Does your cat seem to spend more time under your bed than anywhere else in the house? Does the groom himself so much he’s going bald? Does he refuse to use the litter box? These are all signs that your cat is nervous and unhappy. What can you do to help your cat adjust and be happier? Here are 6 ways to help your nervous cat.

1 – Lower your expectations

Trying to force your cat to open up, relax, and be nicer can backfire and make her even more anxious. If your cat has always been nervous, especially if she was feral, it may be a stretch to expect her to ever become a lap cat. Once you relax and accept what you can get from your cat, they will feel less pressured and more comfortable with you.

2 – Play with them

Playing with your cat can help them learn to trust you and reduce their stress levels. Playing with sticks is a great way to interact with your cat from a distance, making her feel safe and appealing to her natural hunting instincts.

3 – Let her snuggle with your scent.

While your cat may be too scared to snuggle with you, she needs to learn to associate your scent with food, comfort and love. The Project Play™ Comfort Cuddler™ allows your cat to get used to your scent without fear of making a sudden, startling move. Simply add a used pillowcase or a t-shirt you’ve recently worn, and your cat can enjoy your scent even when you’re not around. By placing one of these pillowcases in your cat’s favorite hiding place, you’ll teach him to associate your scent with safety. Best of all, every purchase of a Comfort Cuddler™ provides a toy for a cat in a shelter. Since cats who play are more likely to be adopted, every toy donated can help save a cat’s life.

4 – Give them a place to hide.

You’ve probably heard of the “fight or flight” response. Cats are much more likely to run away in a scary situation and look for a place where they feel safe. Even if you think living under your bed is a miserable existence, your cat will feel safe there. If you offer them a safe place to hide, they’ll feel more comfortable exploring the house knowing they have a place to escape to.

5 – Give treats

Since your cat may be too scared to accept them directly from you at first, you may need to leave some around the house. Hopefully, over time, your cat will get used to you enough to accept treats from your house by reaching out. Single-ingredient treats are a great way to gain your cat’s trust.

6 – Give them high places

Cats love to watch the world from a perch where they sit away from foot traffic. Cats or other high perches can help them feel more comfortable away from their main hiding place.

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