Saturday, March 8, 2014

Establishing Trust with a Shy Kitten

This was Prince Harry shortly after he was rescued from the cold along with Norman (who’s now at our Adoption Center) and the rest of his family. The little guy was very upset and afraid.

But Harry's foster mom has worked patiently with him over the last three weeks. She’s gaining his trust by using food as an incentive for him to come close to her. You can see how much Prince Harry enjoys petting now. And he’s traded in that hiss for a purr!

Bonding with and socializing shy kittens or cats is all about establishing trust. You can use the technique that offers food as incentive for the cat to interact and seek affection from you. First, set the cats up in a small, uncluttered room such as a bathroom or spare bedroom, where they can become accustomed to the presence of people. As the cat becomes more comfortable with its new environment, establish a regular feeding routine rather than leaving food out all the time. The cat will start to anticipate feeding time and associate you with the good food. The goal is to get the cat to feel comfortable eating in your presence so you can start to pet it. In time, the cat will become more comfortable with touch, begin to seek out your attention, and become friendly and affectionate—even when it’s not feeding time! This process can take a few days or several months, depending on the cat.

Prince Harry’s foster mom also uses play to draw him out of his shell. She says, “Prince Harry needs more work... He still requires patience… but he is hissing and swiping less and seems to enjoy being petted… Next step is to see if he’ll come out from his hiding spot without food if I sit very still.”

This adorable kitten is going to make a good little companion. If you’d like to help by working with one or two of Prince Harry’s siblings like Tanner or Daisy and Snowflake, contact

Snowflake and Daisy

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