How to Help a Shy Cat Gain Confidence

Do you have a ‘scaredy-cat’? Just like people, kitties all have their own distinct personalities. Some are fearless, while others can be very timid and shy. If you’re trying to coax a timid kitty out of her shell, you’ll want to read these tips from a local Livonia, MI veterinarian.

Offer Safe Retreats

Shy kitties tend to hide a lot. Fluffy may feel overexposed out in the open, and may be more comfortable in a secure place, like under the bed or in the closet. Offer your furball plenty of safe zones, like kitty tents and boxes. You’ll want to be sure that every room offers at least one safe haven.

Don’t Force Affection

You might think Fluffy is the most adorable thing you ever saw, but if you try to handle or pet her too much, you may frighten her. Let your kitty choose when she wants to approach you. When she does, offer treats and praise, so she’ll form a positive association with being petted.


Play can be great for timid felines. A good, vigorous play session will burn off extra energy, which will leave you with a calmer kitty. Play can also build your furball’s confidence. Use interactive toys, like laser pointers or wand toys, to pique Fluffy’s interest and keep her engaged.

Provide A Kitty Sanctuary

Make your home into a furball heaven by providing Fluffy with feline amenities like cat towers, cat grass, plenty of toys, and comfy napping spots. Pick a quiet room, such as an office, and make it a kitty haven.

Use Positive Reinforcement

If Kitty misbehaves, don’t address the issue by yelling at her or punishing her. A firm ‘No’ is acceptable, but anything beyond that may only make her more anxious. Instead, focus on rewarding good behavior.

No Rough Play

When playing with a shy cat, keep things gentle. Focus Fluffy’s aggression on a catnip mouse or a feather toy. If you tease her or play rough, she might think you’re attacking, and become frightened!


While you don’t want to go completely overboard with snacks, yummy treats are a great way to win an animal’s trust. Find out what your furball likes, and offer it to her frequently.

Does your cat need shots or an exam? Please contact us, your Livonia, MI vet clinic, for all your pet care needs!

Comments are closed.

Website Designed & Developed by DVMelite | All Rights Reserved | Login