Why Do My Cats Hide When Visitors Come Round?

by Muriel
(United Kingdom)

The Shy Russian Blue Cat

The Shy Russian Blue Cat

My four cats won't stay in the house when visitors call - even when my granchildren call. There is no way you can get them inside until the visitors leave. Do you know what causes this type of cat behavior?

Reply from Liz (Editor): Some cats are naturally very shy around visitors - the Russian Blue cat is a prime example of a breed that often does a disappearing act every time visitors come over.

Are your cats a pedigree breed, and if so are they the type of breed that is naturally shy with strangers?

If they're not pedigree and are good old "Heinz 57" moggies, to have four that are all wary of strangers is possible, but quite unusual.

If your grandchildren are quite young, the cats may be wary of them and disappear while they're around.

Have you had all the cats from kittens or did you get them as adults? It's possible that something happened to them while they were younger that's made them wary of strangers.

I don't think there's a huge amount you can do to stop this cat behavior. If they really don't want to stick around when you have visitors, then making them stay in and "socialize" will likely stress them out. But if one does decide to venture in when visitors are there, I'd recommend the visitors don't give the cat any direct attention at first, and that they don't even look directly at the cat. The cat will see this as non-threatening behavior and will be more likely to stick around for longer. The visitors can then start to give the cat more attention when it's a bit more relaxed in the situation.

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