Spend time with the cat. If you happen to have other cats in the house, choose a time when they are busy somewhere else and get some one-on-one time with your shy kitty. There could be a number of reasons behind the cat’s reclusive and timid behaviour – e.g. having been separated from the litter at a young age, or having been bullied by a bigger cat.
While it would be difficult to try and figure out the reasons why, you can try to gain the cat’s confidence and attempt to engage it in some form of interaction. This will be a gradual process and may take some time, but it is the best way to bring the kitten around and start building up her/his confidence.
Image courtesy: birmingham.cats.org.uk
Indirectly compel the kitty to interact with others. Shy cats that are lacking in confidence generally tend to isolate themselves from the other family members, and hide in secluded corners of the house. Force the kitty to hang around other people and animals by blocking access to the areas where she/he generally retreats. If your timid cat has a habit of hiding away in the laundry room, for example, keep the door to the room closed at all times, so the cat can’t get in. This way, the feline will be forced to seek out other areas where interaction with others is more likely, and this in turn will boost confidence.
Monitor the cat carefully. Introduce her/him to other pets and people gradually, and always remain on hand to intervene in case anything goes wrong. Since you started by earning her trust, the kitty will most likely feel comfortable with you around. If there is a dominant cat in the house, with a tendency to bully others, keep a close check on any interaction your shy cat might have with this assertive feline.
Image courtesy: isranature.photopathway.com
Finally, be generous with praise and rewards, to get rid of the cat’s unsure and insipid attitude. Lay the praise on thick, and reward the kitty for doing small things, like playing with a toy, using the scratching post, or sitting on someone’s lap. The praise and attention is likely to prove a major confidence booster, and turn your cat into a happy, interactive, and social feline.
Image courtesy: mykesweblog.com