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Hi, I’m new to the forum and I’m hoping someone has some advice. This afternoon, my cat was in my backyard sniffing around. I opened the sliding glass door to let my dog out and it seemed like I scared the cat. He jumped in the air (all four paws off the ground) and then ran in the house growling and hissing. He’s hidden himself in the basement and if I try go near him, he hisses and meows and growls really aggressively. This has never happened before. He’s an affectionate and lovable cat. I’ve NEVER seen this behaviour. I worry that maybe he’s hurt himself but there’s nothing in my backyard to hurt him and I can’t get close to see if there’s anything wrong. He won’t eat food or treats either.
help?
 

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It sounds like some sort of redirected aggression. Usually it involves other cats, but he seems to be blaming you. If one of the neighborhood cats gets inside my patio, Charlee Marie goes NUTS. Absolutely loses it. I'm pretty sure if Cleo would approach her she would get a swat. But I immediately praise Charlee for defending our house and distract her. Thunder sends her into hiding for hours.

I would put food and water (litter box, too, if there's not one down there) near your little guy and wait until he approaches you. I know that's not easy and it's probably hurtful that he's acting this way.
 
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Yes, offering food will often change his mind and he'll forget about that scare outside.....because you happened to be there by the door he made the association that you had something to do with it. So be extra loving to him. Get some of those little cans of Fancy Feast cat food, and put about 1/2 can on a little plate, and waft it under his nose and speak softly to him, and sit down on the floor fairly near him.. I would be surprised if he rejects eating it.....they don't call FF "kitty crack" for nothing. It's irresistible to most cats. Also, give him meals, and don't leave food down for him to eat on his own. This will make it clear to him that you're the source of his food. All the best, and would like to hear an update.
 
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Also, give him meals, and don't leave food down for him to eat on his own. This will make it clear to him that you're the source of his food. All the best, and would like to hear an update.
I disagree with this.
This is the OP's cat.
The cat already knows who gives out the food and that point doesn't need to be made!

I would leave food and water out for the cat nearby, and a litter box, and not try to coax him out. Probably he will come out on his own after a while. If he still is hiding after another week, then you might start other options, but right now there is no need to rush the process.

Most of the time animals need to take their own time to process something that has happened and they do not need to be coaxed or pushed to do it faster than they will do it on their own. Trying to rush the process is disrespectful to the animal, unnecessary, and often backfires.

If he is still hiding after a week, then would go sit in the basement far enough away from him that he doesn't hiss, however far that is....even if it is at the top of the basement stairs, and I would just sit there for about 10 minutes or so a couple times a day, saying and doing nothing. Take a book. Don't look at the cat. Just allow the cat to know you are there and not being threatening.

Let the cat come out and approach you, when he is ready, you don't approach the cat. This has been a trauma for him and in trauma cases you need to operate on the animal's time table, not on yours. I learned this from many years of working with traumatized animals.

People always think they have to DO SOMETHING about it, and of course they mean only well. They want to help. But sometimes doing nothing is the helpful thing to do.
 
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