Hands coming at you is scary for a frightened cat. It also means the human is pretty close.You can increase the distance between you and your scaredy cat, so it’s not quite as terrifying, using a ‘taming wand’.
Making a taming wand
A bamboo garden stake with soft fleece fabric wrapped around it works well. Hold it on with an elastic band. If it spins when you stroke, wrap a sheet of ‘grippy shelf liner’ on the inside.
Try to keep the wand under their chin level. Explore where they’re comfortable being stroked – head? Body? Chin?
Fluffy stuff too threatening?
Try taping a feather to a long stick. It’s soft, it’s natural and it’s small.
Using the back of a backscratcher is also an option.
Watch a demonstration
Watch Rupert relax as he’s wanded. He starts out quite concerned, with frightened and unblinking eyes and a worried look on his face, but gradually feels safe enough to not look at the person, then look away. When he folds his arms underneath his body, he no longer feels that he has to be prepared to flee, or fight. Winning!
Transition from the wand to your hand
Scared of the stuffing?
Try using flower essences
Flower essences may also help them overcome their fears.