Cats are generally known as playful hedonistic animals who like to spend their days lying around, cleaning themselves, eating, and playing. They make perfect pets because of their independence, cuddly nature, and for their tidiness. However, not every cat is the same. Much like us, every cat has its own personality, coat, colors, paws, and so on. Some cats love other cats while others don’t. Some cats love to play, some prefer lying down. Some cats are friendly while others might be fearful.
This leads us to the topic of this article. What should you do if you adopt a cat and realize she is fearful of you and everyone else? What happened to the kitten that led it to become fearful of everything? Is there anything you can do to help your cat? To find out all of that, sit tight and keep on reading.
Table of Contents
Why Is My Kitten So Fearful?
It is really hard to tell whether a kitten is fearful during the adoption. It is perfectly normal for any animal to be a little skittish when you are living in a cage, and you see tons of different people on a daily basis. Let’s say you have decided to adopt a kitten. You get in your car, and you drive down to the shelter to pick out a kitten for yourself. You come in, and you see a beautiful little kitten, and from that exact moment, you know that you want it. So, you adopt it, you take her home, and in a couple of weeks, you realize that she is fearful of you and everyone else. You can’t pet her, you can’t play with her. That can be hard for the owner. Do you know why some cats act like that?
It is crucial for cats to socialize while they are really young. They need to spend time with humans as well as other kittens. Especially when they are between 2 and 7 weeks old. That period is crucial for the personality of a cat and how she perceives the world and humans. It is important for a kitten to meet different humans and other cats during that period in order to develop desirable social skills. If not, a kitten will grow up to be fearful and always alert. She won’t enjoy petting or even being in the same room with another cat or person.
How To Help My Scared Kitten
If you realize that your kitten is being shy, jumpy, tense, and scared in general, you will need to work with her to overcome that state of mind. The worst thing you can do is to give up on your cat and just accept that ‘’she is simply made that way.’’ You need to work with her to show her that not every new thing she encounters is a threat. You need to teach her that people are not going to hurt her inside your home.
Now that you know what causes fearfulness in kittens, we can now talk about the things you can do to overcome that barrier.
Cats love routine. You need to set a strict schedule which contains playing, feeding, grooming, and you need to keep to that schedule. Once your kitten gets used to that routine, it is time to introduce some low-level scary thing paired with a delicious treat or toy. This way your cat will slowly learn that not everything is scary and a threat.
Be There For Your Kitty
If you notice that your kitten is scared of something, jump into the rescue. Take your kitten and remove her from the object that is scaring her. This way you will form a stronger bond with her. If you are not able to remove her from that kind of situation, being there and comforting her will do the job.
Would you leave your child in a room with a real-sized clown if your child is scared of them? Probably not. Same thing applies to your kitten. Comforting your cat in scary situations will show them that you are caring and affectionate. Your kitten will feel safe in your presence, and that’s a huge step in them overcoming fearfulness.
Cats can pay too much attention to silly things such as a piece of string or a bird on a window. They get fully immersed in an object they are observing and sometimes that object might cause them to be frightened. The best thing you can do is to try and redirect your kitten’s attention in a situation like that. If they are scared of a washing machine or some outside noise, try playing with her or give her a delicious treat followed by a comforting cuddle.
What You Shouldn’t Do
The important thing to know is what you should do, that way you automatically know what you shouldn’t do. So to keep it short, don’t force your kitten to overcome her fears by shoving her face to the source of that fear. Keep it gradual. Also, don’t let your kitten spend her days hidden beneath your bed in the complete dark. That kind of behavior will just do more damage to her psyche. Spend your time with her, play with her, and love her. Be patient and be compassionate.
Adopting a fearful kitten shouldn’t be game over. You shouldn’t give up on her just because she is a bit different than the other cats. Every person has had some kind of fear during their childhood. Some people go through their whole lives living with those fears, they just learn how to accept them. Same thing applies to your kitten. You need to be patient and determined in showing her that not everything represents a danger. You need to make her feel secure and confident to walk around your home. Show her that the doorbell doesn’t represent some kind of danger that requires her to rush under the bed. You are responsible for her life and her well-being, make sure that she enjoys it.