A closeup shot of a cat hiding behind a cat tower

Why You Should Adopt A Shy Cat

It’s the same old story.

A family heads into the shelter to pick their future kitty to take home and join their pack. On the windowsill as they approach the Kitten Room, a cute little kitty meows at them, batting at the glass with his paw; bounds around their feet as they enter the room, playing and full of confidence. On the other side of the room, another kitten, just as cute, hides inside his kitten igloo. The family don’t even know he’s there, but he sees them – he’s just too shy to come out yet. Before he’s even ready to leave his hiding place, the first kitten has been scooped up and is on his way to his new life.

How many times will this small kitten be passed up and overlooked because he’s not as outgoing as the other cats in the shelter? The sad reality is that shy, introverted cats tend to stay in our shelters for much longer than their extroverted buddies. This in turn also limits our shelters resources and restricts how many other incoming cats we are able to take in and rescue. That’s why we’re urging people to look beyond the extroverted cats and see that, while a shy cat may not stand out at first, they are just as deserving of your love and make the most loyal, undemanding companions capable of just as much affection and fun.


Why are cats sometimes shy?

It’s not their fault – while some cats come to the shelter completely happy and settled, others come to us stressed out, scared or sad. They may just find the shelter environment stressful or they may have experienced trauma in the past, wounds or experiences with humans that make them wary of interacting with people or being handled.


A little love, patience and understanding goes such a long way.

Our team spends a great deal of time socialising these little guys when they come into our care. We spend time with each cat individually and on their terms to gain their trust and ensure they feel relaxed and unthreatened. We sit with them in their enclosure at a safe distance, reading to them, chatting to them softly, slowly getting them used to having people around them and never rushing them, until slowly the worry in their eyes starts to lessen.

Our wonderful foster care homes are vital for providing our shy cats the extra love, patience and understanding that they need as well. They’re never put off by what comes across as a ‘stand offish’ cat and allow even the shyest cat all the time they need to acclimate to their new environment. Slowly and surely, a cat that looks terrified, that hides all the time, that hisses with fear- if given the time to settle with someone who understands their needs, can become just as loving, playful and sweet as any cat.


Give a shy cat a chance to show you who they really are.

If you’re looking for your new feline best friend, don’t pass by the quiet ones hiding in the corner. If you can look beyond the initial timid, quiet, “stand offish” behaviour of a shy cat and offer them a home with you, and give them some time to settle in, you may just unlock something special - their hidden, quirky personality - just waiting to bloom. All it takes is a special person who’s willing to open their heart and their home to a shy cat and understand that a little bit of patience goes a long way.

We just know that you'll end up with a little buddy who will really appreciate living a quiet life with you, curling up in a cosy spot on the couch and slowly showing you every quirky part of their personality. It may take a little longer than an outgoing cat, but it is so worth it, knowing that you helped give a shy cat a chance to step into their own – one paw at a time.

Check out our website to see all of our current available cats up for adoption and make sure you don't skip over the shy ones!