If you’re the parent of a fearful kitty, you’re used to seeing her scoot away and hide at the first sign of a house guest. Want some tips to help her feel more comfortable around visitors? Focus on encouraging and rewarding her while you try these steps:
- It’s best to let your cat approach guests. Visitors, especially children, who try to follow your cat to pet her may only frighten her more. Ask guests to let her approach instead.
- Movement, noise and size count. Ask a friend to squat down or sit still while avoiding eye contact with your cat. This will seem less intimidating and may get her to approach.
- With your guest on the far side of the room, offer your cat a treat or encourage her to play at a distance.
- If you can coax her out of hiding and have her play in the same room, gradually move her toy or treat closer to your guest.
- Once she feels comfortable playing within a few feet of your guest, have that person toss her a treat or toy as well.
- Your cat may stop and walk away in a few minutes, but don’t take it as a setback. She has a short attention span and you can try again another time.
If your cat takes even a small step in the right direction, consider it an accomplishment! She’s had this fear for most of her life and won’t change her behavior after one session. But with patience, training (and a few rewards), you can help her be less fearful of guests. Visit Pet Supermarket for great kitty toys and treats to encourage her and good luck!