Black Cat Being Shy / Distanced

by Georgie



We have a cat behavior question about our black cat. She is about 6 months old now and she has always been a little shy. She will not let anyone pick her up, yet she will sit by us. She has never kneaded anyone, she is shy yet sweet, very quiet.

Can a cat have austism??? She will only focus if you move a finger around her paw. She will play with her toys and play with our other cats, the oldest cat treats her like she's her baby and sleeps with her.

We adopted her from a shelter and her tail was broken. We were wondering if there was possible abuse being that she was born Oct 9th and she's completely black. We love her and will take care of her for the rest of her life, we just feel bad for her.

Just wondering if there's something wrong with her mentally AND although her tail is healed , is she in any pain as she grows???? What can we do to help her?

Her name is Bella.

Reply from Liz (Editor): There has been a lot of debate about whether certain types of cat behavior are similar to, or the same has human behavioral problems, you raise a good question.

Some people think cats can be autstic, others don't - and quite honestly I don't know what to believe! But from what you've told me about your cat, I think she sounds like she's doing really well, and I can't pick out any behavioral problems from what you've said that would give me cause for concern.

She will have had a clean bill of health from the shelter I guess, so hopefully her tail is fine. Was the broken end amputated? If not, and she seems to be in pain when you touch her tail, it's probably worth getting her checked over by a vet. She doesn't sound like she is in pain from your description.

Some cats, like some humans, are naturally very shy and quiet. Some don't like being picked up or fussed too much, but are happy to sit close up - or even just in the same room. It sounds as though your cat is one of these, and that's fine. She may become more affectionate over time, whenever she feels ready.

It doesn't sound to me like she's been abused - or at least not systematically. I'd expect an abused cat to be much more wary of humans after the relatively short space of time you've had her, and to either run away or be aggresive when you approached her. She may still be traumatized due to the breaking of her tail - however that happened - but her cat behavior isn't typical of a cat that's been badly and repeatedly abused by humans.

It sounds like she's interacting really well with the other cats, which is a really good achievement in the short time you've had her.

If you're worried she may be in pain, or if you think her eyesight is getting worse, I'd suggest a trip to the vet just to get her a clean bill of health. But from the mental side, I think she sounds fine. She sounds gorgeous and she's very lucky to have been adopted by you as you obviously care for her so much!

Many thanks for your question and for the lovely photo.

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