Categories: cat personality

Picture of a confident rescue kitten

This confident rescue kitten is destined to become a great companion for a lucky family. Perhaps he gives the impression that he is confident but I think it is genuine.

Took in a bunch of kittens from an overcrowded rural shelter yesterday. They are all super cute, but this cool little guy takes the cake!

Confident rescue kitten. Photo: Facebook.

An outgoing personality through confidence is desirable in kitties because they are more interactive which is what most people are seeking. However we must not pass by the timid ones as they need us more. You can divide domestic cats into two groups: confident and timid. I suppose you can do the same with humans. Feline confidence must originate in (1) inherited characteristics and (2) early life experiences which includes that all important socialisation during the first 7 weeks of life.

A cat guardian can help a cat develop confidence if they lack it. Providing a home which feels calm and secure helps a cat to become more outgoing. Conversely if a home feels dangerous to a cat they can become anxious, fearful and more timid as a result. Plenty of pleasant interactions with a timid cat may help to build confidence. I always believe that playing with a cat helps tremendously. It stimulates their hunting instinct which allows them to behave naturally. They are distracted from factors which might make them feel anxious. They can unlearn their fearfulness. We should ask how we would build confidence in a person and transfer those thoughts to cat caretaking.

Gradually getting a timid cat to explore new places helps too. This is where a catio or an outside cat enclosure can help, I feel. If a cat is confined to the indoors all the time it can stunt development because they lack the usual natural stimulation. Their brain is not used to the fullest. When a cat explores new places successfully i.e. without encoutering harm, it builds confidence. Many homes with cats would benefit from a catio.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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