Whether you are socializing a kitten or adopting a shy adult, building trust of your new pet will require love and patience. New places and people can make timid cats, even more distrusting. It is common for newly adopted cats, especially those that are still shy, to hide under furniture or be afraid of your touch.

Here are 3 important steps that will help you build the trust and bond with your new kitty fast:


1) Blink Slowly

You might have heard a proverb “Fear has big eyes”. Well, it holds especially true for cats. When a cat is staring at you unblinking, with his eyes wide open, it means that he is alert and scared. Your natural response will be to speak softly and approach the kitty slowly, with your eyes fixed on his. However, in nature, starring is a signal of aggression and for the terrified cat it is a clear sign that you are trying to attack, challenge, or worse, eat him for dinner!

To reassure your cat of your good intentions, try slowly (almost) close your eyes and reopen them while looking at your cat. You will soon notice that he will do the same. He will interpret it as a friendly gesture, a sign that you mean him no harm. This will be the first major step in taming your new cat or kitten.


2) Through stomach to your cat’s heart

If you want to be your cat’s best friend, treat him with tasty food and snacks. Slowly bring the bowl of food closer and closer until your kitty eats from your lap. Your kitten will be uncomfortable close to you at first but the desire to fill his belly will be stronger and he will soon get used to your presence and touch. Talk to him nicely and pet him (some cats love to be petted from head to the tip of their tail). Soon, your kitty will associate your voice and touch with a comfort of a full belly.


3) All you need is love… and patience

stroking cat2

After your first welcoming blink and days of food bribery, your new cat will most likely run to you at the sound of an opening can. But what if he still shies away from your touch? The touch barriers are caused by fear and only repeated and loving approach can help. If your cat is uncomfortable when touched on his chin or belly, patiently try to break those barriers. At the beginning just make it brief to give your cat opportunity to get used to it. If your cat loves to be petted but does not like to be picked up or cuddled, try to do it before feeding for just a little bit then put him down. Short but repeated action will help your kitty conquer the fear and fully enjoy being around you.



2 Responses to 3 Tips On How to Tame Your New Cat

  1. Kathy Stokes says:

    Thank you so much for this helpful message! I foster cats and kittens for Anthem Pets and can use all the help I can get!

  2. FinalHope says:

    You are welcome, Kathy! 🙂 And thank you for all that you do for cats. Having dedicated fosters is a treasure for any rescue!

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