Why is my cat like this?

My cat is very sweet, but very shy. When we first got her she hid under the couch for weeks, its a year later and she doesn't like anyone but me. She stays in my room all the time, and won't let anyone else pet her. This is something I've gotten used to and don't mind, but she's still also shy towards me as well. She looks down when I pet her, moves away just slightly if I get too close, always has her tail underneath her or pressed at her side, if I'm not looking at her she'll come closer and lay against me (or if its dark) but otherwise shies away. If I put my face near hers (my other cats like to nuzzle my face) she gets really timid, she won't run but she'll back down and get really low. I've never hit her nor harmed her (I don't yell at her often either), but she acts very much like she's afraid of me. Is it just her personality or might it be something else?

We have other cats too and they get along.

Asked by Member 1126608 on Aug 20th 2012 in Behavior & Training
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I don't know about your cat's background, but it sounds to me as though she was possibly a feral kitten. Feral kittens/cats act the same way you have described in the beginning (hiding under the couch, bonding with just one person). As long as she gets along with the other cats in the household and she eats well and uses the litterbox, I wouldn't be too concerned. Just give her her space, particularly when you have visitors. Don't force her to do things she doesn't want to do. Just let her do her own thing! Best of luck.

Member 185886 answered on 8/20/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

Guest is absolutely right. Izzie was born under my neighbor's deck and spent the first 3 months of his life there. I trapped him, socialized him and now he's "my boy". He has a high opinion of himself and is truly the "king" around here. But if we entertain I have to describe what he looks like and show photos because he hides and has for 5 years. My sister-in-law, who fancies herself a "cat expert" learned the hard way not to pick him up. He tolerates being kissed and cuddled by "mom", but no one else. Actually, he prefers just to be in my presence, close to me but not being restrained in any way. He does get along with his sisters and LOVES my dog. But he is his own cat, does his own things, and lives his life. I can suggest though, that if your cat is not spayed and hasn't been to the vet's in a while, it might be a good idea to take her in just to make sure she doesn't have any health concerns.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 8/20/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Molly is the same way. She was my mother's cat. When my mother died I took Molly in because I felt for her. Mom suffered from alzheimers and I think she negected "Molls" somewhat...

She was matted and overweight. When she moved in with me she was very stand-offish. She also lacked self grooming skills. In the first 3 months she avoided me. She ate food when nobody was around. Then she started sitting near me, but never beside me. When I tried to pet her she would cower.

Slowly, she began sitting closer to me but I ignored her. She would tap my arm or shoulder to be petted. She also rarely made noises with her mouth and now she speaks up when she wants food.

She is a little less shy around humans. She enjoys the gentle touch of a person's hand. It has taken 3 years to get this point; she may have even reached her sociability peak, but I get the feeling she knows she's loved.


Member 1126642 answered on 8/20/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


My husband found a tiny little kitten at work. This little guy was covered in fleas and was nothing but a tiny bag of bones that was only half the size of my hand. He was so scared that he hid under our bed for a few weeks. I made sure that he had food and water, I also would talk to him when I fed him. He eventually came out but would not let anyone touch him. He would even hide when people would come over he didn't know. That was 5 years ago. He is still skidish around people that he doesn't know. We have given him the time he needs to come around. Now we can pick him up and he snuggles in bed with us. With a lot of patience, kitty treats and time we have a wonderful little fuzzy baby boy. Snapdoodle lets us know when he was ready to be touched and I think that was the secret to him adjusting to living inside with humans.

Member 1131901 answered on 9/21/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer