5 months ago I got a Persian 5 month old white kitten from a breeder. He didn't take too long to get along with my older cat, though he doesn't seem to like me. He is afraid if I walk by, like my feet scare him, though he will sleep with me or climb on my lap to be petted sometimes and others times he's afraid. Sometimes he won't even take treats from me.

I don't know if he is scared because I have to pick him up to wash him every couple weeks and he has a lot of eye gunk that needs cleaned or else his eyes get red and the breeder said she cleaned them everyday. Plus she showed him while she had him so she bathed him and used a blow dryer on him.

All things he freaks out about when I try to do it to him. I don't know what to do and he seems more and more scared of me everyday instead of getting friendlier. I'm assuming all the grooming is scaring him, although I don't know why he is afraid of my feet if I walk anywhere near him.

I will even lay on the floor with my hand all the way out with treats (as I thought all cats where food motivated), but he either won't take any or he will quickly grab one and go into the other room to eat it and not come back for the rest, while my older cat eats his whole handful.

I don't feed the kittens treats to the older one, cause I want him to learn that one hand is for him an the other for the kitten. They seem to get along fine together though, as long as I am not in the same room. Then they get territorial over me. Weird since the kitten doesn't want me other times. I'm just so worried because he is getting more scared everyday.

Sometimes if I try to talk to him he closes his eyes to shut me out and pretend I'm not there and backs himself into a corner. I am trying to groom him as little as possible. But with Persians you can't completely stop. Any suggestions from a Persian owner?

  • Not all cats are food motivated. Sounds like yours isn't.
    – Kai
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 23:26

3 Answers 3


Well first of all, the cat isn't shutting you out when it closes its eyes. Usually that is a sign they are at ease or are fine with you being there. Since it's still a kitten and doesn't have its mother it will naturallt cling to the older cat as a parent figure. Always let the kitten come to you and when the kitten is asleep/ resting near you make sure you are very relaxed and calm. Don't make sudden movements when you have an opportunity to pat the kitty. Move slowly and maybe scratch behind its ears to just ease it up a bit, do this a couple times and once it grows a bit more it will eventually have to become fine with you, since you constantly live together.


I have had two kittens from a very young age 6-8 weeks. I suggest gentle persuasion. Make sure he has love, support from you. Don't force affection, reach your hand out slowly let him smell you. Softly stroke behind his ears.

Get toys that will encourage him to play.... Don't worry he will. Just persevere. My kittens have so many toys, soft balls, mice, strings, toys on strings, cardboard boxes, tissue paper. They can't resist playtime. Introduce a softball, or a toy on a string. Quick movements on the ground with the toys makes it exciting. It'll be fun for him and build trust, friendship and love. I spend a lot of time with them. Playtimes, meal times and sleeping.

When they first came to me I also left treats in patterns over my floor 😂 (Watch where you step). It was amazing to see the excitement from them discovering them. Lead the pattern towards you. The last few treats bring close to you. Gradually close the distance, this builds kitty's self confidence.

A lot also has to do with their personalities and rank in the house. My eldest is cuddly, loving, super affectionate and inquisitive. The younger one is timid, jumpy but follows me round like a shadow. Personalities make a huge difference.

Be gentle, be loving but most of all be patient.often they need to find their feet, everything is new so they frighten easy. They are worth it. Good luck 🌹


Thanks for your answers. He has come a long way and will jump onto my lap at times and take a nap on me, though he is has a less cuddly personality than my older cat. That might change when he gets out of his teenage years...lol. He is a little less scared though loud noises frighten him and quick movements that he catches out of the corner of his eye make him jump a foot. But he is ok with people who come to visit, so that is good. I just feel bad that he is afraid of so much. Also, unfortunately, even though he has a ton of toys and likes to play with them, I have found that he has a disorder that many persians seem to have because of the breeding that went on for many years to make their faces even flatter than natural. If he runs around playing for too long he starts panting with his mouth open and can barely breath. So far, all the vets have told me is to put him in a cool room, alone without toys to relax and to put cold compresses on his feet to cool him down. I need to find a vet in my area that actually knows about persian issues which I have found about by reading online. I have gone to 3 different vet clinics and none of them know a thing about persian cats, because I believe there are surgeries that can be done to correct some of the issues but none of these vets act like anything is wrong. I feel so bad for the kitten, though I think I'm more freaked out about it than he is. He just calmly lets me put him in the bedrooom and takes a nap on my bed for a half hour and when I let him out he is back to playing...haha. I am just afraid if it goes on for too long it will put a strain on his heart. Again, thanks for your help.

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