Why Are Cats Scared of Balloons?

Balloons are ultimately harmless so why are cats so afraid of them? Read on to find out why your cat is scared of balloons.

Cats are afraid of balloons because balloons are unpredictable, emit a strange smell that cats dislike, and make strange, unfamiliar sounds. Your cat is naturally wary of anything that it doesn’t understand. In its eyes, the balloon could be a predator or a dangerous object.

As you read on, you will learn about the different reasons why cats are scared of balloons. Each reason can be easily explained by the natural behaviors of your cat. You will also find out how you can help your cat overcome its fear of balloons. Finally, you’ll find out if balloons can actually be dangerous to cats.

Why Is My Cat Scared of Balloons?

Balloons Have Unpredictable Movements

The biggest reason why your cat is scared of balloons is that it can’t understand the way that a balloon moves. Balloons will move around or stay completely still depending on what the air is like in the room or place it’s in. Your cat has no idea what a balloon is so when it starts to move around, it looks like a floating predator.

Cats may be used to flying beings like birds, but they’ve never seen a bird that looks like a balloon. Your cat might be a natural predator towards birds, but there are actually birds that hunt cats. Your cat thinks that this round and colorful object can hurt or try to eat it the same way hawks or owls would.

Balloons Smell Weird to Cats

Compared to humans, cats have a highly sensitive sense of smell. Balloons are normally filled up with helium gas and rubber. Both of these emit a smell that might not be a big deal to people but can bother a cat. Your cat can smell a balloon even from a good distance and prefer to stay away.

Even to people, rubber and helium can smell strange. That strange smell is amplified and difficult to ignore for cats. Cats normally avoid things that smell strange because their instincts tell them that the balloon might be toxic.

Balloons Make Unfamiliar Sounds

Aside from having a strange appearance and smell, balloons can also make strange noises when you grab or touch them. Cats are especially alert when it comes to strange noises and will treat a new sound like it’s the sound of a predator.

Balloons can also make a loud sound when they pop. Since your cat has sensitive ears, a surprising sound like a balloon popping can give it quite the fright. Imagine seeing a floating round object explode and make a loud pop for the first time. Any cat wouldn’t know what to do in that situation except run away and hide.

How to Make Your Cat Overcome a Fear of Balloons

Your cat is scared of balloons because it doesn’t know what they are and assumes that they’re dangerous. You can easily fix this by teaching your cat that balloons aren’t a threat.

A good way to do this is by taping a balloon to a coin and letting it float around a part of your home that your cat frequents. The more time your cat spends with a balloon, the sooner it will understand that balloons are nothing to be afraid of.

Are Balloons Actually Dangerous to Cats?

Although being around a balloon isn’t dangerous to a cat, ingesting one is! Some cats might be curious enough to try and eat a popped balloon lying around. If your cat eats a balloon, the rubber can get stuck in its digestive system and cause several health issues.

Your cat will likely choke on the balloon and possibly suffocate. If it manages to swallow the balloon, your cat might need to undergo surgery to have the balloon removed from its stomach. You should always make sure to clean up as soon as possible after events that used multiple balloons to keep your cats safe.

Final Thoughts

To cats, balloons are floating objects that smell funny and make scary sounds. If you think about it, a cat’s fear of balloons is perfectly logical if you look at it from a cat’s perspective.

Even if your cat is scared of balloons, there are a number of ways that you can work around it. You can either teach your cat that balloons are safe or just keep your cat away from them.

Remember that you shouldn’t punish your cat for being scared of balloons. If your cat displays aggressive behaviors around balloons, it’s simply trying to tell you that it is scared, uncomfortable, or threatened. You should always provide your cat with an environment that makes it feel safe.