How to Bring a
Scared Cat Out of Hiding
I was recently reminded of how much patience
this requires while on a Kelly's Pet Sitting visit. The female cat in question
("Hen") was ill and didn't have a cat or dog companion, so it was of
the utmost importance that I get her out from under the bed and make friends
In my experience, there's always something that
will catch a cat's attention and bring them toward you. Usually
this response is instilled over time by the pet's parents. I've
trained my own cats to come to the sound of a fork being tapped on
the edge of a small glass dish I use to feed them canned cat
food. No matter where they are (indoors or outdoors), they come running
to the ringing of that dish.
Other cats are crazy for a certain toy,
such as feathers on the end of a piece of string, and flicking the feathers
near their location will bring them leaping out. Playing hide & seek with
your hand under a pillow or magazine can also bring out the hunting instinct in
cats. As the cat moves toward your hand, pull the
pillow or magazine back little by little, until the cat is out of his
hiding place. You'll want to back up as well, so the cat doesn't feel cornered
when he sees you. Speaking softly and offering a treat or a head scratch may
encourage him to stay with you and not go back into hiding.
Some cats love
to be scratched, so the sound of your
finger nails raking across the carpet or on your own pant leg
will be more than they can resist. If they have a favorite comb or
brush, making a scratching noise with that will often get their attention
too. Always move slowly when working with a cat that doesn't know you. Fast
movements or loud noises will often drive them back into hiding.
In Hen's case, it was the noise made by shaking
her bag of treats - a common motivator for many cats. Once she poked her head
out from under the bed, I made a line of treats that brought her closer &
closer to my location. I spoke to her softly and gave her a good
scratch when she was near. Soon, she followed me into the kitchen, went to
the sliding door to watch birds, and even let me brush her fur. I repeated the
treat trick each time I visited Hen and she always came out to partake &
get a little extra attention.
Like people, cats are individuals with various
life histories, so it's up to us to discover what they can't live without.
Once you do, you'll be on your way to a permanent place in that cat's heart.
Beth Berghofer, Pet Sitter
Kelly's Pet Sitting
Note From Kelly, Owner of Kelly's Pet Sitting:
We are often told before we begin a cat sitting job that "you'll probably never see the cat" from the pet parent. Our sitters have extensive experience caring for cats and kittens. It is our greatest joy when we are able to coax your kitty out for play and loving. If you want a cat sitter with a big heart for your precious kitties, be sure and give us a call for your pet sitting needs!