Ok, so we do talk a lot about dogs.  But what about our feline friends?  If you are bringing a new cat into the home, whether from a rescue or breeder, they can be shy.  Here are some tips to help your cat embrace her social side!

Does this hit a chord?  You’ve brought your new cat home, and anxious to give her a loving family home that she deserves.  But as soon as she arrives, she runs …. you search high and low, see no sign of her.  And then, there she is under the sofa – peering out in sheer terror!  That’s what we call a shy cat!


Can I socialise my cat?

“If your new cat is shy, there are several ways to help it become more confident and sociable. When you first bring it home put it in a small space to begin with, such as a small room, so it can get used to that before being confronted with the rest of the house. Feeding it or giving it treats can also help break down the barriers, along with talking to it in a low soothing voice and using its name frequently. “



You are going to need time and patience, but if you persevere you can get there.  Here are some tips:

  1. The blame game – it’s not your fault, or the cat’s fault!

Your intentions were good, but your cat may hae been traumatized by ome other experience, and maybe just never properly socialized.

  1. Patience and compassion

It can be frustrating to try and try to help your new cat to no avail. But don’t give up.  She may appear to not be responding, but it’s just time. Your compassion and patience may provide insight into what might help her.

  1. Start with a small space

Hopefully when you brought your cat home, you placed her in a small room — either a guest bedroom, a bathroom, or something similar — along with bedding, food, water, litter boxes and toys. A shy cat will cope better if she can familiarize herself with a small space first.

Large spaces can be intimidating for a shy cat, and as a result she may take refuge behind furniture or cabinets.

  1. Keep it quiet

A loud football game, or a party are fun noises for you. For cats, not so much. Not only do cats have very sensitive hearing, but loud noises terrify shy cats.

  1. Talk to the cat in a soothing voice

Keep the pitch and volume of your voice low, tell the cat what you’re going to do, and use her name often. Imagine you’re talking to a baby who needs comforting. Maybe you can even sing her a little lullaby.

  1. Food is a great way to win friends and influence kitties

Even the most timid cat can be won over by tasty food. Try coaxing your cat with something delicious.

  1. Allow the cat to approach you

When your shy cat does poke her head out from her hiding place, don’t rush to touch her. Hold your hand out in a relaxed position, with the palm down, and allow her to determine how close she gets.

  1. Keep it positive

Don’t stop working with your shy cat if she regresses in response to something you did. Instead, finish your interaction with something you and she have previously enjoyed together.

If you’ve recently brought a cat into your home, learn more about your pet insurance options here


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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals

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