Sunday, 12 March 2017

Jingles success story

Jingles was a nervous cat in the centre but his new owners were willing to put in the time and patience needed to build this sweet cats confidence and allow him to develop his potential in their home.

We received an email from his owner Charlotte who is happy to share his story with you.

This is what she had to say..

I just thought you'd like to see how Endeavour (Jingles) is settling in to his new home.

A week since we picked him up and his new favourite place is now the washing basket!

He's still nervous but is starting to become quite the 'lad' at home now, after the first few days of only wanting to sit in his litter tray and not move from it. He's doing really well. We've had a few moments but a few treats and a lot of patience is starting to pay off and he's becoming a lovely, playful chap. He's looking much happier and settled since discovering the rest of the house to play in, after plucking up the courage to venture out of his cage and discovering it's actually quite nice having a comfy house to explore.

Thank you Charlotte for giving him a loving home.

Endeavour in the wash basket

Here is some more information about shy, nervous or timid cats that you may find helpful

While most cats settle into new homes quickly, some remain fearful despite a gentle welcome and time to settle in. Don’t be too disappointed if your shy or timid cat tries run away and, hide from you. Showing patience and sensitivity will go a long way to ensure that you have a happy and extremely rewarding relationship with your cat.

Why is my cat so timid?

Timid behaviour could be due to:

genetics – an inherited tendency. Some cats are naturally more anxious than

poor socialisation – a lack of contact with humans, particularly during their first eight weeks of life. If young kittens are not properly socialised with people, they will be frightened or stressed by human contact

bad experiences – a previous frightening experience that has made the cat fearful

What are the signs of shyness, nervousness or timidity?

As cats cannot tell us how they feel, it can be difficult to recognise that your cat wants you to move away. Signs of fear include running away and retreating to hiding places. A scared cat will show dilated pupils and/or flattened ears and will cringe and cower from you.

This fear can develop into aggressive behaviour – where your cat adopts ‘fight’ as a tactic instead of ‘flight’ as a last resort.

Usually aggression develops because the cat feels cornered or trapped, or because they have previously learned that flight is unsuccessful. Avoid putting your cat into this situation and ensure they can always get away easily if they want to.

Managing shy cats

There are a number of things you can do to make your timid cat feel more secure. As long as your cat had some positive contact with people when they were a young kitten, with patience your cat will learn not to be afraid but you must take things slowly. 

• provide plenty of refuges for your cat around the house. Cats de-stress quicker if they can hide, preferably in high and dark locations eg behind sofas and under beds. A cardboard box on its side or blankets placed on shelves or wardrobes can help your cat feel safe

• ensure other neighbouring cats cannot enter the house through the cat flap or open windows. Be vigilant to make sure your cat is not being bullied in the garden or intimidated by other cats through the windows, conservatory or patio doors

• keep all your daily routines consistent where possible. This provides a predictable, reassuring environment for your cat

• use synthetic scent pheromones – these can create a reassuring environment for the cat and may help to reduce stress – they are available from your vet

• sit quietly in your cat’s vicinity to allow them to get used to you in their own time. Ignore them while you read a book or take a nap so that they don’t feel pressurised or anxious about your presence. Do it while they are eating or provide a small treat so they associate your presence with something positive. The time you spend near them can very gradually be built up as they adjust

• let your cat make the first move –direct approaches are extremely threatening, so don’t force attention on your cat

• blink slowly at your cat, narrow your eyes so they are half open and then turn your face away slowly to reassure your cat that you are not a threat

  As your cat becomes braver, try:

• talking to your cat quietly in a calming tone – it is a great way to bond

• rewarding your cat with a treat when they approach you– at first, give the treat as soon as your cat approaches but gradually increase the time between the approach and the treat. Over a period of weeks, work up to being able to calmly stroke your cat once or twice before giving the treat

• using small toys you can gently throw for them, such as ball of foil, scrunched up paper or ping pong ball. Fishing rod toys allow the cat to interact without them feeling threatened by close contact.

Most importantly, never lose your temper or try to force your cat to interact too quickly as this will just reinforce their previous fears. Build on your successes gradually – eventually your cat will learn to trust you and will much happier. In some cases, you may find guidance from your vet or a suitably qualified behaviourist useful.

Overcoming a cat’s shyness through patient handling and care often leads to an extremely rewarding and close relationship between owner and cat and is well worth the extra time and effort.

This information was taken from our Essential guides leaflet-Managing your cat's behaviour.  There are more leaflets available for you on this link


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