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