Have you ever walked into a room with a cat and noticed him run for cover? You may have thought you were just dealing with a shy cat, but the case could be the cat is unsocialized. An unsocialized cat will not be accustomed to the company of humans or even other cats. Having a socialized cat is an endless experience of affection, kisses, and furry companionship. But having a socialized cat involves more than just having a friendly cat. It’s having a cat that trusts you. Socializing your shy cat opens doors and paws you wouldn’t have imagined!

Considerations Before Socializing Your Shy Cat

Best Time to Socialize

The best time to socialize your cat is while he’s still a kitten. Kittens become socialized before they’re nine weeks old. They learn how to interact with other cats or even humans simply by being around them. Cats are the original “people watchers” and this allows them to familiarize themselves with human interaction which aids in their socialization. While it’s best to socialize kittens, it’s not too late for older cats.

Shy Strays, Feral, and Pets

Encountering a shy feral is quite common since most feral cats never interact with other humans. But it’s not just feral cats that may be a bit shy. It’s not uncommon to find house cats that run and hide when interaction presents itself. If you encounter a shy, stray cat or a cat that’s been adopted, there’s more of a chance that he wasn’t properly socialized while he was still a kitten.

How to Socialize an Older Cat

The often-overlooked keys to socializing your shy cat are space and time. Cats are normally private pets. Giving them the distance and space they need to adapt to humans are the main keys to socializing them. Here are some suggestions to encourage socialization in your feline friend:

Provide a high perching space for your cat.

Cats like to be at great heights watching everything below. This plays into their instinct to people watch. Your cat will learn to socialize just by being allowed to observe your normal lifestyle. One of the ways you can accomplish this is by giving your cat access to heights. If you have high shelves, bookcases, or even a ledge in a room with moderate traffic, allow your cat access to just sit and watch. Be sure this space has a place where he can hide, should he get overwhelmed.

Try the Cattery Cage Method

If you don’t have access to heights, you can also try the cattery cage method. This involves putting the cat into a cage to observe you. You would also feed the cat in the cage and still have a place in the cage for him to hide.

Over to You…

Socializing your shy cat won’t happen overnight and it won’t happen if your furry friend doesn’t have a safe space to acclimate himself gradually to humans.  However, once you’ve followed our suggestions for socializing your shy cat, he’ll trust you more and should soon start noticing your feline friend becoming friendlier.

Have you ever come across a shy cat? How did you handle it?

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