Getting Started -
Fear of People
There are many reasons why cats develop fears. Cats that
are handled frequently and regularly during the first few weeks
of life are generally more exploratory and more social. Without
adequate, continuous and positive interactions with people and
other animals as young kittens between 3 and 9 weeks of age,
cats may develop fears.
Cats can also learn to respond fearfully as a result of just one
experience that was intense or traumatic. This learning may then
generalize to similar situations. For example, a bad experience
with a small child could result in a cat that is fearful of all
If a cat is punished or some other disturbing event happens in
the presence of a particular person or other animal, the cat may
begin to pair the stimulus (the person or other animal) with the
unpleasant consequence (punishment).
Genetics are another contributing
factor to the development of fears. There are some cats that are
inherently timid and fearful. These cats may never become
outgoing and highly sociable.
Poor nutrition during early
development can also affect the kitten's healthy emotional