As any cat owner knows, not all cats are inherently social. Some cats are shyer than others and some only like their owners. Further, if you adopt a cat, he or she will invariably be a bit shy at first towards you. However, if you spend some time with your cat and take some time each day with him or her, your cat will start to trust you and feel at ease in your home.
Below are some tips on how to make your cat more social.
Start with how you handle your cat
Start slowly and try to pet your cat in areas where you think she enjoys being touched, like the top of his or her head. Then pick her up carefully and stroke her feet with your fingertips. You can then move on to his or her belly, the tail and the back. As you touch him or her, speak to your cat softly in a calm, low voice.
That feels great!
After this session, give your cat a treat. Continue to do this several times a day trying to extend the length of the sessions as your cat grows comfortable with you.
If your cat becomes agitated, stop and leave him or her alone. Do not raise your voice or yell at your feline friend. Remember that yelling at your cat will only increase his or her fear and distrust.
Play with Your Cat
Learn what your cat's favorite toy or toys are by trial and error and schedule playtime several times a day. This playtime can reduce the amount of misdirected bad behavior (ankle attacks, etc.) and will help the two of you form a close bond. As with the touching sessions, you should not reinforce bad behavior. If she attacks you during play, tell her "No!" and end the playtime.
Introduce Your Cat to Strangers
Be sure that your cat has your trust before you introduce him or her to strangers. Before you let other people handle your cat, make sure they remember to keep their voices low and calm, at least until the cat is comfortable with them.
Let your cat come to them, and don't force interaction. It may take a couple of visits before your cat is comfortable with people she doesn't know.
Be understanding and patient with your cat and you will reap the rewards. Continue to reinforce the good behavior and discourage the unwanted behavior. Sometimes it will take a year or so to fully complete the process, but you'll be rewarded at the end with a social and happy cat.
Good luck and I hope these tips help your cat become more social.
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