Can I Change a Scaredy Cat?

Can all cats get comfortable with their new homes or will some always be scaredy cats?

Can all cats get comfortable with their new homes or will some always be scaredy cats?

I rescued a cat who was living outside. I brought her in with one of her sisters at about 3 months old. She is around a year old now and still scared of us. She lets us pet her now and again but hides most of the day. We play with her and give her treats twice a day. I don’t know why she is still so terrified of us. Her sister is the biggest lover and so outgoing. Is there anything I can do to socialize her more? She will be with us forever, so anything helps. Kelsey Brewer

These two sisters had a rough start to life. One of your girls adjusted to her new home quickly, but the other one’s taking her own sweet time.

Consider talking about this with your veterinarian during her next checkup. Sometimes cats hide when they’re in pain, so rule that out first.

It sounds like you’re doing the right things: petting her, playing with her and giving her treats when you can. Now you simply have to wait.

Pay attention to those moments when she seems most at ease. 
•    Maybe it’s at night when things are quieter and darker.
•    Or maybe she’s happiest when the sun is shining brightest into her favorite room and music is playing. 
•    Is she happier when her sister is nearby or out of sight?

When you see her, talk to your cat and use your cat’s name. Sit down at her level and appreciate whatever interaction she offers. Maybe she’ll snatch a treat and run away, but she might remember that you were kind to her and nothing bad happened.

She’s been in your life for less than a year, so you still have plenty of time to build a great relationship with your cat.  This scaredy cat may never act as outgoing as her sister, but part of that has to do with personality.

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