11 Skittish Animals That Get Scared Easily (#8 Is Shocking!)

Most animals can get scared easily. Animals have feelings too which is why they can get depressed or anxious.

Even though animals may look strong, in reality they may be skittish and afraid of humans.

So, which animals get scared the most?

The top 11 animals that get scared easily are:

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Rabbits
  • Red Pandas
  • Pandas
  • Snakes
  • Deers
  • Monkeys
  • Pigeons
  • Sheeps
  • Ducks

The animals listed above are the most fearful and skittish animals around.

These Are The Animals That Get Scared Easily

Many animals get scared easily, and we only feature the popular ones.

Animals that get scared easily are typically prey and small-sized animals, which is not surprising.

Let’s discuss each popular animal that gets scared easily!

1. Cats

two cats in a flower garden

There are many species of cats, and they are all cute! Cats are friendly animals, but they are also responsible, and they love to be alone. Cats love to have company, but cats still love to be alone. 

People think their cat is scared of them on the first day they come into their house because their new cats are hiding from them. Yes, new cats can get easily scared, especially if they are introduced to their new houses. 

However, once your cat becomes more comfortable with you and your house, it will start playing, running, and jumping around your house. Cats can also easily get startled, especially if they hear or sense sudden movements. So avoid some sudden movements that will make your cat scared or startled.

I experienced these scenarios as well. When my new Siamese cat came into my house, she tended to hide in one place like I was a monster, and I would eat her if she came out. But today, she is living peacefully and happily with me, and we tend to play every day!

If you have a new cat and he/she is easily scared, you must have patience before they get comfortable. Give them food or treats to make them happy. Make sure that you are near their hiding spot during their first week at your house to let them know that it is ok that you are there.

Related Article: Why Do Cats Like To Be Alone?

2. Dogs

4 dogs running in green field

Dogs can get scared quickly. Like cats, dogs usually get scared quickly if they are introduced to their new house. However, if your new dog gets comfortable with you, he/she will be your great companion. 

I also experienced this scenario. After I bought my Max (Rest In Peace Brodie!) from the shelter, he always ran away from me during his first days with me. However, when I consistently fed him delicious foods, he became my best friend, and we started playing every day before I went to school. 

Dogs might easily get scared during their first weeks at your house. You also need to have patience with them to make them comfortable with you. Dogs with trauma during their young years will often get scared easily.

So if you are going to adopt a dog from a shelter like me, make sure to know the background of the dog you are planning to get. 

3. Rabbits

5 rabbits in a green field

Rabbits are also animals that get scared easily because they are small and prone to predators. It looks like they act scared, but it is a sign of their defense. Rabbits will always turn their alert button so that they can run away immediately if there are predators around.

Rabbits living in the forest can always get anxious because many wild animals or predators live there. Also, rabbits are scared of humans, and I don’t know why! I think it is because they think humans are predators.

When I went to the zoo when I was ten years old, there is one place inside the zoo where you would buy a carrot and you will feed a rabbit face to face. I noticed that rabbits are not like dogs or cats because even though I have food, they are still scared and shaking to death. 

However, maybe I am just making some conclusions inside my head about rabbits. I have already seen many kinds of rabbits from friends, relatives, and neighbors. Their rabbits are all chill and usually not scared of me when I touch them.

I think rabbits living in the zoo or the wild get more anxious and scared because of the stress humans and predators give them. 

4. Red Pandas

red panda in tree

Red Pandas are nocturnal and don’t like to interact with humans. Red Pandas that have been domesticated can still get aggressive toward their keepers. 

This attitude of red pandas proved that they get easily scared, especially on humans. Red pandas can be seen in the Eastern Himalayas in China, Nepal, and Bhutan. They are terrified. That is why they spend most of their time in trees.

5. Pandas

panda eating bamboo

Pandas are known for being friendly, cuddly, and gentle. Some people suggest pandas could be good pets. However, I disagree with them because Pandas should be in a safe place because they are close to extinction. 

Pandas can be very skittish animals especially if the panda is a female. Why? Female pandas love their child so much, and they are scared their child will get hurt. When a female panda has a cub, she will act aggressively to protect her cub. 

It looks like a mommy panda is overreacting, and they are just trying to protect their cubs from potential dangers. It also looks like female pandas get scared easily because of their overreactions when they protect their cub.

6. Snakes

snake close-up in tall grass

Snakes have poor eyesight and can only sense their surroundings by sticking out their tongues and sounds. Snakes can get easily scared because they like walking with their eyes closed. 

Snakes often act aggressively toward humans even though humans won’t bring danger to them. Why? Because it is the instinct of a snake! They don’t care who you are; if you invade their personal space, they bite you and beat you up. 

Snakes are always aggressive because, as I have said, they can’t see. That is why they need to sharpen their ears and feelings to avoid various dangers or threats. Snakes act like they are scared easily, but it is their defensive mechanism. 

7. Deer

male deer standing in forest just before sunset

Like I have said above, prey are usually the animals that get scared easily, and deer are one of them. Deer are the famous food in the forest and are the favorite food of wolves, coyotes, and bears. Why? Because deer are vulnerable, and they don’t look scary. 

They always think that other animals that aren’t related will kill them. Deer don’t just fear predators but also humans because humans usually hunt them for food or clothing. 

When a deer senses danger, it will run for its life. Deer are fast runners and will give their predators a hard time chasing them. Deer will readily act skittish, but it is their way to get ready if danger ever happens. 

8. Monkeys

small black and white monkey hanging from two ropes

Monkeys can also get easily scared, especially by snakes. Monkeys don’t like snakes and curse snakes because snakes eat their ancestors. Also, monkeys aren’t only afraid of snakes. They are scared of humans and other predators also. 

Monkeys that have been domesticated usually become more friendly around humans. However, even though they can be friendly to humans, they will sometimes act aggressively to defend and protect themselves from dangers.

9. Pigeons

pigeon close-up on ledge with cityscape background

There are many types of pigeons, and we can see them every day. Cities and domesticated areas are full of pigeons. However, even though pigeons are exposed to human activities, they can still get scared easily because of humans. 

Pigeons can be pets, but you should only get pigeons from breeders. Never catch one in your city because pigeons in cities are aggressive and wild. 

10. Sheep

group of sheep in a green pasture on a sunny day

Sheep are domesticated animals that are usually seen in groups. Sheep can get scared easily, and they get afraid of many things. These include running water, sudden movements, predators, and humans. 

Sheep are not scared of their shepherd. They are afraid of strangers and people that pose a threat to them. Sheep always want to be with their flock because they are scared to be alone and believe they can survive when they are together.

11. Ducks

two mallard ducks swimming in a pond surrounded by yellow and purple flowers

Have you ever seen ducks crossing the road? If yes, have you noticed something? Ducks that are crossing the road get scared easily because they are prone to various dangers like cars and humans that are crossing. 

Female ducks will act aggressively when crossing the road with their children. Never approach ducks crossing the road because they will run away from you, or maybe they will attack you. 

Why Do Animals Get Scared?

There are many reasons why animals get scared, and the reason why animals get scared is quite apparent. 

Why do animals get scared? Animals get scared because they can sense danger. If they sense that danger is coming, they will become aggressive. Animals get scared because of human and predator threats. Prey animals like cows and deer spend more time being scared than predators

Animals are scared of their predators. Why? Because they are going to be eaten alive! Prey animals are the ones who get scared easily because they are prone to that kind of bloody danger. 

However, predators like lions, tigers, and hyenas can also be scared even though they are on the top of the food chain. They are most likely scared of humans rather than other animals because humans can kill them from a far distance.

Why Are Animals So Scared Of Humans?

All animals that live in the wild and have not been domesticated are usually afraid of humans because they haven’t seen humans yet. Also, they are not used to having contact with humans closely. There are many reasons why animals are scared of humans. 

Animals are scared of humans because of humans’ negative activity in their ecosystems. Wild animals that have not been domesticated are the ones who hate to have contact with humans. They will attack a human if they see one entering their personal space.

However, being scared is better for animals. Why? Because animals that are scared of humans are still alive. Human activities cause death to various animals like deer. Some animals run much quicker from humans than other predators because they know that humans can kill from a distance. 

The fear of being killed is why wild animals don’t like to have contact with humans. For example, deers. Deers will sprint from humans because they know that humans can kill them from a far distance. 

Prey animals are more afraid of humans than their predators. Human activities harm wild animals. It is better to get away from these animals than to have contact with them. It is not only for your safety but also for the safety of wild animals.

Do Animals Get Scared When We Pick Them Up?

Now, this question mostly applies to pets. Pet-like dogs and cats love to get picked up if they are already used to being carried by people. How about other animals? Do they get scared when people pick them up?

Domesticated animals love to get picked up by their owners. However, wild animals will get scared or angry if you pick them up. Wild animals will attack humans that will pick them up, so never pick up a wild animal!

Wild animals are responsible, and they don’t need humans for them to live. However, domesticated animals need humans to live. They love to be carried by humans, and they love the company of humans. 

Why Are Wild Animals More Scared Of Humans Than Domesticated Animals?

Like I have said above, almost all animals are scared of humans, especially wild animals that are not used to human company. Wild animals are much more afraid of humans even though they can take down a human in one glimpse. Why is that so?

Why are wild animals more scared of humans than domesticated animals? Wild animals are more scared of humans than domesticated animals because wild animals are not used to human company. Domesticated animals always see humans every day. That is why they are already used to it and love being with humans. 

However, humans are still afraid of wild animals, even though wild animals are scared of humans. Humans know the capability of wild animals. We know how they attack and how they defend themselves. I certainly don’t promote animal violence. People who do animal violence deserve to be in prison or get eaten by any wild animal.

Final Words

Animals have different behaviors. Some can get scared easily, while some are fearless. We should respect the differences of every animal, and we should respect their personal space. If an animal doesn’t like to get touched, then never go near that animal. If the animal doesn’t like people, then don’t approach them. 

If you want to learn more about animals, please check our other articles on the main menu at the top. We have lots of information about animals to give you! 

Jake Willhoite
Jake runs AnimalDome.com and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
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