A kitten can make the perfect pet for nesties. Kittens are available for adoption in shelters and rescue organizations, and may be outgoing, loving or shy. When looking for a tiny feline, don't rule out a timid kitten to bring loads of love to your union.
Reasons for Kitten Shyness
When the two of you visit your local shelter or rescue organization in search of a kitten to adopt, you may be faced with the choice of choosing one from many available kittens. If the one you have your hearts set on is less than sociable, there are possible reasons for his behavior. Chances are, the little fur kid has lacked human companionship in his short life. Or maybe he encountered a person who was less than kind. Either experience could lead to timid behavior such as running from people, hiding behind objects or cowering when handled.
If the kitten you choose to adopt displays this type of shy behavior, don't be discouraged. There are ways you can help him adapt to his new home and learn to trust and enjoy the company of his human companions.
Bringing a Timid Kitten Home
Any pet that is introduced to a new home has the potential to be timid or frightened at first. But can you imagine how a tiny, shy kitten would feel in a big, strange new world? A transition into a comfortable setting is vital to helping a shy kitten relax and adjust.
Placing the little guy in spare room will help him to be less overwhelmed than if he is given access to the entire home. He will also have fewer places to hide, which will be less stressful for you. A soft, comfortable kitty bed or blanket gives your new pet a place that feels safe and secure. In addition, having all of the things your kitten will need close by, including food, toys and his litter box, helps him feel at home.
Interacting with Your New Pet
A timid kitten is likely to see almost anything as a threat, especially a big human. For this reason, taking it slow helps him learn to trust you. Instead of scrambling after your new pet if he runs from you, give him the chance to come to you. By staying calm and calling your kitten in a reassuring voice, he will feel comforted. Pick him up gently with a relaxed, steady grip. Though your shy pet may seem to dislike your attempt to pet and hold him, do not give up. Your kitten needs daily handling to learn to enjoy human interaction.
Most important is the love and affection you show the little guy. When you frequently stroke his fur and talk to him in a soft, gentle voice, your shy fur baby will be sure to get as attached to the two of you as you both are to him.
Socializing Your Shy Kitten
Once your kitten has been introduced to his new home and begins to adjust to frequent handling, socialization is the next step. Bring your pet out of his secure environment into other areas of your home to get him use to the idea of the larger world around him. If you have other pets, slowly introduce them by letting them see each other at first, then allow them to spend short periods in the same room together. Bring your shy kitten around friends and family when they visit so your little friend will begin to accept humans other than the two of you. This will be especially important if you need to have a pet sitter look in on him when you both are on vacation or out of town on business.
Keep in mind the importance of playtime. Toys serve as great icebreakers between you and your tiny timid feline. Additionally, play time with kitten toys will help build his confidence. Before you know it, your timid kitten will grow into a confident and affectionate companion.
Jennifer Lynn has been writing as a correspondent and reporter since 1991. She has written for numerous newspapers and currently writes as a correspondent for Gannett. Lynn has a Bachelor of Arts with a focus on English from Ohio University, where she also studied journalism at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.