Cat-titude! Give shy cats a chance

Shy cats can often get overlooked but just because they are quieter in the cattery does not mean they won’t make the perfect companion.

A cat can be shy or timid for a number of reasons, they may have been through a trauma, they could still be very young and learning the ropes, or maybe they are just waiting to find that special someone who can bring them out of their shell.

At the RSPCA Southall Cattery there are currently some timid cats who are looking for purr-fect homes.

Aneel Odhwani, animal care assistant at Southall in London, is urging prospective owners to give shy cats a chance.

He said: “All cats personalities’ are very unique, some might be feisty and some might be quieter but they could all make a great companion.

“Unfortunately this is quite a common problem which we see all over the country. People just don’t give shy cats a chance.

“People walk through catteries and don’t notice the timid ones as they pass through because they don’t go up to strangers immediately. The confident cats who stroll up to people are much more likely to catch someone’s eye.

Sindy (6)

“It is such a shame as just because a cat is shy in a cattery doesn’t mean they don’t make loyal, sweet-natured and often playful companions once they have settled in a home and have got to know their owners.

“Some might say that this extra bit of a challenge makes the bond between owner and cat all the more unique.

“The shy cat won’t go up to any old stranger with their love – it would be especially for you.”

Two year old Sindy was hit by a car in February and brought to Harmsworth Animal Hospital as she was unable to walk.

The black and white cat was found under a car by a passer-by in Brent and brought to the RSPCA for treatment.

No owner was ever found and so after a month of treatment she was back on her feet and arrived at Southall in March looking for a new home.

Aneel added: “She has recovered from her ordeal now but Sindy is a very shy cat. She’s not going to be anyone’s lap cat but she does want to make friends.

Besty“She would suit a quieter, adult-only home with a more experienced owner who understands her need to do her own thing.”

Three-year old Betsy is another cat who needs a little patience and lots of space.

She came in to Southall in March from a multi-cat household in London where 10 cats were living in total.

She shies away from the staff at the cattery and would rather be running around a field or out and about.

She would suit a home on a farm where she can have plenty of space to run around and be herself.

ParisnewParis and Andie are two timid foster sisters who are bound to come out of their shell soon.

The three month old kittens were brought in separately in April but have become foster sisters during their time at Southall.

Paris was found as a newborn with her mum in a back garden in London whereas Andie came in at about two weeks old without a mum. The pair have since become thick as thieves.

They are still quite timid but staff are sure they will grow out of this and will benefit from lots of company.

AndieThey will need a home with adults-only or older children who are used to cats. The new owners will also need to be experienced with cats as the pair are flu carriers.

Aneel added: “Shy cats can take some patience but in the end we’re sure it will be worth it.

“Southall Cattery is at full capacity and this isn’t a rare occurrence. We’d love it if more people took a chance on quieter cats and gave them the loving home they deserve.”

To rehome Sindy, Betsy, Paris or Andie, contact Southall Cattery, Hounslow, London on 0300 123 0746, or visit

Or visit the national website at

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

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11 thoughts on “Cat-titude! Give shy cats a chance

  1. Léa says:

    Shy works well here. Colette would ignore any newcomer unless they go too aggressive, then she would put them in their place. Simone wants to mother any feline and would love a kitten to mother. The human is a pushover for any feline and is quiet herself but do realize, she is only human.

  2. franhunne4u says:

    Have only ever rehomed the shyer ones. The outgoing ones are for people who do not know about cats and their ways and are insecure – they need to be taught how to deal with a cat by a not-shy cat.

    I rehomed a pair in 2006 – and the tom, rather playful if varily so in the cattery turned full shy here for a few weeks. But in the end (he died in February) he was a snuggle bug always around me when I was home. It did not take him that long. The female I got with him was sick and still she was the first to come towards me when they were here. She died 2011 and I had to get another companion for tom, so searched for another shy cat – one that would not bully my easy going tom. She let me wait 7 months until she jumped up on the couch next to me and we became fast friends after that – ok, I WAS shelling out treats for every pet at the beginning … Now she is not shy anymore and lets my friends pet her. She sleeps on my bed and demands attention …

    She was seven months when she got caught and neutered and lived at the shelter for a year. A WHOLE YEAR – and still shy. But not panicking there. Here yes, at first so. But I gave her time and space. And she developed very nicely. Shy is not always shy forever.

    Having said that – a cat that won’t stop hissing and looking at me totally terrified even after several visits of me and some time spent in their companion is probably not happy in my indoor-only cat home. So I will take a shy but not a panicky cat.

  3. Pingback: Our Cat Shy Too – ITH & SB

  4. Kate Crimmins says:

    I have four cats — two shy, one that I call friendly, and devil cat who is very bossy (just to humans, not to the other cats). I love shy. It may take more time for their personality to emerge but there is one. My oldest shy one just loves to lie on the windowsill in the sunshine. I know she’s happy here. Shy cats are especially great for older people who don’t want a kitten running through their legs, trying to trip them.

  5. foguth says:

    I completely agree that shier / quieter cats make excellent companions… M rarely finds anything to meow about, but he is a champion purrer. Purrseidon, on the other paw, meows a lot, but rarely purrs. Both are excellent companions, but in different ways.

    • Animals Are Feeling Beings Too says:

      I agree with this post. My cat is very shy. She was like that when I saw her at the Humane Society. I actually did mention that to one of the workers and was thinking I might not adopt her because of it. But, I kept my eye on her while I checked out a few other cats. She was coming to the front of the cage and gave me a look, so I had to give her a second chance. I took her into the visiting room for the second time and she still didn’t pay much attention to me, but there was a moment she did finally make eye contact in the room with me and then let out a “meow.” That’s all it took! She was coming home with me and I couldn’t have asked for a better companion. She is still shy around strangers, but that’s ok with me. I am a shy person too, so I understand how other people can disregard us just becasue of this. Great post! Great message!

      • foguth says:

        I know exactly what you mean! M is always around (usually in my lap, if possible) when we’re alone, A couple years ago, an acquaintance said she’d never seen my fav old tom… and she came around frequently. After dragging him out of his favorite box and introducing her to him, he started welcoming her, but I also wonder how many others wonder if my dear old tom really exists.

  6. zodiacimmortal says:

    They are beautiful! However YOU don’t pick the cat… The Cat picks you!~ 2 of my cats definitely picked me! and technically a third. The first one I had (I was 3 or 4 when we got him) was in my Pop Pops yard (not their cat the mother and 3 kittens were just in the yard for some reason) The little black and white guy followed me all over the yard, his 2 siblings did not.. and I don’t remember seeing the mother.

    The 2 cats I had after him (now I’m going into high school) , our vet had one, and the other we rescued for a local rescue.We had fostered him until they could take him and at the time we were doing so, I was sick so I would go in the hall and play with him.

    Now I have sully who we got from the local rescue and I wanted a black kitten (this is 2002) So there was a separate room for viewing the kittens. When we first walked in there was a Black one and a white one in a cage (they were so small and still being fed. as soon as I saw them I said I’d name them yin and Yang… but because I wouldn’t be able to take them home right then and the next day was my parents anniversary, I sat in the room and just hung out (on my lunch time) mom came along and I just waited to see who would give me a sign they were going to be mine.

    I forget what it was (if she did) have a name before I named her Sully, but she was sticking her tongue out which cracks me up. (How or why do cats forget to put their tongues back in their mouths?) That was my sign she wanted to be my cat or well you could call her Sully of Sing Sing and Just Strays with a hundred nicknames.! (as Just Strays rescued her from the prison which had a rehab program) and I have many nicknames for her. One in which is my little familiar, because she’s too smart to just be a cat, my grandmother when she was in the nursing home said she saw a black cat on the chair and she never saw sully nor did we tell her we had a black cat.

    She also knows just when I need her most. Also just this morning… she came to wake me up and gave me a kiss (a few actually) right in the middle of my forehead!

  7. Pingback: Cat-titude! Give shy cats a chance – Feline Tales

  8. Mike says:

    There is a real sense of accomplishment when you can help a shy cat find their confidence and make their own space in your home. It often requires literally getting on their level to see the world from their perspective and attention will be on their terms. They may never become lap cats, but the affection you do get feels all the more meaningful.

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