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Fearful Behavior in Cats
Scaredy Cats - Part 1
Cats don't always act affectionately or want to be petted
and held. Some cats, especially if they had a hard
kitten hood, are less than affectionate and want nothing to
do with humans in general.
If you notice that your new cat makes itself scarce when you
or other people are around, that it tends to slink around
and stay close to the walls away from you, hides if you look
straight at it, and if the cat shies away when anyone tries
to pet it, then you may have a scaredy cat on your hands.
You want to shower your cat with love and affection. You
want to be able to hold your cat on your lap and stroke its
head. So why is it so nervous about you or other people?
If you have a scaredy cat that is past kitten hood then you
may never get that cat to enjoy the company of anyone but
your family members. But you may be able to retrain it to
enjoy your company. Just because your cat shies away from
you now doesn't mean it will be that way forever. You simply
must be patient with your cat. Forcing the issue will only
make your cat resentful of you.
The important thing to do is to create a relaxed, wholesome
place where your cat can feel comfortable. Be sure that your
cat always has food and water when it wants it. Be sure to
provide a safe place for your cat to retreat to should it
want to be left alone. And provide a
litter box and keep it
clean so that the cat has a safe place to deposit waste.
Litter box problems are a major cause of nervousness and
stress for a cat, especially if it is not the only cat in
Proper care goes a long way in making a cat feel at home.
Don't force affection on the cat, that isn't what is being
explored here. What you want to do is remain calm and
provide a loving atmosphere, not force your cat to endure
petting sessions because you want affection.
When a cat is brought into a new home it is natural for it
to be cautious and shy. Until it thoroughly explores its
environment and feels comfortable in your home it will tend
to shy away from you and not want to be interrupted in its
exploration. With kittens this is especially the case.
Kittens are new to the world in general and have so much
energy anyway that trying to get them to stay still while
you pet them is nearly impossible.
A kitten that is introduced to humans when it is very small
and is handled a lot will most likely turn into an
affectionate cat, especially if you get the kitten just
after it has been weaned and then gently handle the kitten a
lot. It will bond to you like you were its mother.
Please see Scaredy Cats - Part 2 for more information.
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