About four months ago we adopted a long-haired female kitten (6-10 months old, the vet couldn't tell because she was slightly sickly and thus smaller than normal) from our local shelter. Despite our best attempts to love and facilitate her, she still doesn't seem to be well adapted to humans;
- She looks scared when people walk near her (hides under furniture or scurries away a short distance)
- She is constantly tense while we pet her, although sometimes she calms down eventually
- She usually begins to meow, scratch, or bite us shortly after we begin petting her, and attempts to escape (and we of course we don't force her to stay)
She will stop playing or watching something when we enter the room
She is perhaps most happy when we play with a laser or other toys, which we do frequently
She is slightly overweight (we feed her half a can of wet food in the morning and half a can at night)
We have two dogs and one other male cat. She is scared of the dogs but constantly plays with the other cat (much to his annoyance.)
We are unaware of the details of her circumstances or previous living conditions, although we believe she lived outside.
Is this something that can only be changed with time, or is there something we can try to help her become less anxious in our home?