Rescue cat is a scardy cat

by sarah


We have had Frankie (neutered male) approx age 6 years old. for 2 and 1/2 years, we adopted him from the RSPCA.

The information the rescue centre provided us was very little, we know he wasn't a stray and his owners gave him up.

Frankie is a nervous little boy, he is never aggressive, doesn't hiss or spit and has never bitten or scratched.

He has a cat flap and can come and go as he pleases, he has his own little ogloo and also a fleece blanket on the bed in our spare room.

Frankie likes to be outside (in all weather) he comes in to eat and drink, he meows and talks quite a bit. He likes to be groomed and made fuss of, but this is only by me, he doesn't like my partner, if Frankie is in the kitchen eating and he hears my partner coming in to the room where he is, he will dive out of the catflap.

My partner has never been cruel to him and finds this frustrating, as he would never do any harm to him or any animal.

Frankie will not come in to the living room, even if I am home alone, I will call him in but he just won't.

The one thing I do find strange is that he likes other cats that are in our neighbourhood and that visit our garden, he is not one bit territorial, he even used to let other cats come in through the catflap to share his food, until I installed a flap that detects his chip.

Do you think this is a habit of Frankies? as cats are habit forming creatures and also live by routine.

Answer from kate
Hi I think your cats behaviour is a combination of previous live experience (i.e before you rehomed him), Personal characteristics, some cats are just naturally more nervous and cautious and also yes habit.

A lot of a cats
personality etc is built up during the first 7 weeks of live, this is called the sensitive period. During this time a cat who meets a lot of different people and other animals are more likely to be a friendly people cats later on. One that has good play and home life during this period will also be a easier cat to have around. It may well be that your little guy did not get a lot of this early on and so now it has also formed into a bit of a habit and at 6 years old will be extremely difficult to change. The best you may be able to hope for is that over time he calms down a little and also build sup his confidence in you and your partner.

You could try using the calming felaway type sprays available to try and help relax your cat when he’s in the home. Please see this page for more on this


Also your partner at the same time could try some of the bonding exercises with him to try and gain his confidence. See this page for more on this

Do you think it would be an idea to get another cat? but a kitten this time for company?

Answer from Kate
I don’t think this would be a good idea at all. It is often a misconception by us humans that cats need other feline company. This is just not true, they are not pack animals like dogs and although some may get along and live happily with others, it is likely that these cats have lived with other cats all their lives and so are very used to it. To introduce another cat to your home, even a kitten to a cat that already is rather nervous about his home environment could make things considerably worse.

I love little Frankie to bits and just want him to be happy.

Thanks in advance

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