Cat Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I help out at a cat sanctuary (it's not really a "shelter", it's a woman's house that's full of cats, usually the sick/unadoptable ones, and she keeps them for life). There's so many different personalities of cats there! I love a lot of them. But for some reason it's the shy ones that really catch my heart. In one room there are three kitties that I've been trying to make friends with all summer, one longhair tortie and two brown tabbies. The tabbies especially seem really curious about me, they watch me from their cat perch. They'll even play with me when I use a kitty string-toy and flick it around their paws and heads.

The tortie is more shy, she watches me with wide eyes from a crate or a box that she's in. She's gotten better, though - now if she's in the middle of the room or on top of one of the cages when I walk in, she doesn't immediately dart for the nearest hole to hide in. But any sort of movement from me causes her to hasten her steps a bit.

All three of them, they'll sniff my hand when I reach out, then will slowly back up. I've touched two of them very very lightly, and they didn't move away for a few seconds (progress).

So my question is, is there any way for me to put them at ease? I know with dogs there are many "calming signals" you can do to send them the impression that you're very unthreatening and unscary - pet them from under the chin (not on top of the head), turn your head away from them, yawn, etc. Is tehre anything like that with cats? I'm afraid I don't know a whole lot about cat behavior.

It's probably a lost cause anyways - these I think were feral cats, and even the woman who owns the house says she's never been able to touch them. :( Poor kitties. At least they have a safe home where they can frolic with each other and be happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,398 Posts
The slow blink works really well for me...close your eyes slowly, pause, and then open them again, just as slowly. Yawning is always good. Mirror their facial and vocal expressions...if they wink, you wink. If they blink, you blink. If they lick their chops, so do you...you get the idea. Echo their meows. Try looking over their shoulders and slightly past them instead of looking them in the eye. Lie on the floor like a rug (even if it means taking a nap) to show your stillness. If you can let them control the situation and approach you instead of reaching out to them, you might find them happier to oblige.

Eventually they may start to get closer to you, but don't be too discouraged if they don't, especially if you're only around them part-time...it's hard for a lot of cats to ever fully trust humans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I understand. I wouldn't be surprized if they never trust me, but I wanted to try anyways.

Thanks for the suggestions. :)
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top