Shy Cats - They don't stay that way
18 April 2016
When visitors look around the centre they are drawn to the cats sitting by the glass, the ones who so obviously say “take me” or a young bouncy kitty who springs up to the glass waving an appealing paw ......Hi there give me a home! But not every cat that comes into the home is a happy settled cat.
Many are sad, scared, wary and people just pass them by. Some cats just find the cattery stressful so try to hide themselves away. Others may have been shooed away by people when trying to find food, some may have been strays for so long they don’t want to interact. Our team of socialisers play an important part to gain these cats trust. To make them feel loved without rushing the process. One step at a time we help these cats with the worried eyes relax.
New owners of a shy cat may have to give a bit more time and patience but the end result is so worth it. The bond you have when a shy cat grows in confidence and trusts you is one of the most rewarding feelings you can have as an pet owner.
Take Sid for instance, he had been a stray for one year that we know of. He was very scared of people but he wasn’t feral. He hid in his box and started to get used to one team member so he wasn’t crowded with lots of new faces at once. We would have placed him in a foster home but as we didn’t have any foster homes free he had to stay at the centre. Then came along a really animal friendly family who had another cat, an old dog and kids. Our first thought was maybe it was a bit busy for scared Sid. The family insisted they had had nervous cats before and he would be ok. Well Sid met the dog and the meeting went well. The home visit was done and Sid packed his bags and left us.
Sid was the shyest boy in the cattery, we tried and tried to make friends for weeks to no avail, we only ever had this 1 picture of him looking terrified.... move only a couple of weeks and here he is happy as Larry in his new home.
Sid just needed a home where he could feel safe. This is why our temporary foster homes can play such an important role in helping shy cats. If Sid had been in a foster home he may have felt happier sooner. Thank goodness there was a caring family ready to look beyond the shy cat in the box and offer Sid a home.
Also Elvis sat outside on his shelf and didn’t encourage anyone to go near him for weeks. We were just beginning to stroke him and luckily he was chosen. Again by a family who chose Elvis because they could see his potential and were not put off by his shyness We were amazed to see this picture of him lordin' it up on the bed in his new home, what a transformation.
It just goes to show that patience, love and understanding can do wonderful things. So if you are thinking of choosing a new feline friend, don’t walk pass the quiet cat in the corner, give them a chance.
Remember...don't overlook the shy ones, the hidden potential is there just waiting to blossom.