When humans are placed in a new environment, such as a workplace or a house, it takes them a while to feel comfortable. The same thing happens with cats, especially if they are the shy type.
If a shy cat became your new family member, you need to remember that no matter how excited you are to show your cat their new home, you cannot rush the process of him getting comfortable there. If you do, he might see it as a threat and go into defence. And you don’t want your cat to be afraid of you, do you?
Luckily, there are things that you can do that your cat will feel more comfortable, less anxious and will begin to trust you. What are those things? Well, if you want to find out, all you have to do is keep reading.
Create The Right Environment
It doesn’t matter how big or how beautiful your house or that you have a self cleaning litter box for your cat to enjoy – it is still a new place.
To make your cat more comfortable in a new environment, you should give him a limited amount of space to get his bearings. Think about the lighting and sound – lower the lights to avoid him feeling exposed, and be sure that there’s no loud music playing or people talking loudly.
Provide Hiding Places
If your cat wants to hide, don’t view it as a negative thing. He probably just wants to calm himself down – after all, it’s in the hiding that he can do it and start to evaluate his surroundings. If you want to encourage your cat to explore his new house, you should provide him with some hiding places.
You can do that by using tunnels, open boxes, a paper bag placed on the side, cave-style cat beds or anything that comes into your mind. Keep in mind that if you’re using paper bags, all of the handles should be removed – and never use plastic bags.
Provide Scent Opportunities
The scent is one of the cat’s communication devices. If you want your cat to be more comfortable around you, you should let him get to know your smell while he is in his comfort zone.
How to do it? You can put towels, t-shirts or other things that have your smell around his hiding places. That way he can get to know you, without fear of you getting too close to him.
Use Food To Build Trust
When you first start feeding a shy cat, you should place the bowl somewhere he feels comfortable, and leave the room so that he will feel safe. After a while, you should be able to stay in the same room as he is at a distance. If you schedule the meals, your cat might start to associate you with getting food.
You can also keep some treats on you so that every time you pass by him or enter the room, you can toss it near him – but remember to do it gently.
Use Your Voice
If you want your cat to get used to your presence, you can’t use an excited, high-pitched voice. Instead, you should speak quietly, with a gentle tone as cats react better to those types of sounds. If you have children, try to make them understand how they should behave around the new family member to not scare him.
Use Interactive Play
One of the ways in which you can build trust in a shy cat is by playing with him. However, do it with a fishing pole-type toy, so that it will allow him to remain in his comfort zone because of the distance. Don’t try to come closer – move only the toy. Since your cat is shy, the movements you make should be gentle and easy.
Let Your Cat Set The Pace
Remember that if you want your cat to become comfortable, you cannot try and force him into interacting with you. Don’t pull him out of his hiding place, and don’t try to hold him in your arms if he walks out of it.
Your cat needs to know that he has control over how close to you he wants to get. Let him set the place, and show him that he has nothing to fear – soon enough, he will start feeling comfortable in his new house.
Making a shy cat feel comfortable in your house and around you is hard and takes time. However, if you implement the things listed above, you should be able to do it without any problem. So Good Luck!