Q. We got our 18 month old cat from a shelter about 1 month ago. She is still very skittish and hides a lot. What can we do to help her be more trusting?
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. Some cats may need extra time to get used to new people, especially if they were stray or from a shelter previously. Be sure to always toss a special treat that she enjoys (such as tuna) her way when you pass by, and she'll begin to associate you with good things. Don't pick her up or go after her when she is feeling skittish, but always offer pets and cuddles when she approaches you. A pheromone diffuser may also help to reduce her stress and help her calm down in her new surroundings. If she acts at all ill or does not calm down over time, it doesn't hurt to get a checkup and make sure she is healthy.