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Ask The Vets

Q: I am fostering two rescued cats who are shy and fearful. What can I do to socialize them?

A: With patience and consistency, fearful cats can become more socialized over time. Newly rescued cats need a smaller space to hide and to feel secure such as a bedroom, bathroom, or a large dog crate. Keep water and a clean litter box nearby. Feed multiple small meals per day instead of free feeding. Repeated meal feeding creates a positive experience that the cat will associate with the person. Don’t force touching or chasing the cat around the room. Allow the cat to come to you when they feel safe. Sit or be in the room regularly to allow the cat to observe you. Offer treats, but allow the cat to come to the treat and don’t force your hand toward the cat which can scare them away. Leave the treat a distance away from you and then gradually decrease the distance. As the cat sees you regularly and associates food and treats with you, the cat will hopefully be less fearful. When the cat comes to you, slowly and gently engage physical contact. Keep a quiet environment. Loud noises and voices will scare cats and cause them to retreat.

- The International Center for Veterinary Services Medical Team, edited by Dr. Jennifer Bolser

To see beautiful adoptable pets, please visit www.icvsasia.com. Got a question for a vet? Send an email to: icvs_china@yahoo.com. For more information on pet vaccinations and neutering at International Center for Veterinary Services, see www.icvsasia.com

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