Woman’s Love For Shy Cat Turns His World Around


Shy and fearful cats pose a challenge for shelters and rescue groups. They are repeatedly passed over by potential adopters for friendly felines and when they are adopted many are returned because of their lack of interaction with their new owners. Even with warnings about patience, it takes a special person to gain the confidence of an extremely shy cat. That’s why the following story of a woman named Kathy and a cat called Scotty is so special. Together they created a path that made them a family.

“Meet Scotty. Doesn’t he have the most amazing eyes? It took me months to be able to look into them,” said Kathy.

One year ago, I walked into the adoption center of Heaven Can Wait Animal Society in Las Vegas, NV. I had a female cat that was very attached to me and got incredibly upset when I left the house. As I was going back to work, I felt she needed a companion.

That’s when I met Scotty. He was considered “hard to adopt” due to his extreme shyness. This broke my heart. I heard how incredibly shy he was, how he didn’t like to come out of hiding, how afraid he was and how he didn’t even like other cats. Scotty had been adopted once before and after a few months, they brought him back because he was “too shy.”

As I sat down in front of his hiding spot, I wiggled my fingers and he came out to get petted. He was so soft, timid, and sweet. I was told by one of the volunteers that he NEVER did that for anyone other than the cat coordinator, not even with the volunteers who had known him for quite some time. Scotty seemed to want me as much as I wanted him. The more we spoke, the more I realized that I needed Scotty as much as he needed me.

I signed all the paperwork… and off we went. He made the most pitiful noises on the drive home. I felt awful! He was SO terrified.

The moment he came out of the cage, he ran under the bed… and that was it. For the next TWO months.

He hid under the bed and would come out to go to the bathroom and eat only when no one else was around. I realized quickly that he needed to find his own way. I couldn’t force him or it would ruin our relationship. So I left him be, under the bed, afraid.

I would come in frequently to lie on the floor and just talk to him, letting him get to know my voice. Little by little, he started to get closer and wanted to be petted. He wanted to TRUST. I let him come at his own pace. I pet him when he wanted and let him run when he felt scared. We did this for another month or two before he realized that I wasn’t going to hurt him. But even so, I realized something odd… he was terrified by my feet. Eventually, we got to a point where he would even jump in bed with me, but when I put my feet on the bed he would freak. My poor cat was terrified of feet. No wonder he ran when you walked toward him!

Little by little, I worked with Scotty. I let him go at his own pace. He needed to know he could trust me and our household. This is him eventually rolling around in the middle of the living room.

He was coming along so well until my partner and I decided to move in with each other and he had cats of his own. Poor Scotty!! It set him back, which broke my heart. After he had made SUCH progress, my poor boy was back to hiding under beds, tables, and other furniture. We were so worried, because he was taking a long time to bounce back from the move.

But he DID! We used the same tactics by letting him come at his own pace. And when he did, boy did he bounce back! Not only did my brave Scotty boy come back, he surpassed where he had been before.

I’ve had him a year now. We’ve been in the new house for 6 months. Do you remember me telling you how he wouldn’t look me in the eye? Look at that first picture. We look at each other constantly now. He meows when he wants attention. LOUDLY! He runs around the house. He plays or lies around with the other cats in the sun.

As it turns out, my Scotty is actually a lover. He follows me around. He comes and spends his time with me in the office. Sometimes he demands to get petted, other times he’s happy to hang out on the floor.

But I’m so proud of his latest discovery. He tried to lick me, and then ran away, of course. When he realized he wasn’t in trouble, he came back and licked me again. Now it’s a regular routine. I pet him and he shows me love by grooming me. I thank Heaven Can Wait EVERY DAY for the love-muffin that is my Scotty! They trusted me with a shy cat that needed lots of patience and in return I got a best friend who I love fiercely. I couldn’t imagine life without Scotty.

-Loving owner of Scotty the wonder cat!


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Photo Credit: Kathy


Loesje vB
Loesje Najoan2 years ago

Nice story.

Lyn Nelson
Neela Nelson2 years ago

My latest cat I brought in is named Mango. I had known her and her sibs since they were born outside to supposedly ferals, but I feed them everyday till I could even pick all the adults up and easily pet them. Well, due to a
mentally disturbed women who stuffed the
adults and all the kittens in her basement they
all disappeared. Well, Mango, an exceptionally
shy kit was the only one she couldn't get. I
tracked this cat from one alley to another till
eventually exactly 1 yr later I trapped her but not before she had 3 kits of her own. I also trapped her mate, who was returned to the alley, and HER 3 kittens who 2 went to a foster.Well, Mango is a tad odd and oddly shy and when I brought her in she freaked out and hid and like in the article only came out when I wasn't home. I just basically ignored her and tho it's 15 mos since I've had her I can pet but not hold or pick her up. She fits in great with my 5 others cats...no fighting at all. It's sad ppl
pass over shy cats...most times they're just a diamond in the rough and with time u can see how grateful they are to be with you.
Her mate was vetted and returned to the alley and her other

Elisabeth JImmink

It is so sad that the shy cats are overlooked at the shelters and rescues - worse that they are returned after having been adopted. This story attests that with love and patience they will come out of their shell. It can take months, in some cases even longer than that, but they will thrive. I have a couple of semi-ferals who could have been deemed shy. After years of working with them they now lay beside me on the couch and ask to be pet.

Tara Hutchinson
Tara Hutchinson2 years ago

I needed to read this tonight. I just adopted a very shy rescue kitty two days ago who had been at the shelter for over a year. He looks a lot like Scotty too! He's staying under the bed and doesn't seem to want to come out. I want to give him so much love but I know he needs time to trust. I've been going into his room and just sitting on the floor talking to him or working on my laptop--he will blink slowly at me, which is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your story.

Lorraine Andersen

what a great story. Thanks so much for sharing.

Val M.
Val M.2 years ago


Marianne R.
Marianne R.2 years ago

Wonderful story, wonderful person

Lynne Whittington

If a cat is afraid of feet it's very likely that someone kicked him !!!

Regan Copple
Regan Copple2 years ago

Kathy, I've always had good luck with the finger wiggle after being taught that move by a former girlfriend of mine. My kitty Sneakers will always respond to that move, & I've found shy cats will generally respond.
With respect to the feet, I think that is something more common to cats than is known. Sneakers used to hiss at my feet & growl & bite at them when I would walk down the hallway. Gradually he stopped doing it after he realized he wasn't going to be stepped on, & now he will lay on the floor & let me step over him when I need to move past him.

Gabriella Bertelmann
G Bertelmann2 years ago

great story, thanks for the encouragement