The 3 golden rules for an easy home integration of a shy cat

Published July 26th 2022

Some cats are more shy than others.  Quite often, those cats missed early socialization with humans and-or have not been exposed to a variety of different situations.

Those cats lack confidence and have not developed the tools to easily adapt to new situations, such as a new environment.

The shy cat needs :

  • To feel at ease in his new surrounding before being able to trust humans
  • More time to adapt, which can take weeks, even months
  • A calm and stable environment

To ensure a successful adaptation, it is important to follow the rules, and not skip any of the steps.     Otherwise, the adaptation time will be longer and more difficult for the cat

 1 – Adapting his environment

  • A closed and quiet room - far from the hustling of the household
  • Place his food and water bowls in a corner of the room and his litter box in the opposite corner
  • Provide attractive hiding spots such as cardboard box with woolly blanket, small cat tent, open pet carrier, etc.
  • Place the hiding spots in a way that you can have a look inside from a distance, ideally away from the entrance to the room to prevent scaring him and keeping a good distance with you
  • Provide the cat with elevated observation points, ideally at a height of at least 1.5 meters

2- Respect his pace

  • Frequent visits are in order, while maintaining a certain distance at first
  • Use a calm and soft voice to address him
  • Sitting down on the floor and respecting is height is advisable
  • Do not try to touch or pick up the cat
  • The cat will let you know when he is ready to establish contact
  • Use food to make your visits a positive experience
  • the cat is busy eating in front of you, you may want to take the opportunity to reduce the distance between the cat and you
  • Always play while keeping a certain distance. Using a stick, cord and feather at the end is an ideal game for the cat.

How do we know when the cat is ready to establish a contact ?

  • It will come out of hiding and be curious
  • It will eat the goodies in front of you
  • It will keep a ‘high’ posture, i.e. body, head, ears, even its tail.
  • It will play in your presence


 It is up to the cat to make the first steps towards you, and not the other way around.


3- The power of goodies

  • Food is the best incentive we can use for training a cat
  • Finding his preferences is a game of trial and errors
  • Use goodies every time you pay your cat a visit
  • It is possible for your cat to not eat in your presence at first
  • The better the goodies, the easier the adaptation will be.

Goodies examples you may wish to try :

  • Cheese
  • You can find ‘Creamy cat it’ (cats love it !) in an pet store
  • Tuna
  • Sardine
  • Canned cat food.
  • ‘Temptation’ or other types of goodies for cats
  • Dried fish

Always use small quantities at first, because chances are you will be giving out some more often.