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12 of the MOST Anxious Animals (Pictures)

Anxiousness is a feeling that occurs when you feel afraid or nervous. This is a normal fear response, and anxious animals aren’t uncommon in the wild. If you’ve ever observed an animal in the wild, you’ll know that they frequently react to danger by fleeing or hiding. However, they’ll occasionally make strange noises or even pretend to be dead.

This article will discuss some of the animals that are easily frightened or nervous as well as what happens when they’re scared.

12 Anxious animals

1. Cheetahs

Cheetah face with black tear markings
Cheetah face with black tear markings

Scientific Name: Acinonyx jubatus

Cheetahs are the fastest land animals in the world. They’re carnivores, or meat eaters, and hunt by chasing their prey. These animals can even run at speeds of up to 130 km/h.

Cheetahs are typically anxious animals despite their potential for speed. These big cats are solitary creatures that’ll easily flee from large predators. They’ll even try to escape and abandon their prey if a larger predator starts fighting them over it.

2. Ostriches

Group of ostrich under white sky
Group of ostrich under white sky

Scientific Name: Struthio camelus

Ostriches are the world’s largest birds, and unlike other birds, they can’t fly because their wings are too small to support their massive body weight. Instead, they run at speeds up to 70 kilometers per hour!

Ostriches also have long necks and legs, allowing them to reach food that other animals can’t. When scared, these animals are commonly thought to have their heads buried in the ground, which isn’t true. When they’re anxious, ostriches will either flee the danger or drop down and stretch their neck until it’s flat on the ground, hoping to blend in with the sandy ground.

3. Elephants

Family of elephants
Family of elephants

Scientific Name: Loxodonta africana

Elephants are the largest land animals on the planet, weighing up to 15,000 pounds. They have large ears that help them stay cool in hot weather, as well as trunk-like noses that they use to eat, drink, and breathe.

These large mammals are also highly social and intelligent. They’re extremely sensitive to each other’s emotions and can easily become anxious when a threat is nearby. When an elephant is nervous or scared, it’ll curl up its trunk, swing its foot, and even stiffen its ears.

4. Ducks

Mallard duck standing
Mallard duck standing

Scientific Name: Anas platyrhynchos

Ducks are social animal that has been observed to form strong bonds with other ducks throughout each season. However, these animals are also prone to anxiety.

Because they’re naturally scared, they’re easily frightened by loud noises and motions indicating that a predator is near them. When these birds feel anxious, they’re frequently observed pacing back and forth and flapping their wings, or even running away from their current location or screaming when they’re restrained.

5. Cats

Cat stares at the sky
Cat stares at the sky | Image by Susann Mielke from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Felis catus

Cats are domesticated animals that are frequently regarded as human companions. Cats also have a keen sense of smell and hearing, and can detect sounds that humans can’t.

These animals are naturally solitary, but they have also been observed to be easily frightened and highly anxious creatures. When cats are nervous or afraid, they may exhibit unusual behaviors such as hiding under furniture or meowing loudly. Cats also tend to avoid new people and unfamiliar situations.

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6. Opossums

Virginia Opossum
Virginia Opossums | Image by daynaw3990 from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Didelphis virginiana

Opossums are small mammals found throughout North, Central, and South America. These little guys are North America’s only marsupial, which means they have a pouch on their belly where they put their babies while they’re developing.

This animal is also prone to anxiety and will take any opportunity to avoid danger or stressors in their environment, including dropping to the ground and pretending to be dead until the source of their anxiety is removed.

7. Dogs

Woman playing with dog
Woman playing with dog

Scientific Name: Canis lupus familiaris

A dog is a domestic animal that has been bred specifically to live and work with humans. They’re descended from wolves and share many of their characteristics, but are more docile and less aggressive.

Dogs are very social animals and are prone to anxiety, either naturally or as a result of how their owners raise them. Some dog breeds are more prone to separation anxiety, while a variety of factors, such as loud noises and other stressful situations, can trigger others.

8. Rabbits

European Rabbit
European rabbit | image by Peter O’Connor aka anemoneprojectors via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Oryctolagus cuniculus

Rabbits are small mammals with long ears, powerful hind legs, and short tails. They’re generally very social animals that live in groups known as “warrens.”

These fluffy animals are prone to anxiety because they’re prey animals, which means rabbits are constantly on the lookout for predators. Rabbits become anxious when they feel unsafe in their environment. When they hear something that could be stressful, you’ll notice them hiding and holding their ears back or curling up into a ball.

9. Deers

White-tailed Deer female
White-tailed Deer female | image by Florida Fish and Wildlife via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

Scientific Name: Odocoileus virginianus

A deer is a type of animal that lives in forests and fields. They have large eyes, long legs, and a small tail. These animals are herbivores, which means deers only eat plants. They’re primarily preyed upon by wolves, mountain lions, bobcats, and people.

Deer are known to be anxious animals because they tend to feel nervous around loud noises or sudden movements. When these creatures are nervous or scared, they’ll stop and identify the source of the noise before fleeing the perceived threat.

10. Sheeps

Flock of sheep
Flock of sheep

Scientific Name: Ovis aries

Sheep are a popular farm animal found in many countries around the world. These animals have a distinct appearance, with short tails and a woolly coats. They’re very social animals that live in groups known as flocks.

Flocks are groups of sheep that do everything together, such as sleeping, eating, and keeping an eye out for predators. These creatures are prey animals, which means sheep are hunted by predators. As a result of this threat to their survival, sheep are anxious animals who fear being attacked by predators whenever they’re alone or separated from their flock members.

11. Chickens

Chicken in net
Chicken in net by 💙♡🌼♡💙 Julita 💙♡🌼♡💙 from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Gallus gallus domesticus

Chickens are a type of bird found on farms, in the wild, and even in your own backyard. They’re flightless birds that are often kept in coops and used for egg-laying purposes. Chickens are anxious animals that can become extremely nervous when threatened.

They’re also very cautious animals, anticipating any danger that may arise. When chickens are frightened, they’ll flap their wings and run around quickly. However, if they’re trapped by their predator and are unable to flee, these anxious animals will begin acting dead until the predator leaves.

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12. Goats

Goat eats fresh grass | Image by svklimkin from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Capra hircus

Goats are unusual animals that can be anxious even when well-cared for. They have horns to protect themselves from predators who might try to attack them. Goats also use them in competition with other goats for food or territory. These animals will bleat, flee, or even lose their appetite in stressful situations.

Even some goat species have been observed to faint when frightened. When they’re in a fight or flight situation, their body shuts down as a way of responding to fear.