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shy,shy,shy behavior-help!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Our cat Oreo, is the shyest,cat I have ever known. He is 2 now and literally hides under the blankets in my bedroom (his safe place )until people leave my house. Always! My other cat is fine. She and Oreo were adopted together and get along fine. But Oreo acts so afraid of us still,it breaks our hearts. When he comes into the living room to be with us,where it is is very calm and quiet,it is a big,big deal! He purrs constantly, but sometimes I think it's from irrational fear. One minute, he loves me,the next, he is afraid. Can anyone relate or help?shyest cat I have ever known
post #2 of 8
Sometimes it can be genetic or just they way something affected them when they were very young. You can work with them by showing that you won't harm them, but most of the time, they will stay on the shy side. With shy ones, any kind of change or change in routine is a HUGE deal and can set them back. It is usually best if you just let them feel safe when they go and hide. If you want to work with them, you can sit with them and talk soft but don't pet for ahwile. Gradually you can increase the level of noises around them and the amout you actually touch them. You can offer treats out of your hand such as baby food (no onion powder) out of a spoon or on your finger. If they are really skiddish you can add some Dr Bachs rescue remedy(found at health and nutrition stores) to thier drinking water. It helps to take the nervous edge off.
I do have 2 of these skiddish cats. It was due to the breed and lack of socialization when really little. There is too much that goes on in the house for me to get them to totally come around. I just give them thier own space and they come out for pets when they feel safe.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Excellet ideas! I have always given Oreo his space when he gets anxious no mattter how badly I want to pick him up and hold him. I doubt this behavior will change since we got him so young, but do you know of any other anti anxiety cat "medicine"? God know he could use a Valium! Are there any KittieValium like pills that wont make him too latharthgic or hurt him? I just want to relieve his anxiety if I can.
post #4 of 8
Dr bachs works well, but you would have to talk to a vet or a feline behaviorist to talk about prescription drugs. They use them in extreme cases of anxiety. We are talking, urinating outside the box, aggression, fur plucking, etc. Most are only used in the extreme because if they need to be on it a long time, there are always liver problems to consider. If it is for quality of life now, the choice is the drug.
post #5 of 8
I would avoid using psychiatric medications. All psychiatric medications cause some degree of physical discomfort in people (stomach aches, dizziness, etc) so they are likely to cause similar problems in cats....but the cat has no way to tell you that the pills are making him sick. Also, as Sandie said, many of the medications can have toxic effects on the cat if taken long term.

There is nothing wrong with having a shy cat. One of mine is so shy that even though he has lived with me for 8 years, he still runs from me like he thinks I am going to kill him. But....over the years he has come to learn that there isn't anything better than getting some very good petting. I've learned that if I sit on one spot on the rug and call for him, he will come running and will let me pet him for a long time. But....he only lets me pet him in this one spot and it took years to get him to this point.

Just like there are some humans who are very shy and skittish, there are some cats who are this way too. Just have LOTS of patience and perhaps your little guy will mellow a tad.
post #6 of 8
My cat Soltie is very shy. I have had her since she was 12 weeks old, she is now 8 years old. She has never been abused or mistreated in any way. I am the only human that she will allow to touch her voluntarily (the vet touches her and she does not like). When it is just me and her she is the most loving and happy cat, but let someone come over and under the bed she goes, coming out occassionly just to see if their still there. I worry about if something was to happen to me that she wouldn't survive. She is definitly a one person cat.
post #7 of 8
My cat Felix is very shy of stranges or even vistors,maybe he sees other people out-side our family of 4 as vets who are going to give him a needle
post #8 of 8
I've had Dani Night Stalker the better part of 5 months. She was saved from an abusive home before I adopted her and it has taken months of patience to finally get her from not jumping and hiding at the first sign of a stranger in the house. She's still not overtly friendly but will sometimes [still rarely] let others pet her. As for me, she's gone from hiding to jumping up on my computer table if I ignore her too long. We're learning to get along together but if her instincts tell her to dislike someone, I take it to heart. Good luck with your baby!!!

PS I remember the very first time Dani ate from my hand, it was those Pounce Tarter treats. Boy I was on cloud 9 for a week.
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