More often than not, pet cats need help from their human families, especially when they have a neglected or abused passed. Of course, for their material needs, we can easily provide, such as food, shelter, toys, cat scratching posts, and others. But as for emotional ones, we might have a hard time as they are fragile.
Then again, an abused past should never be a reason to give up on a shy cat. At first, he may fear socializing with people or others of his kind. Still, you can help. Begin by following the steps below.
1. Motivate your pet cat with food.
To encourage positive interaction from a shy cat, try offering food at first. However, keep in mind that not all felines are motivated by such. To know whether he is enticed by food, put a small amount of cat food at the end of a stick. If your pet smells or licks it, then it’s a good start.
When doing this, talk to him in a soft voice. Call him by his name and let him know what you are doing. That way, he’ll know it’s going to be fine.
2. Pet him with a stick.
Once you notice positive signs like smelling the food, gently pet him on his head using the stick. If he seems to like it, pet him again using the stick on the back of his neck. Otherwise, you need to wait several seconds before trying again. Don’t worry if he gets resistant in the beginning. If you do this repeatedly, he’ll be used to it. When your four-legged buddy is receptive to petting, proceed with offering him a cat-friendly treat.
3. Pet him with your hand.
Now, you can slowly introduce him to human touch. Once your cat accepts human touch, it could be your best achievement.
For protection, it would be best to wear a pair of gloves. Start petting him in his head to the back. If he is feeling comfortable with you and is becoming very responsive to your touch, you can remove your gloves and use your hands. Of course, like the previous steps, you can be successful with this step by doing this repeatedly.
4. Learn how to pick him up properly.
The first attempt can be a bit scary, especially for a very shy cat. Thus, be ready for any aggressive reactions. Begin by offering him food on your hands. And then, pet him. Next, hold him by grasping the loose skin at the back of his neck and gently lift the front paws off the floor for several seconds. After which, put him down and pet her. Do this for a couple of times.
If your cat seems to be stressed by this move, you will have to gain his trust. Perform the first three steps over and over until he trusts you. To end this session, offer him treats.
5. Prepare him for lap time.
As soon as your pet cat is comfortable with being picked up, you can practice him for lap time. Yet, be ready because your pet might be stressed out by this. He may think that the cat bed or cat cage is the safest place. So, if you take him out, he’ll definitely panic. Don’t worry though. In time, he will be accustomed to getting out of the cage.
Ideally, when working on this step for the first time, ten to fifteen seconds is long enough. After which, return him to the cage. You have to make him understand that after being placed on your lap, he could still go back to the place he considers safe and secured.
Make sure that when you hold your pet on your lap, pet her. Eventually, he will get comfortable and enjoy your touch. No matter how much he likes it, pay attention to his body language. Check any signs of stress or discomfort.
6. Spend time with him.
Once you get your pet cat’s trust, it’s time to introduce him to the playroom. In this place, he can interact with different types of people. Yet, he might need time to get along with others.
To make it easier for him to adjust, be sure that the playroom has enough hiding places. Also, there should be cat scratching posts that have built-in toys, hammocks, and beds for relaxation. You never know when he’ll need some time for himself.
Don’t fret if he runs away from you at first. Give him about an hour to explore. If, still, he has not found comfort in the area, distract him with food or toys. In the event it doesn’t work, pet him on your lap and return him to his cage. Just don’t give up.
After all these steps, your shy cat should turn into a playful and curious cat with social skills. He is ready to trust and does not live in fear of what will happen next. But as his owner and family, always be responsible and be sensitive to what’s going on.