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Two shy 7-mo Birman sisters

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Greetings. I purchased 2 very lovely CFA'd Birmans from a breeder and got them at 3-mo. They were very, very shy at first, and liked to hide under the bed and couch. This seems unlike the "typical" description for the breed, although, obviously all cats have unique personalities! They have warmed up to me quite a bit - they like to sleep on the bed and chase around toys. However, I had Christmas guests and they hid basically the entire time. What suggestions do you have to draw them out? Is their behavoir likely to change after they are spayed (soon)?
post #2 of 8
Some cats are shy around strangers, especially if they don't see many. I don't imaging spaying will change things. How were they kept by the breeder? If they were caged, then they probably didn't get enough exposure to people during their formative weeks. At 7 months, you will need to just be patient with them and try using treats to get more comfortable behaviors. You can try having one person at a time come over, maybe at feeding time, and see if they will warm up to them. But they may never be the social butterflies they were meant to be if they didn't get the proper introduction to people during their first weeks of life. I have a Birman boy who doesn't purr. How odd is that? He is very friendly, though. Becky
post #3 of 8
Welcome to the site! I'll move this to Behavior for more help with your kittens' shyness issue.

Becky pretty much covered what I would say. It sounds like they didn't have much people-socialization when they were little, i.e. being introduced to multiple people. They may have even been raised underfoot, but if their only contact was with one person they would still be shy around new people.
post #4 of 8
Hi & Welcome to TCS!!!!!!!
post #5 of 8
To try to socialize my cats and familiarize them in a positive way with the car, I put them in cat carriers and drive them to my parents for frequent visits. I also drive them to parking lots (such as the grocery store and K-Mart) where they are likely to see lots of children, and let them wander around inside the car and check people out. I am sure to carry water & a portable litter box so we can spend some time there for adjustment. I have noticed that at first the shyer cats inspect the scenery and if startled or uncomfortable, will make a beeline for the carrier. I bring a good book to read, or my check book and bills. At first, the cats want lots of laptime and reassurance, but then become more interested in the surroundings ( a crying child is almost sure to bring everyone to the window - cats are so compassionate!! and their reaction to a yelling parent is interesting, often elliciting growls). When the cats feel comfortable, they use the box and drink water in the car. An added plus is that they tend to like going into their cat carriers even at home, and trips to the vet (or in the event of emergency evacuation) are much less traumatic.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks, those are great ideas. I agree they just need to spend more time with more people. They rarely see anyone other than me.
post #7 of 8

My Birman, Aiko - is the exact same!!! I've had her for a little over a year.. she just doesn't care to be around people.. moreso CHILDREN because she isn't really used to seeing them. We have parties at our place from time to time, and Aiko is usually nowhere to be found until the party starts dying down a bit. I usually try to go fetch her at one point or another (mostly because I love showing her off!) she seems to warm up to certain people.. it's funny. Birmans are known to be very social, but I've heard they really only warm up to one person. Aiko follows me mostly everywhere I go.. and at TV time, my lap is always the first she jumps into. As much as I LOVE that she loves me the most ... I do also wish she was a bit more social. Aiko is spayed too, btw.. so obviously this didn't make a difference for her. Still, IMO, she is the bestest kittie ever.. whether or not she likes my friends or not Who'll ever understand what's going thru their minds.. but it would never keep me from buyin another one at some point. I can't get enuf of her beautiful blue eyes
post #8 of 8
Our 2 Siamese are very people friendly, but our previous cat Simba who was a Himalayan/Siamese cross would rarely come out of hiding if we had people over but was extremely affectionate with me and our daughter.
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