- 1). Create a stable routine and stick to it. Feed your cat at the same times each day, designate a regular bedtime and wake-up time, and set aside time each day for socializing with your cat. The routine will help to ease your cat's nerves and encourage her to be less timid. By contrast, an unpredictable home environment can cause her to become even more withdrawn.
- 2). Talk to your cat every day and make yourself available, but do not force yourself on him. If he hides beneath the bed, sit on the floor beside the bed and talk to him. If he enjoys sitting near you on the couch but prefers to maintain a safe distance, allow him that space and interact with him from a distance. You must establish yourself as a friendly, safe figure, but allow him to approach you on his own terms.
- 3). Use safe physical interactions. If she will not allow you to come near her but enjoys playing with cat toys, use toys that allow you to maintain a safe distance. For example, many cats enjoy chasing dangling strings and laser pointers. Make playtime a part of your routine, and she should begin to warm up to you.
- 4). Keep a fresh supply of cat treats on hand. Give him two or three treats each day as part of the regular routine and see if he allows you to pet him while he approaches. If he does not, then withdraw your hand and allow him his space. When he begins to show signs of interest in you and starts approaching on his own, give him additional treats and begin petting him gently.
- 5). Pet her more firmly and show additional signs of physical affection only as she allows. Start by petting her softly on her head, and when she becomes comfortable with the affection, start petting her back. Eventually, see if she allows you to pick her up.
- 6). Expose him to other people and animals. As he begins warming up to you, take your training to the next level and allow him to interact with others. Inform other people of your cat's skittishness and ask that they honor him by approaching gently and non-aggressively. If you truly want to help your cat overcome his skittishness, you will need to allow him interactions with as many people as possible, but socializing an adult cat will require much more patience than socializing a kitten. Just allow your cat to set the pace, expose him to as many people as possible but do not force him to get close to others. As he determines that others do not pose a threat, he will approach on his own.
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