Tips to Help Your Shy Cat or Timid Cat
23 March, 2015
Shy Cat From Shelter

If you just adopted a cat from a shelter, there is a good chance he will be shy or timid at first.  Or maybe your new kitty is just apprehensive around new people or being in a new home. We don’t want our cats to be timid or scared and sometime being shy can lead to aggressive behavior.  Below are some tips to help your shy or timid cat to come out of his or her shell.

Give your kitty a separate room or area that is just for your cat

If you just adopted a cat, your kitty is probably used to being only around other cats or in a separate cage by him or herself and a completely different environment.  Your kitty is encountering new family members, sights and/or smells, so it is best to give your cat a safe room or area for as long as needed.  And don’t be surprised if your kitty stays under the bed for several days, just coming out long enough to eat and use the litter box.

A shy kitty needs to be approached slowly and at his or her pace

Cats who are shy or have not been properly socialized or from a shelter are usually suspicious and fearful. They might communicate this fear by biting and scratching. The key is to have your kitty get used to handling so that he or she knows that nothing bad will happen when she’s in your arms.  However, make sure that your kitty comes to you when he or she is ready.  Approaching your kitty directly might scare him or her.  Your kitty will come out for food and then start trying to bond with your cat.


Shy Cat From Shelter


Try petting your kitty to introduce physical contact

Stroke your cat in areas where she enjoys being pet, such as the top of her head or around her face. Then, pick your kitty up, stroke her feet with your fingertips, move on to the belly, the tail and the back. As you touch her, speak to her softly in a calm, low voice. If your kitty becomes agitated, end the session and leave her alone.  Get to know your cat’s spots that they like to be touched.  Sometimes cats won’t let you near their bellies while other felines live it or some hate it when you scratch their rear ends!

Reward your shy kitty with treats

After a petting session, give your kitty a treat for good behavior.   Try to do many sessions each day, extending the length of the sessions as your cat grows comfortable with you.  Stroke your cat’s ears, play with her paws and always talk in a sweet soothing voice.  If your kitty starts to get aggressive during a play session, just tell her ‘no’ firmly and put her down.  Don’t ever scream or raise your voice at your cat.  It will only scare him or her more and you will lose his trust.

Playing with your kitty will incorporate her trust

Cats are predators by nature, and instinctively need to hunt and kill, even if only with a catnip mouse. Learn what your cat’s favorite type of toy (with trial and error) and schedule playtimes several times daily. This can reduce the amount of misdirected predatory behavior (ankle attacks, etc.) in which your cat engages, and will help the two of you form a close bond.  If you have two cats, they usually will attack and/or play with each other.

Again, if your kitty lashes out at you during play time, simply tell her “no” and end the playing session.  No more fun for your kitty and no rewards!

Introduce your shy cat to new people, but slowly

Once your kitty seems to trust you, it is then time to introduce your cat to new people and/or other cats.  However, before you let other people handle your cat, make sure they know to keep their voices low and calm, at least until the cat is comfortable with them.  And it’s better if your kitty comes to them, and don’t force interaction. It may take a couple of visits before your cat is comfortable with people he or she doesn’t know.

With time, love and patience, you can get your cat to come out of his or her shell.  However, it is important to always be understanding and patient and respect your kitty’s boundaries. Continue to reinforce good behavior and discourage unwanted behavior. Sometimes it will take years to fully complete have a shy kitty to become gregarious, but you’ll be rewarded at the end with an outgoing feline for life!

Join today and start getting popular.  It’s fun, free and the prizes are awesome! 

Like this article?

Orange Tabby Cats…Have More Fun!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *