Fearful cats can seem aggressive or anti-social; however, there is usually a cause for their nervousness. Locating the root of their distress and taking the time to address the problem can help make your cat less skittish. Help put your feline at ease with these tips.
It is important for cats to have positive human interaction, especially during their first two months of life. Once comfortable with you, introduce your feline to friends and family slowly. Encourage people to squat or sit down to appear less intimidating, and let your cat approach them as opposed to them approaching your kitty.
- Create a safe room
Cats are cautious by nature, especially to new places, so creating a room specifically for your pet will help them to be less overwhelmed. This room should include food, litter, a bed, and toys. Keep the door closed at first, then as the cat adapts, open the door for them to venture into the rest of the house when they are ready.
- Establish playtime
Once your skittish cat trusts you, use toys to introduce playtime. Choose a specific toy to start with and bring the toy with you to playtime and take it with you when you leave. This allows your cat to positively associate the toy with you. Toys like feather wands are a great option for introducing interaction because of the distance it places between humans and cats. After your cat has gotten used to the presence of the toy, slowly rotate between petting them with the toy and your hand and playing with the toy to normalize touching.
- Get them out in the open
Especially if your skittish cat is constantly hiding, it is important for them to get used to being out in the open. Place extra blankets, pillows or bins under furniture to restrict potential hiding places. You can also place treats in open spaces to further encourage them to explore those areas.
- Reward sociable behavior
Receiving a reward is a positive experience for cats and can reinforce outgoing behavior. Cat treats and toys can be used to soften their fear. Providing treats and praise when a stranger enters the home or near objects they are fearful of can help your cat to be more comfortable.