Should you worry when your cat goes from shy to friendly?

Category:

As Seen With - Cathy Rosenthal

Encourage Kindness to Animals!

Highly-acclaimed children's books for your child or organization

Should you worry when your cat goes from shy to friendly?

Updated Dec 21, 2021

Dear Cathy,

We have a female cat named Polly who we believe is about 17 years old. She’s always been shy; no one has ever been able to pet her or get close to her. We adopted her with her twin sister Molly. Both of them hid under the china cabinet the first year we had them. Last year, Molly, who became our social, loving girl, died from kidney failure. Now, in the last week, Polly has become very friendly and loving and allows my wife and myself to pet her and pick her up. She sits with my wife every night. Should we be concerned with this change is personality?

– George & Bonnie

Dear George and Bonnie,

Animals living in multi-pet households often change their behaviors whenever another pet is added or leaves the household in some way. It’s quite possible Molly was protective of you and your wife and kept Polly away with subtle body language gestures.

Don’t worry about the change in behavior though. Becoming friendly and loving is never a sign of a disease or illness, so celebrate Polly’s new outgoing nature – and don’t adopt another cat right now to replace Molly. If you do, Polly could respond by hiding again. Instead, let Polly be the solo cat in your household so that she can enjoy attention from both of you for the remainder of her life. She has a lot of catching up to do. 

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to cathy@petpundit.com. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

DSC_4602

Cathy Rosenthal, CHES, CFE
Animal Welfare Communications Specialist

Cathy brings more than 25 years' experience in the animal welfare field. She is a sought-after speaker, Certified Humane Education Specialist, a syndicated pet advice columnist, an author, a publisher, and of course - a loving pet parent.

Read more about Cathy here or check out her Non-Profit's page to see more ways she can help you and your organization.

Other Articles You Might Enjoy

Top ten wild animals that most commonly attack pets

Javelinas are peccaries, which are feral pig-like omnivores native to the southwestern United States, mostly Arizona. They have been known to viciously attack both pets ...
Read More

Why does a cat bite after petting

A readers says, "Sometimes when I pet my cat, he starts twitching his tail and then bites my hands. This is very distressing for me. ...
Read More

Rescue cats drag toys to the water bowl

Dear Cathy, I have two rescue cats that I spend a lot of time playing with. One of our games is playing with a string ...
Read More