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Has Your Cat an Aversion to Visitors?

Some nervous cats regard any visitor to the home as an unwelcome intruder. They either disappear and go into hiding until the strangers have left or slink around behind the furniture glowering suspiciously at everyone. The simplest way to tackle this behavior is to ignore it.

Tell your visitors that its nothing personal, this is a one person cat and they should pay no attention to its unfriendly glare! The cat may lose its dislike of visitors in time but you should on no account pull it out of its hiding place and hold it up for introductions. This will confirm all its worst fears and ensure that it will bolt in future so that this distressing experience will not happen again.

If you long for a more sociable cat and are determined to do something about it, you must be prepared to take the time and trouble. When visitors arrive put the cat in its carrier in a quiet corner. Look after the visitor and ignore the cat completely for 15 minutes or so,then remove the cat, still in its carrier and put it in another room.

Only release it half an hour later when you give it a tidbit and a lot of fuss. Each time visitors come increase the time the cat spends with you in its carrier. It will gradually come to realise that visitors mean it no harm and its fears are groundless.

Once it stops looking wild and terrified you can open the carrier door after the first few minutes. Let the cat take its time to choose when to come out and school your visitors to look the other way unless and until the cat makes friendly overtures in their direction.

Kathy lectures in Animal Health and Behavior in a college in UK


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