Your Pet Question:
My beautiful Burmese cat (Coco) is around 5-years-old and is extremely timid and fearful of other cats and all people except my husband and myself. She was a stray cat, and we have had her for 3 years now, but she won’t let my mother anywhere near her! She is very affectionate, cuddly and playful with us. Is there a way of making her less fearful around other people?
Joan Howe, Windsor, ON
The Expert Says:
Burmese are generally outgoing and friendly but it is possible your cat missed a critical period in her social development before you adopted her which has impeded her desire to interact with anyone strangers. Have your mother sit alone in a room with her without any interaction, but place some highly tasty cat food or treats close by, making the cat come closer. If your mother lives with you, you could repeat this every day. I also have an adopted cat that was a stray for two years before we took her in. She is very loving with me, but even after 10 years, she still disappears when company arrives. You might try some aromatherapy to help your cat relax more in general. The Bach Flower remedy is popular for stressed-out cats. You put of 2 drops of “Mimulus” in a diffuser bottle filled with spring water and spray it in the air around your cat four times a day.
Cheryl Smith is the owner of Urika Animal Behaviour Consultants in Perth, Ontario.