How to help my cat become less shy?

  • I received my 6 year old cat from a rescue lady. He lived in a bedroom outfitted for cats with perhaps six other cats. When I came to collect him he was hiding out of sight and the lady called him shy

     He has settled in well in the last year and a half but still refuses my touch. He will occasionally rub his face on my toe but if I hold my hand out he will still run away. I don't understand why he won't let me touch him still. I haven't been able to keep up with vet visits because I can't put him in his carrier. What can I do to get him to trust me to touch him? The lady was able to pick him up etc.

  • Hi Carmel,

    Sometime in his life, he may have experienced an event that has traumatized him and left him to be timid and uncomfortable around others. The previous lady may have been able to pick him up because she was able to gain his trust. And you can do that as well. Try enticing him with catnip and toys. Use wand toys to lure him out of hiding places. By providing plenty of one-on-one interactive playtime together will help gain his trust and build a bond together. Use gentle verbal praise and slow movements, blink slowly and offer a yummy treat or two. This will take a bit of time but eventually he should come around and be less afraid of you. 

    If you plan to eventually take him to the veterinarian, make sure to leave the carrier out now and allow him to go in and out of it as he pleases. He may take a nap there. He will become used to it's presence and not associate it with some kind of unpleasant situation. It will be much easier to get him inside, if he is already accustomed to going in at his own will. 

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