More than aloofness, shy or skittish cats are sometimes invisible, running from and even hiding from their owners. At some point during the day, the majority of cats will find a place to be alone in a secluded area. However, the shy cat will rarely be seen. This particular cat may not be getting enough food, water or exercise. The ultimate goal with a shy cat is to make them feel more secure. So how do you do that?
Evening: The easiest starting point can be in the evening. Cats are nocturnal animals by nature. They move around more in the evenings. Start by sitting quietly at night with no lights on to see if your “scaredy cat” is moving around. Some cats feel more secure at nightfall.
Patience: Sometimes it takes a little or even a lot of patience to work with a cat. Make sure to give your cat the space she needs but reassure them with your tone of voice and actions that you will not harm her. Sometimes feeding your cat in their hiding place will make them feel safer. Working with a shy cat can sometimes take weeks or even months.
Enjoyment: Make it worth your cats while to pay attention to you! Treats can do wonders sometimes. A soft voice and petting your cat can also help. Does your cat enjoy a special toy? If so, make time to socialize with your cat daily. Find something that your cat enjoys and reserve that for your interaction with your cat.
Force: Never force your cat out of it’s hiding area. This will only reinforce their shyness and you risk being scratched or bitten. Let her come out on her terms.
Illness or Vet: If you have always had a very social, friendly cat and you take notice that she is not acting that way any longer, this could be a sign of illness and a trip to the vet could be in order.