Fearful or shy behavior in cats can be caused by various factors.  Insufficient exposure to humans and/or a variety of stimuli during kitten hood as well as traumatizing events in their lives teach them to react fearfully towards people or new situations.

Shy cats usually do best in relatively quiet homes.  They are often not suitable in home with young children as children can easily scare them with loud noises or sudden movements.

The amount of time it takes a cat to settle into a new home varies from case to case.  Some

cats may take a week; others may take longer periods of time, depending on their individual


Bring your cat to a secluded room set up specifically for the cat. This “home base” provides

a quiet place for the cat to adjust to its new surroundings.  Include a litter box, food dish

and water bowl as well as a cat bed and some toys.  Once the cat feels secure it will become

curious about the rest of the house.

Many shy cats bond to their caregiver(s) and make wonderful pets but retain their

shyness with strangers and will hide when new people come to the house.

 Adopting a Shy Cat

Be calm, encouraging and supportive when visiting the cat maintaining a regular schedule for feeding and litter box cleaning.

Talk softly and move slowly.  Avoid staring at her since this can be perceived as a threat.  Gentle handling, petting around the face, head and ears are the best calming tools for frightened cats.

Food can be used as a bonding tool.  Try a particularly smelly brand of wet cat food or traditional cat treats. This will help the cat make a positive association between you and the food.

Never attempt to pull the cat from its hiding place or force him to be held. This will increase his fearfulness.  Gently pet him in his hiding place. When he is ready, he will come to you.

Encourage play with interactive toys.  Some cats are very play motivated.

Once the cat has full access to the house; move the dishes, litter box, etc.  You may want to leave a litter box in the “safe room” should she become frightened and retreat to her room again.  Leave the secluded room door open so your cat can hide if she wants to; but encourage her to become part of the family.

Recognize that adjustment to a new home takes time.  Regardless of your cat’s history, your care is what matters now.  Patience and understanding are essential.  In return your new feline family member will give you plenty of love and purrs in return.

Bruschi's Story

If you interested in adopting one of our cats or kittens; please complete an Adoption Application online.  One of our volunteers will call you as soon as we receive your application.

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The Power of Giving

Bruschi is the perfect name for this handsome hunk of a cat.  It is time to send this fella to his forever home.  He came to the shelter as a scared, grumpy stray feline with a hip injury.  We think he probably had been hit by a car.  He is now healthy, neutered and his hip injury has healed however he has a residual slight limp in his right rear leg.  Bruschi’s personality has mellowed and he now loves attention and neck rubs.  He is not demanding and quite happy with life.  We think he would do best in a home where he could be the only pet companion and no young children.  He appears to be more comfortable with women(perhaps he had a bad experience with a man in the past). The way to his heart is through his tummy.  He LOVES to eat(we are watching his diet as he is getting a little chubby).  His dream home would be one with a screened porch or a fenced yard.  Because he has been here at the shelter for so long; I take him on supervised walks outside.  He stays right with me and scampers back inside when we are done. He had a difficult life before coming to the shelter.  With kindness and understanding; he will make a wonderful feline companion in the right home.

Never underestimate the power of giving.  It shines like a beacon throughout

      humanity.  It cuts through the oceans that divide us and brightens

              the lives of all it touches.  One of life’s greatest laws is that

                  you cannot hold a torch to light anothers path…

                                without brightening your own.

How to Establish a Trusting Relationship

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