We totally get that you're a cat owner who loves your pet, but that may not be the case for every person. Not everyone is a cat person and sometimes it is the other way around; yes! Your cat may not be a peoples person. And it is definitely unfair if you cannot invite your friends to your home due to such predicaments, making it a sensitive situation for some cat lovers.
Why is your Cat Selectively Social?
Cats could also be petrified of strangers or guests for many reasons. A common reason is lack of experience with “people” when they were little. If cats were not introduced to completely different people throughout their socialization period (three to 9 weeks of age), they will take time to understand strangers as adults. With the addition to that, the arrival of guests is sometimes alarming with things like a knock, or suitcases being moved around, loud talking and a lot of commotion. Just like people, some cats possess timid or less social personalities or temperaments. Studies have shown that kittens born to fearful fathers are typically fearful themselves.
Teaching a cat to be less frightened of people could be a gradual method. However, don’t worry! You have lots of time. Here are some solutions for you.
Create an area for your cat to feel safe
It is not necessary to avoid inviting people. Whenever you need to have guests over the key is to create an environment that makes your cat feel comfortable.
Create a minimum of one location in your home where your cat will have its privacy. Your cat should have an area of his own not only when guests are there, however at alternative times, too.
A room that is not in use could be a great place for your cat. Be sure that the room contains water, a litter box, and a bed or any other preferred hiding place
Do not disturb your cat once he/she is in this room. You should leave a tiny gap within the door or shut the door completely when people come.
There ought to be some type of hiding places for your cat in alternative rooms, too, like cat trees, potted plants or window sills with curtains. Cats feel safer once they are high up and unapproachable to a possible threat. Most importantly, make sure they have the opportunity to run when they need.
For example, putting a cat tree close to the exit in a very area wherever guests gather would permit your cat to look at guests, however, provide him an area to run away if things feel uncomfortable. A cat tree or a perch close to the doorway of your home can encourage your cat to climb up and observe the people that are entering. This can make them feel secure.
If your cat’s favorite area is occupied with guests, confirm your cat can search another location he likes providing him with a place to nap, eat, and drink as he likes.
Allow Your Cat to welcome the guests
One of the major causes of stress in cats could be a change in their environments and one big thing that forces them to hide is facing a new person.
Whether this is a short visit or a permanent resident, cats imagine that new person could be a threat to their territory. This also could happen with a new animal in the house. You may notice your feline hiding or acting out when they are threatened.
Milani says it’s vital to offer a cat enough time to accept the change and settle for the new person on their own terms. On the other hand guests’ that are visiting for a short while can sit close to the hiding area with some treats and let the cat approach them.
The Cat Flap
This can be a highly useful installation whether you have an indoor cat or an outdoor one. The cat flap can be installed in the door of the room that you have set as a sanctuary for your kitty cat. It will allow free movement from one room to the other without the risk of them getting trapped behind a closed door or you keeping the door open.
The flap can also be installed for indoor/outdoor movement allowing an escape plan when things get too much to handle.
Synthetic pheromones can be a great fix to soothe the extra anxiety that will be haunting your cat if guests visit. They can be used to introduce a stranger to your kitty as well. Pheromones are highly responsible for your cat’s reaction as they are animals that are highly reliant on scents to identify the familiar from the unfamiliar. Using synthetic pheromones will ensure that your guest is not met with a violent reaction.
As your cat builds confidence, gradually invite completely different people into your home over a number of weeks and keep rewarding your cat whenever somebody comes to the door. Be careful to not overwhelm your cat with too many friends, though, and do not force interaction — continually enable your cat to approach new people at her own pace. Patiently, you'll be able to turn your scary-cat into a courageous cat.