Some abused cats may be severely injured and damaged on the outside, while others are in good shape. Regardless of how they may look on the outside, they are hurting on the inside. The physical pain is bad enough, but the emotional pain is harder to fix. A cat who has been physically abused will still answer to a soft voice and a soft touch, just as long as they know they will no longer be abused.
If you have a cat who has been emotionally abused, then you need to be patient and wait until the cat comes over to you. The cat will be confused and not know whether or not you plan to abuse him or her, so they may be afraid. You need to take your time with it and let the cat know that there is nothing to be afraid of. If you do this, then eventually your cat will come over to you. When the cat finally does decide to come over to you, let the cat sniff you and then pet him or her. The cat will eventually learn that you can be trusted and will not hurt them, and they will start coming to you when you call them.
If you raise your voice and yell, or use flyswatters or water guns as means for discipline in the wrong way, you may cause emotional damage to the cat. If you to continue to discipline an emotionally damage cat in the wrong way, then the cat may become mean or lethargic. It is easier to reach out to a mean cat, as they care about what happens to them. However, a lethargic cat could care less about what happens to them. So you want to be sure you do not begin or continue to discipline the cat in the wrong way.
When a cat becomes lethargic, they will not take treats, play, or respond to anything you may say. One way to get a lethargic cat to respond it to bring home a companion cat. As time goes by, the lethargic cat will look for attention, usually wanted a pay or scratch. When this does happen, be sure to snuggle with the cat and use a soft voice. At this point, raising your voice is not a good idea. Instead, you should let the cat know that he or she is doing better with their behavior.
Abused cats who are lethargic are still quite traumatized. If this applies to your cat, then you should be sure that your movements around him are slow. When the cat begins coming around and letting you once again touch him, then he is going back to his normal self. But remember, with a situation such as this, it may take some. If you raise your voice and the cat becomes upset again, then he may go back into hiding. But if you continue to have patience and speak to your cat in a soft voice, then they will get past it eventually. So if you do get a lethargic cat, then prepare yourself for a long and intensive healing period, and have as much patience with them as you possibly can.
Now if you have an angry or mean cat, they may run away from you, or they will scratch and fight you. The best thing you can do for a mean cat is to treat them gently and use a soft voice. You should avoid using strict discipline and raising your voice. Doing so will only make your cat meaner. You should never try to trap him either, as it will only make them react. Instead, be patient and let your cat know that you are there for him and love him. If you are patient and loving, then he will eventually calm down.
Sadly, there are abused cats out there, both physically and emotionally abused. What they need is a good home with an owner who will love them and take care of them. Remember when dealing with abused cats, be patient, loving, and gentle, and let them know that you are there to take care of them, not hurt them.