Say a cat was freaked out by something. It could be a dream, a scary window critter, an unpleasant sound, or something unknown.
Given that the cat is now freaked out but the cause itself is gone or negligible, is there any way to let the cat know it need not be afraid anymore?
This is just speculation but might it be possible through behavior, sounds, or actions to facilitate a quicker recovery?
I have one cat who, when freaked out by who knows what, will come to whatever room I'm in, sit up in a compact manner (tail wrapped, legs close) and watch the door. My initial reaction would be to pet him but I feel that isn't actually going to help since he desires the high alert state for the time being (affection doesn't make you safer). What I then usually do is simply walk out of the room with him in tow trying to locate the source of the freakout. Often I am led from the rear to wherever he initially came from and I sort of just touch things and look around while talking to him quietly. After that he usually starts to poke around himself and moves on.
This got me thinking about other ways that this could be done or other things I could do. I think I'm doing a pretty good job with the above approach but any other information would be great.