Some cats are very bold and assertive and others are timid, everything scares them and they are afraid of strangers. There may have been an event in Missy's past that caused her to be this way, or it's just the personality she was born with. Also, if she was separated from her mom-cat at too early an age, she was never taught to be sociable.
You can try a cat calming pheromone called Feliway, which comes in a plug in diffuser (like a plug in air freshener, but it has not scent to humans) and a spray. The diffuser emits pheromones which help with stress and anxiety. Here is more information:
Another product that may help Missy feel less anxious is a Thundershirt. This fits around her body and applies pressure to certain points, making her feel safe and secure. Here is more information:
You can slowly get her used to wearing it around the house and then only use it when you have people over or when she has to go to the vet, there's a thunderstorm (if the thunder bothers her), etc.
When you know you're expecting someone, you can put her in a separate room with her bed and litterbox and close the door for the duration of the visit. There's no reason that she must be out and about/social with your visitors, if she's anxious. The most important thing to to help her feel as calm and unstressed as possible at all times. Always speak to her gently and repeat her name--that helps cats feel more secure.
Enriching her environment, with some new toys and a tall cat tree or kitty condo can help ease her stress, as well. If you don't already have one, get a kitty condo with different levels, shelves, 'hidey' holes, and a flat platform on top. Cats feel very secure, up high, so they can survey all below them. This is also good as a scratching post, because it is covered with carpet material.
Here is a list of toys she may like and also a cat dvd that is great:
If possible, put some interesting items outside the window near her kitty condo, like a bird bath, bird feeder, a hummingbird feeder, a bird house, food for squirrels, etc. Encourage her to spend time in her condo watching the critters outside. She can also see different critters at play in the cat dvd.
Here are some great interactive toys:
If this behavior continues, even after using my suggestions and giving it time--it's a gradual process, as a last resort, you can discuss with your vet, a prescription medication that might make Missy feel less nervous/stressed. There is a large variety of these types of medications, and Clomicalm has been well recommended:
I hope all will be well with Missy and she will learn to become a little bolder!
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