Helping a Scaredy Cat Adjust to Visitors
by Pam Johnson-Bennett, CABC, Cat Behavior Associates
Begin training sessions by having someone come over quietly and sit on the floor without making eye contact with your cat. The visitor should engage in quiet conversation with you. Don't hold your cat or encourage him to go up to the person. Cats feel less threatened when they have some degree of freedom and control. Engage the cat in an interactive play session with a fishing pole toy or offer treats while in the presence of the visitor. If things go well you can have the visitor begin gently tossing treats to the cat. If kitty isn't ready for this step then work up to that in later sessions. The point of this training is to have the cat associate something positive with the presence of the visitor.