Cat Training and Behavior (Domestic and Feral)/shy cats help?

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Question
Hi! i have two 7 year old males tabby/mix cats. When it is just our family, my mom, brother, and me, they are sweet as can be constantly cuddling and calm to do what they want. But when someone makes sudden movements, like running up the stairs, or dropping something, they are instantly spooked and run upstairs to hide. Also, when someone comes over, they are nowhere to be seen, some friends and family dont even know we actually have cats. So i was wondering if there was anything we could do to make them calm down around guests. We would really like to show people how sweet they are when they are around us, but they wont get close.

Answer
I will leave you with this- cats will be cats. You cannot force them to do something they do not want to do, but you can compromise with them.

As far as getting scared with sudden noises movements. What I have done with mine is hold onto them (tight)and have someone make a sudden loud noise. The hard part is staying completely calm and not letting them go and calmly petting until they calm down again. This is one thing that cats are like dogs and it's basically a confidence issue simply due to lack of exposure.

Now as far as guests are concerned, you can do the exact same thing with holding them tight when you someone is about to come in, but before they come in- basically the point that they would freak out and run away. And keep hold until they calm down. Now I've accepted that my cats are antisocial, I'm okay with that. But if this is something you want to change, go for it.  

Cat Training and Behavior (Domestic and Feral)

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Melissa Burg, RVT/Behavior Consultant

Expertise

I have experience dealing with different cat behavior signs, including separation anxiety, possible aggression and the difference between fear aggression and actual aggression, this would include possible feral cats. I also am familiar with the several different approaches to introducing a new cat to the environment as well as how each cat or cat and dog and live comfortable and dealing with litter box issues and help you decide if the problem is medical or behavioral.

Experience

My experience began with my own cats and escalated while working with area animal shelters for the past 10 years. I was able to watch and learn how the cats would react to different stimulus and each other. My experience grew during college and became able to distinguish between medical and behavior issues.

Publications
"Pawfect Pets," a weekly column in my local newspaper with pet health and behavior and training tips.

Education/Credentials
I graduated with an Associate's in Veterinary Technology in 2009 and became RVT in the state of Iowa in 2012 with a focus on Behavior.

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