Shy Cats, Deep Bonds

by Rita Reimers

Do you remember the shy kid at school? You know the one; she would sit in the back of the room and hide behind her books, avoiding eye contact with everyone. Most people just ignored her, and never made any effort to get to know her. But not you! You knew there was a treasure hiding behind that book. Although she was hard to get to know, once you made the effort she became one of your best and most trusted friends.

It’s the same with the shy cat in your life. And perhaps that’s why you were drawn to that timid little bundle of fur. You brought your shy cat home, and she promptly hid under the bed or behind the dresser, only venturing out to eat or use the litter pan after everyone has gone to bed. Problem is, if you leave her to her own devices, she will stay that way and never bond with you or feel secure in her new home.

Like your shy best friend at school, these shy cats are true treasures, and with patience and the right approach, you can find the key to unlocking their love. Here are some guidelines to help you build a bond that will reward you both for a lifetime.

Don’t Ignore Her. It’s very easy to just ignore the shy cat and let her do as she pleases. But a shy cat can quickly turn into the stereotypical aloof feline if left alone all the time. This doesn’t mean you should crawl under the bed after her. But you should make time to sit beside her hiding place, talk to her in soothing tones and say her name often.

Bribery Works Wonders. Have a supply of kitty’s favorite treats with you as you talk with your shy one. Offer her a piece or two and eventually she will associate your presence with that yummy goodie. She will begin coming out of her hiding place more and more, establishing a bond with you as you give her what she craves. Eventually you will be able to pet her or give her a little scratch behind the ears, and she will begin to interact with you more and hide less.

Love Her Just The Way She Is. As the Billy Joel song says, you have to love her just the way she is. Shy kitties can become the most loyal of cats, but you can’t expect she will suddenly break out of her shell and become friendly with everyone in all situations. Shy cats usually let down their guard only for a few select people and in quiet situations. They quickly retreat to their hiding place when new people or loud noises are around.

Once your shy cat decides to trust you, you have truly won her love and devotion, just as you did when you befriended that shy kid at school. It’s a special bond that can never be broken. While you’re at it, why don’t you give your shy friend from school a call, too?





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