Shy Cat Enrichment
**Adults only depending on the cat**
If you’re interested in helping socialize shy cats, sign up for cat cuddling and talk to a staff member when you come in. Each cat has their own needs and comfort level.
The goal in socializing is to help the cats create a positive association with people. Anything negative, like punishing them will only set them back further, so our goal is to do things that show cats people = good things.
Some things that can help:
Reading out loud. Have a book you’re enjoying or a textbook you need to get through? Very shy cats often benefit from having a human nearby talking. It helps them get more comfortable with being near people.
Slow, calm pets. Some that are okay with human contact would greatly benefit from having different people give them some calm affection. Some may take some time before you can pet them, but once they warm up it is such an incredible feeling. Gaining the trust of shy animals is one of the most rewarding things about working with shelter animals.
Playtime! Wand toys especially can be helpful with this. Playing can be a great way to help a shy cat come out of their shell. We’ve had many cats in the past who we couldn’t pet right away, but they would happily go after a toy.
Always keep in mind we don’t always know what our animals have been through in the past. Some may have been abused, but more often than you might think they just haven’t been socialized. We get a lot of cats who just lived with one or two people their whole life then suddenly they are thrust into a busy shelter with new people, other cats (which they may not have been around since kittenhood), and all sorts of new smells and sounds including dogs. Socializing cats takes a lot of patience. Patience and being calm are the most important things when it comes to socializing cats. The staff is happy to help show you subtle signs of stress and help you learn the best way to help our cats.