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3 Bumps

Anyone Ever Rehabilitate a Scaredy Cat?

Just curious. I have a cat that used to be a boldy little kitten. Early on though she had a scary incident that involved her getting caught in a plastic grocery bag. Since that time (and I'm talking years), she has been nervous, shy, scared, an all around under the bed kind of cat. She only trusts me, and when I'm home by myself she comes out with no problem - however, forget it if I even sneeze, she scurries back upstairs.

Has anyone ever successfully gotten a cat to move on from being so frightened all the time? It's been over ten years since this incident and I want her to feel comfortable within our family. I've tried so hard to coax her out, show her that no one is going to hurt her, but she just doesn't really change.


Asked by amybaby_19 at 12:42 PM on Dec. 24, 2010 in Pets

Level 20 (8,829 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • She sounds like my Winnie. Winnie had been a semi Feral cat that I adopted from a shelter where I volunteered. Winnie was about 2 years old when they trapped her and her kittens. It took me a year and half to win her trust once I brought her home. She was dubbed the ghost cat by my family and friends because they never saw her. Winnie liked to stay in my bedroom and only came out at night when it was quite. The only time I ever saw her as social was when I was in bed or had tuna fish. But When she was 15 years old she stopped using the litter box so we put her on prozac. Not only did the Prozac fix the litter box problem it helped her relax. She came out during the day.,allowed my daughter to pet her without me holding her(very big for Winnie), Did not run if you approached her to fast. Had I known that would help her I would have done it a long time ago. Winnie passed two years ago at 15 and finally seemed really happy.

    Answer by KyliesMom5 at 5:54 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • Well, unfortunatley, cats are touchy creatures and it's hard to say what makes them tick sometimes. My mom has had one for ten years and she is the same way your cat is. Some cats change some don't. Only time will tell you. But if she has been this way for a few years, odds are she is who she is.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 1:36 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • Poor kitty. She sounds like my cat. When I was 16, my brother stuck her in a pillowcase because he was a punk-ass jerk at the time, and she's been twitchy ever since. I wish I could tell you how to get her back to the way she used to be, but I have no idea.

    Answer by makelineerror at 1:58 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • I have, mostly by spending time in a room with them ~ with the door shut so they can't run off and hide. They each learned that the loud, scary, or creepy things humans do won't hurt them. I've done this with abused cats, feral cats, and shy cats. It takes time and patience, but it can be done.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 9:28 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • Poor kitty! Sorry, I have no advice for you but heres a bump!

    Answer by Lobelia at 12:47 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • Poor kitty! I have one like that. She lives under my bed most of the time. She'll come out if DH or I am on the bed. It's gotten so bad that we've had to move food, water and a litter box into our bathroom. She's on anti-anxiety meds and they've helped a little, but most wouldn't be able to tell.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 12:50 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • Yes ! I have... Give her a lot of love... Perhaps,---there is a room in your house that the shy cat can go for refuge... She may always be a little shy,---but you can get her adjusted so she's better !!! Don't give up... It's been my experience that the shiest cats are often the sweetest !

    Answer by IndigoRose at 1:14 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • i have a 12 y/o kitty who is a scaredy cat too. She wouldn't go outside if her life depended on it, and if there are strangers in the house, she stays under the bed. We have friends we've known for years who have never seen her. That's just her personality. I might ask the vet about Prozac, though, after reading some of the pp.

    Answer by elasmimi at 5:24 PM on Dec. 26, 2010

  • I used to take in strays and It was when I found a mangey Mess,;that had been soaked in what smelled like a couple Kerosene, in my outside garbage can I fell in love with it. "It" was a Calico Kitten my little girl decided to call Precious, (she wasn't so precious) she was so scardy. We started feeding her chicken noodle soup broth over her food once a day each day we rotated who fed her so she would get used to our scents after about 2 and a half months she came out of the kitchen and started rubbing on my hubbys legs, (he ignored her) then she moved to me (i ignored her ) then she moved on to my oldest, same scenario, this happened for about a week then she started jumping in our lap for attention needless to say shes a Lovey Kitty now.....

    Give it time patience and lots of Chicken broth or baby food (the meat kind) and it'll pay off

    Answer by mamabeard3 at 1:36 AM on Dec. 27, 2010