Our regular column from The Bath & Wiltshire Parent magazine, where children ask the experts at Bath Vets questions about their pets, is now available online too.

This time, Joanna Everett, BVSc MRCVS Clinical Director, answers the question, ‘How can I help my cat to be less nervous?’

Nervous cats can make disappointing pets but unfortunately constantly trying to impose affection and interaction on anxious or timid animals often makes things worse.

You can best help your cat get used to the household by acting in a normal and relaxed manner, and trying not to make them the focus of attention. Let the cat initiate any interaction and provide positive food rewards, initially just in the same room as the family, and eventually from your hand.

Fun toys that encourage playing from a short distance can be rewarding too, such as fishing rods with catnip toys or laser pointers. Some cats benefit from the synthetic pheromone sprays & plug-ins which can help them feel more secure.

If your child has a question for the vet, please send it to email hidden; JavaScript is required marked ‘Question for Bath Vets’. Each issue we will choose one question to pass on to Bath Vets.