How To Help A Skittish Cat Become Less Fearful
Helping a skittish cat become less fearful is a job that requires patience, diligence, and love. All of that hard work is worth it when you see your cat begin to come out of his shell and live a happier life. Remain reassuring in your body language, stay attuned to your cats behaviour, and soon you will see the rewards of your kind efforts.
When Is It Time To Seek The Help Of A Veterinarian Or Dog Trainer
No matter how hard some pet parents try, sometimes they just cant get their dog to relax. A pet might be deathly afraid of loud noises, hiding under a bed for hours. Or a dog might fear other pets in the home. There are some instances where bringing in another person, like a professional dog trainer, will be needed in order to try and change this behavior.
Talk to your vet about the possibility of having a trainer work with your dog. They may also want to run some tests to rule out a physical problem. When a puppy pees inside, for example, thats often a sign the pup needs housetraining. If an older dog does this, it could be due to a medical issue.12
No matter how hard it may be having a scared dog in your home, dont give up. It may take some time, but the chances are your pet will eventually become a loving, loyal friend for years to come.
Why Dogs From A Shelter Or Rescue Group May Be More Nervous And Anxious
If you have adopted a shelter dog or brought home a dog from a rescue organization, congratulations. Youve saved a life and thats one of the best things anyone could ever do. But theres a chance your new pet will be shy or fearful. That could very well be due to the dogs upbringing.
The shelter or rescue group may be able to give you a general idea of the dogs previous life. But they probably wont be able to provide the full picture. The dog could have been neglected or worse when they were a puppy. The pooch might have experienced some sort of traumatic event.7
There is also a chance that the dog wasnt properly socialized as a puppy. Socialization often begins as young as 4 weeks and can last up to 18 months.8 If a puppy is abandoned or grows up in a shelter, that socialization might not happen the way it should.9
Does A Cat Trust You If It Sleeps On You
If your cat wants to sleep with you, whether on your chest or by your feet, it is a beautiful demonstration of the trust they have in you. Not only do they feel like you will not hurt them, but they will feel protected by you. Although, they may also have a practical ulterior motive: they want to use you to keep warm.
Whats The Difference Between Stray And Feral Cats
There are often different terms used to describe cats and it can get a little confusing. We consider feral cats to be free-roaming cats who predominantly live independently from people. Feral cats are unsocialised and are likely to be very elusive they are generally scared of people and less friendly towards them.
However, stray cats typically have some reliance on people and are more tolerable. They live amongst us much more than feral cats do and they often live in towns or villages because of the opportunity for food. Many stray cats havent been socialised with people as kittens and have no experience of living in a domestic home. However, within this group you often find individuals who have been lost or abandoned and have previously lived with people.
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Spend Time With Your Kitten
While your kitten should have some me-time to adjust to their new home, it doesnt mean they should be alone all time.
They will never be comfortable around you if you only come to give them food and clean the litter box.
Make sure that you spend time with the kitten every day.
You can talk to them so that they can get used to your voice or sit as close as possible when they eat.
Eventually, the kitten is going to come closer to you to check you out. Then you might attempt to pet your kitty and give them something delicious.
Bribe The Kitten With Food
One of the best ways to get kittens to come out of hiding is to use food. When they get hungry enough, most kittens will emerge out of their spot to eat.
Choose something delicious and tempting with a strong smell, such as tuna or a piece of chicken.
Leave the food near the hiding place, retreat a few steps, and wait.
Once the kitten comes out, you might lure them near you with more food or take a few steps in their direction.
Your goal is to get your kitty used to your presence and connect it with good things, such as food.
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New Kitten Is Scared And Hiding
If youre a first time cat parent and you just got a kitten
Problem is your new kitten is scared and hiding
So you dont know what to do
You want to cuddle your kitten and bond with him but hes just hiding and is pretty much scared of you
Or you try to go near your kitten and he just runs away from you
Not to worry because in this article youre going to learn how you can get your scared kitten to come out of hiding and not be scared
Youll discover how you can create a special bond that will be ever lasting and create a unique beautiful relationship
And when you adopt them at first it is very exciting
They are so full of energy
Trust me, you will have fun as Im a cat parent myself
The kitten age are the best
So your kitten is home
Only problem is
Your kitty is hiding and just dont want to come out
Theyre scared of you and wont come near you
This is normal and nothing to be scared about
With time they will become a cuddly cat!
Its natural for your kitten to be scared
Lets look at the reasons why
What About Other Cats
As with any new kitten or cat that you take home, you should make the introduction to your resident cat gradually. Cats are territorial animals, and need time and space to adjust to changes in their territory. Generally speaking, it takes at least a few weeks to successfully integrate a new cat into your household. However, the presence of a more outgoing, cat social cat can be helpful for a fearful kitten if theyre interested in interacting with the new cat.
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Interacting With A Shy Kitten
How soon youll be able to cuddle with your newly adopted, shy kitten will vary depending on the kittens age, temperament, and genetic makeup. Older, very shy kittens will need more time than younger shy kittens. Patience is the key ingredient.
The following recommendations are designed to help your kitten adjust to her new environment, as well as form an everlasting bond between you and your family. Progress through each step slowly. Do not proceed to the next step if your kitten appears fearful .
Exposure To Other Humans
When the kittens no longer respond by biting and scratching, encourage family members and friends to handle them as often as possible. It is very important that they socialize with other humans, not just the person who is feeding and caring for them. Feral cats tend to bond with one human so they will adjust best to a new home if they are socialized with other humans before being adopted out.
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Appeal To Their Appetite
Giving food is a universal sign of goodwill. Once your cat realizes their food often comes from your hand, theyll be a lot more interested in making friends. Try to set up a feeding routine your cat can rely on. As the days pass and you stick to your routine, theyll start to trust you. The more days go by where youre the bringer of tasty treats, the better your relationship will get.
What Does Fearful Mean
A fearful kitten is generally one that has not had full socialization. If a kitten does not have much contact with people when it is between the ages of 3 weeks and 7 weeks, it is likely to be scared of strangers it meets. Depending on the individual temperament of the kitten, what it has observed from its mother, and how old it is, it may hiss, spit or strike out or may simply attempt to run away. Some fearful kittens learn to trust people quickly, others can take a long time. This depends on their temperament, their age at the time you start socializing them, as well as the amount of time you put into socializing them. Fearful kittens can make wonderful companions provided you can give them the time and energy needed to teach them to trust.
The adopter of a fearful kitten, will need plenty of time early on to spend with your kitten, patience not to push him past his level of comfort and realistic expectations. Many of these kitties will be comfortable with their primary guardians, but may remain fearful or shy with strangers or in new situations.
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Take Care Of It In Your Own Backyard
You can also take care of the outdoor cat yourself. Remember that the cat does need to be spayed or neutered and receive its vaccinations. But if the outdoors is the only option, you can still make sure the cat has food and water and a place to shelter during bad weather.
Remember to take up any extra food in the evening to prevent scavengers such as raccoons or possums to move in and eat the food . Read How to Set Up an Outdoor Cat House for Pets, Strays, and Ferals for tips.
Cats that live in feral cat colonies often have an ear that is notched or cut by a vet. This lets caretakers know that the cat has been vaccinated and spayed or neutered.
Kitty Does Not Like Other Animalsor Children
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Now That Youve Trapped The Scared Kitten What Should You Do Next
Baldridge has a multi-step process to help calm a scared kitten:
Which Situation Am I Dealing With
A good clue is to look at the kittens physical appearance. If they look well-fed, then that means the mother is still caring for them. Yet, you might feel worried that perhaps she got hit by a car or had an accident because the little ones look like they skipped a meal or two. That is a legitimate worry.
Here are some additional reasons the mother might be gone.
- At that moment, she could be out hunting for food.
- Feral mothers are known to move their litters around. She could be away because shes carrying the next kitten to a new nest.
- She could be nearby but refuse to show herself because there is a human near her young.
- Female cats are dedicated parents but some will abandon their offspring.
Retreat a good distance away. This will allow the mother to think that youve gone and she might return. However, keep an eye on the situation because if she fails to show up the babies face starvation, cold nights and undesirable characters hearing their cries. Even if they are in good condition, dont wait hours and definitely not until the next morning.
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Is It Normal For A Kitten To Hide
Its completely normal
Your kitten is new to their environment
So hell seek a place where its cozy and comfy
Kitty dont want to be vulnerable to a predator so hell hide somewhere he feels safe
Like under the bed or inside a drawer
If your kitten is hiding, dont worry its normal and with time your kitten will be running all over the house!
Next Socialise Your Kitten
Kittens that arent properly socialised have a tendency to grow up into fearful cats, so after your kitten is trusting of you, its important that you introduce them to a variety of people to get them used to other company. Weve prepared this instructional guide for you to learn how to introduce your new kitten to your cat, dog and other family members.
Of course, this needs to be done slowly and takes a lot of time depending on your felines individual temperament. Its always best to allow your kitten to approach new people, not the other way around, and to put them back in their safe room if they ever become overwhelmed.
With patience and love, your kitten will soon learn that they have nothing to fear and theyll soon develop a healthy curiosity towards their environment.
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Positive Reinforcement And Reward: Never Use Punishment Training A Nervous Dog
Trying to change a dogs behavior through training can be a challenge. When you teach your dog, always use positive reinforcement. Never punish a dog, especially a scared or nervous dog that could make matters much worse.
In a nutshell, positive reinforcement is providing a reward, such as food or a toy, when a dog exhibits the right behavior. The dog associates something positive with that good behavior. As a result, they may be more likely to exhibit that behavior as time goes on.10
The theory behind positive reinforcement is simple. When good behavior is rewarded, that behavior is likely to be repeated. Instead of focusing on what a dog does wrong, positive reinforcement focuses on what the dog does correctly. It can have a powerful impact on helping a dog get past their fear.11
How Long Does It Take A Kitten To Adjust To New Home
It all depends to be honest
Cats have different personalities
Some cats are quick to adjust to new environment
And other cats may take longer
Their age also plays a part too
Their background can play a part too
If they have had a bad experience then it will take longer for your at to adjust
Normally a new kitten to get used to their surroundings may take up to a week or 2
Some cats may take a month
Its like asking Whats the length of a string?
There is no concrete answer!
The more you interact with your kitty and show your kitty love and affection this could speed up the process!
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Considering The Kittens Future
While it remains the choice of the person who raised them, an animal shelter is not always the best next step. Dont be pacified by a shelters reply of We dont euthanize. Most shelters are not transparent with their euthanasia policy and with good reason. They will lose public donations and land in an even worse position to help animals.
Its not that they are trying to be deceitful. Most are caught in the terrible reality where there are simply too many animals not being adopted. They can only care for so many and unwanted pets keep pouring into shelters.