Some cats don’t spend a lot of time around their people because they are aloof; other cats are more shy than snobby. If your cat spends most of her time out of sight, you may have a scaredy cat on your hands!
Why would a cat be shy? Some breeds just tend to be more reserved than others. Some cats are not as well socialized as others. Your scaredy cat may just be afraid of certain types of people — children who move quickly and talk loudly, or a certain body type. Your cat’s personality develops in the first weeks of life. If the kitten does not get a great deal of social contact, she may grow up to be a very shy, introverted cat.
What can you do to encourage your scaredy cat?
- Night time is the right time. Cats are naturally nocturnal. Your scaredy cat may creep out of her hiding spot if you turn out all the lights and close the shades. The dimness may make her feel more secure.
- Be patient. Socializing an adult cat can be a long process! Don’t force your cat to come out of her hiding spot if she doesn’t want to.
- Spend time with your cat on her own terms. Visit her hiding spot, and talk to her in a soft voice. You can even feed her in her hiding spot, if she won’t come out to eat. Reassure her that you mean no harm through voice and action.
- Reward her bravery. Treats, toys, and petting may help coax your cat out into public. Use the things she likes to help her associate being around people with a positive experience.
A cat that is usually friendly that suddenly becomes shy may have a health problem, not a personality issue. Talk to your vet if your cat’s personality changes suddenly and dramatically — it could be the sign of an illness or more serious problem.