There are several reasons why cats may be hesitant to approach people. Perhaps your pet had a bad experience with a previous owner, or maybe your feline is just shy. No matter the case, socializing your cat is an excellent idea for your sake and theirs. By learning to trust people, your cat will have a better experience at home and in environments like the vet’s office and the pet kennel. Discover some practical tips to help your feline come out of their shell, here.
3 Tips to Promote Cat Socialization
1. Give Them a Safe Space
Cats need to have their own territory where they can feel safe. While crates or pet kennels work well for dogs, felines often need a more open environment. To encourage socialization, it’s crucial to block off any spaces where they could go into hiding. Include a litter box, food, and water in their space, and create barriers so they can’t crawl under furniture or hide elsewhere.
2. Take Introductions Slowly
It may be tempting to pick your cat up and attempt to cuddle him or her, but this approach is sure to backfire with a shy cat. Give them their space; instead, let them come to you. Simply start by being in the same room as them — again, in a location where there are no hiding spots. If they start to approach, don’t make any sudden moves. Just hold your hand out gently and allow them to approach, and avoid chasing after them if they want to leave.
3. Use Positive Experiences
Never punish a fearful cat for being hesitant to socialize. Instead, focus on sharing positive experiences when your pet is ready and willing to do so. Encourage them to associate rewards with socialization by giving them a treat when they spend time with you. Keep in mind that this process may take place gradually, as your feline may not want to eat in your presence at first. You can also introduce games and toys to see which your cat enjoys most. When it’s time to take your cat to the vet’s office, the pet kennel, or anywhere else, use the same gentle approach, and reward them appropriately.
If you’re looking for a pet kennel that will care for your shy pet in your absence, look no further than Orchard Kennels. Serving the Rochester, NY, area, this kennel offers supervised play for pets and ensures all animals are well-cared for while their owners are away. Learn more about the kennel by taking a look at their list of frequently asked questions online, or call (315) 986-1605 to schedule boarding for your pet.