How to get a cat to stop being scared of you?

I got a young cat 3 months ago who is very antisocial. She plays but not with us and no matter how hard I try she doesn't want to be cuddled. It's really depressing to come home to a cat that runs from us. I've never had this problem before, my animals have always been spoiled rotten. How can we fix this?

Asked by Member 1155264 on Feb 14th 2013 in Other Behavior & Training
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Joey (In Memory)

It sounds like she was not properly socialized. Time is what you need – and you need to establish trust. Let her come to you – try enticing her with toys, sound, treats – and when she approaches don't reach out for her - just let her get used to being close to you. After a time, you can offer a hand for her to sniff, rub on, etc. If she has a favorite place to sleep – give her a sweater you have worn to sleep with so she can get used to your scent. Not all cats enjoy physical affection. My cat Joey does not like to be handled – and we have a great relationship. Don't try to get her to conform to your idea of what she should be – let her be herself. Over time I am sure you will bond and enjoy each other. Give her time. Good luck!

Joey (In Memory) answered on 2/14/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


some cats are babies that want to be cuddled, other cats will cuddle when it's their idea. you don't want to force anything. do what the previous author said, and let them come to you. also, sometimes getting on their level (floor) at a distance and then letting them check you out first helps. you could do that and reward her with food. you might also want to try interactive toys like wands and let her hunt it slowly, pulling it across the floor (waving it in her face may bug her).

Fiona answered on 2/15/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Joey and Fiona get two thumbs up for their excellent answers! Lizzie is the same way. When I adopted her, the shelter said she'd been stuffed into a carrier with 6 other cats and abandoned. Who knows what else she endured. Although she sleeps with me now and comes to me on her own terms, she still doesn't like to be held or cuddled. As the others said, it takes extreme patience, kindness, calmness and love to bring these little ones around. Children and adults should not chase them, grab at them or force them to be held. Playtimes should be low-key but fun. A simple toilet tissue tube with a long piece of yarn attached is Lizzie's favorite toy. It may take months for her to decide you're "OK". Don't, whatever you do, blame yourself. You had no control over her past, only her future. You can also chat with your vet for their advice. It doesn't mean there's anything "wrong" with your kitty, but dealing with it now will ensure you of a fine companion in the years ahead!

Lizzie answered on 2/15/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer