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Cats and Kittens

that are Timid and Shy

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Scaredy Cats - Part 2
By: Alfred

Unfortunately, if a kitten or cat isn't handled or cared for
by humans they tend to remain shy and furtive. This is
because they are then more feral than tamed. Kittens need
to be handled by humans a lot in order to become good house

The first six weeks are essential in imprinting a cat to
humans, and if the kitten hasn't been handled during that
period it will probably still be tame, but it won't be
likely to be an affectionate pet.

In fact, if kittens are not imprinted to humans in the first
six weeks you usually wind up with a half wild cat that will
let you care for it, but it will probably never really trust
you or be affectionate toward you. The more time a cat
spends around humans and being handled by humans the more
comfortable it will be around humans.

If you have brought home a cat from the pound or shelter you
may not know the cat's origins, and if it was never kept
around humans (feral kitten or a "barn kitten") and handled or if
it was abused by humans it will remain scared and timid.

There is, of course, a possibility of retraining cats to at
least accept your presence, but the important thing is to
not force your affection on the cat. You want to create a
loving environment where the cat can feel safe. Then as time
goes by offer the cat treats for coming close to you or
allowing you to pet it. Treats are usually some kind of tuna
snack or something else that would be appetizing to the cat.

If this system is too slow for you then you should re-
examine why you got this cat. Did you get the cat because
you needed affection? If this is the case then you should
have gotten an affectionate cat to begin with. Cats are not
dogs and most will not sit lovingly at your feet for hours
like a dog will. Cats do enjoy being petted and sitting in
your lap if they have been around humans and are
affectionate. But not all cats are affectionate to humans,
just like not all dogs are. There are exceptions to every
rule. Some cats are scared or fraidy cats.

You might be able to train your cat to accept you more
quickly if there is a reason that you just can't wait for
your cat to come to you on its own, especially if it is
still a kitten. Daily, wrap the cat in a towel with only its
head showing and pet it for a few minutes, then let it go.
Talk lovingly and soothingly while you do this. Gradually
increase the length of this time every day until your cat
will accept being petted. This takes patience and getting
frustrated can undo all of your hard work. It's best to do
this only when you are calm. If you are agitated for any
reason your cat will pick up on it and act accordingly by
fighting you.

It's important that you give your cat space. Just like you
wouldn't like your cat trying to get in your lap all the
time, not every cat wants affection whenever you feel like
it. Be sure to accept your cat and cherish the times when
you are both together and want to be affectionate toward
each other.

Some cats will never get over being timid. If you just don't
like that your cat seemingly rejects your affections you may
want to think about finding the cat a new home and getting
another cat that will accept your affections. Cats are not
that easy to train and if timidity and fear are a part of
your cat's personality you may never be able to train it out
of it. In either event, be responsible and think of the cat
before yourself.

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