Whether you’ve got a timid new kitten or an older cat that’s shy, there are a number of ways to help them warm up to others and feel more comfortable socializing. It’s important not to rush into it as you could make your cat more afraid, but with time and patience you’ll have a kitty that’s happy to come out and say hello to guests, even if it’s just for a minute.
#1 – Start in a Small Room
Starting in a small room will put you two much closer together than if you have an entire house full of space. Your cat will still be able to hide and will feel comfortable, but will be able to watch you and see that you aren’t so scary after all. If you’re bringing home a new cat, starting in a small space will be easier for the cat to adjust. Before you know it, your cat might be coming over to check you out.
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#2 – Use Food
Some cats respond well to treats or pieces of food offered and will gladly, though cautiously, come over to take it from you. Try not to reach out for your cat immediately as he’s coming over, but know that as time goes on and he keeps taking food you can eventually get closer and closer as he gets more comfortable approaching you. Soon enough, he’ll learn that you bring tasty treats and won’t be so afraid anymore.
#3 – Stay Positive
Socializing a shy and fearful cat can be a long, frustrating process. But it’s important to have a positive attitude and stay focused on the progress you’re making. If you’re upset, your cat will catch on and become more agitated and uncomfortable. You actually risk setting yourself back even further than you originally started.
#4 – Let Your Cat Come to You
It’s completely natural for people to want to coddle fearful animals, but you’ll likely make your cat’s anxiety worse by coming at her. Let your cat approach you and guests first, because you’ll know she’s feeling comfortable enough to say hello. If strangers or even you come running at her, you’re just going to scare her off. Even if she only stays for a minute, let her leave and allow her to relieve the stress of human interaction – eventually she’ll want to stay around longer.
#5 – Keep It Quiet
Cats are easily startled by loud noises, especially since their hearing is far better than ours. If you and your guests stay quiet, he might feel more inclined to come out because it seems safer. Even loud laughter can be frightening to a shy feline, so don’t be discouraged if he runs away as soon as people start talking again.