Is the cat afraid of you, or just visitors to your house? I have a cat that I got at the pound as a kitten about 6 years ago. She has never warmed up to anyone except the three of us (me, husband, son). It's just her personality. The worst thing is when people come into the house and try to get right up on her and pet her right away. If they would just sit down and shut up and leave her alone, I think she'd come to them eventually. You can't change the cat, you'll just have to change your guests!
Basically, prevention is the best medicine. You can start by giving the cat lots of chances to meet new people of diverse age, size, shape, race and also gender. Ensure also that it interacts with people who appear to be unique for some reason, like people in wheelchairs, people wearing hats and glasses, and also people with beards. Find out more tips on http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/shy-fearful-cats.
Cats are creatures of habit. If you have lots of company, eventually they will get used to it. If not, it may take a while. My cat is a rescue cat. I've had him for 3 years. He still runs when strangers come in the house. If I move a piece of furniture or get something new in the house he jumps 3 feet when he rounds the corner and sees it. It's really quite funny. Don't push him let him do it himself. Good luck.
Sometimes our pets are afraid of other people, because they are like kids, if there are only around you and not too many others, they would be used to you only. Just keep showing him love and she will warm up to other.
11 months ago
Last edited at 9:26AM on 6/21/2012
I agree with what most have answered. Cats see life their way. Consistency is key the same thing the same way every day. Feed the animal, talk with the animal, speak low and calm. Once they get use to you which is a major plus, then they might get use to others. But once Feral, it is very hard to change. It can be done and has been done. The ASPCA specializes is seeing if an animal can be brought back to being trusting of humans.
If your cat is affectionate and comfortable with you, but massively shy of strangers, then the only remedy is time and to introduce people to him/her at a gentle pace. It may be crowds and loud noise that s/he is afraid of, and giving the cat a chance to get accustomed to individuals on a regular basis will at least make it comfortable with those people. Feral cats were born and "raised" in the wild, so they've never been socialized. However, some cats that are "domesticated" (indoor), just don't have enough experience with strangers to not be frightened by them; I have 2 of those myself. Coming from the pound also probably made the cat scared and shy, and time may heal that. Be patient and loving, encouraging when strangers are over, and it will work out. Good luck!
Well, it is much easier to deal with this particular issue the younger the cat - we recently acquired an 8 week-old kitten, who was totally afraid of everything - but we put some food in a cage trap, and brought her home; she was kept in our bathroom, with plenty of water and dried food, and stroked and caressed her a lot. After about two weeks, we gradually took her out of the bathroom to the rest of our house, and introduced her to our 8 yr old tom cat, (she's a queen, by the way). They sniffed at each other, then the following day, they licked each other's noses, and have been friends ever since! I'm not sure if it's the right way, but it certainly worked well for us!
Have you had the cat since it was a kitten or did you adopt it off the street? My sister has a cat rescue and they pick up the cats both from bad owners and on the street. They take those from the street that are adoptable and place them. Those that are feral get captured, fixed and released. If you got the cat off the street, you may want to release it.
Like everyone else, I suggest patience and a gentle, subtle introduction to new people. Our cat was pretty wild when we got him and he refused to be any part of a "gathering", be it family or social. In the end, he was quite happy to interact with us, but had no interest in anyone from outside the house. We made sure any visitors knew not to approach or try to pet him as he was very defensive and could be aggressive when cornered. We didn't lock him up while guests were present but he used to hide out, usually in the bedroom. Sometimes he would sneak out to see who was with us before slinking back to his hideaway. He was with us for many years, though, and over time we found he'd relate better to our "regular" friends. But the only affection I ever saw from him was when it was just us, on our own.
Each one is different, like people...If he's grown to trust you, just take each step at a time. He may or may not ever get around to accepting others - or he may pick and choose. Just be patient, watch the signs, give him opportunities (treats, if he's food motivated!), and lots of love! Whether on not he becomes social shouldn't really be an issue if he's not aggressive towards others, and that you have a strong, loving relationship with him! Good luck, and enjoy your furbuddy! What a blessing you found each other!
Me and my cousin seen some wild ferral cats's and we wuz drinkin Budwisers's to cool of so we got some dry dog food and cut it up so the cat could eat it and we set the food down and the cat eated it. My cousin set his budwiser down and another ferral cat started licking the neck of the bottel. We tried pouring beer in the water dish and all the outside ferral cats's like to drink beer. Believe it on not it is it true! Signed Paco Martinez, Hespermia, CA 92345
I say just let it be.I have 3 acts 1 loves people the other 2 don't. If I try & bring them out to meet new people they will claw at u & do every thing they can to get away from u. to go & hide. so we just let them be . If they come out they come out, if they don't they don't. theres no sence in trying to fight with them just so people can see them.
Oh wow, I can totally relate. A friend gave me a feral kitten she rescued. She thought it would make us feel better since our 22 year old cat had died not long before. Although we tried everything, going to cat "behaviourists" etc., the poor cat was never really happy and would attack anyone who tried to pet it even when the cat "asked" for petting by purring and rubbing up against our hands. We learned to leave it alone but it was a sad, bad situation for all involved basically. The vets all told us that feral cats have a really hard time adjusting to domestication and that it is best to NOT try to "tame" them. The cat died 6 years later from diabetes. (Feral cats don't have a natural long lifespan and the commercial catfood is not what they usually eat.) The next cat we get will be from the shelter like our first cat was. In Detroit we are putting live traps out to catch, fix and then release the wild kitties back into the parks.
Hi. I had a cat that was hard to get to know, but eventually came around. I fed him regularly and got one of those feather toys on a stick. When he was eating I would stroke him gently and speak to him softly, but not touch him with my hand (WOW, the hoops they can get us to jump through!). After a couple of months, he came around and was a fantastic pet. I have to say, though, a year seems to be a long time. Are you trying to touch him to domesticate or giving him his space? I would give him peace and quiet for another couple of months, but after that he would have to go if he didn't come around. Kudos to you for trying.
11 months ago
Last edited at 12:25PM on 6/22/2012
Eat it... LOL... Just kidding... Love thy cat & be extra nice with the treats you give... Sit with a Bowl of warm tuna between your legs let the cat come & eat do this a few times without touching it... next move the bowl beside you next to your hand,,, do this a few times & don't touch it but go ahead & tap your fingers every so often... next put some in your hand,,, yes you may get nipped but hey this is your future buddy here... now that it's use to you & your smell move slow & eventually you'll get a reward of being allowed to pet it... Talk softly at first & increase to normal tone over time... But don't talk at all the first 3 times you hold the bowl... Good things come to those who wait... Be patient your time will come... Some cats are only family pets they don't like strangers I have 2 that hide any time someone besides family is in the house I also have one that doesn't like anyone but me & he'll hiss at anyone that comes near him or me when he's on my lap... but he's my best buddy all the same... Good luck to you... Cat's are unpredictable,,, Enjoy...
our cat is feral too. We let her be. I put a little food out daily, but she prefers mice, which she finds in the chicken house. Sometimes she will rub on someone's leg but if you offer to pet her she wanders away.
Cats are peculiar creatures, each with his or her own distinct personalities (just like us). Your little friend seems like a true introvert and I suggest you respect that by allowing kitty to retreat and hide whenever she/he feels unsafe. I have a girlfriend with 3 cats, although she is beautiful and personable : ) It has been a long time joke that she is crazy because we have never seen the third cat! Don't worry about kitty, please just love unconditionally and allow the individuality to remain. You might just refer to kitty as your imaginary cat : ) THANK YOU for getting a pet from a SHELTER! There are so many vulnerable and needy animals that need good hearted people like you to provide a loving home!!! You are helping make a difference in the overwhelming homeless pet population. Bless you!
Warn the people. To bond with a cat, you must act like one. I did so, and my cat loves me. All you have to do is yawn, look away and blink slowly.All these are signs of friendliness and respect. Give newcomers a little session with kitteh to try it out.