Shadow Cats

Shadow Cats are extremely shy cats. They are usually found as “older” kittens – 6 months to 1 year – who have been found outside or in hoarding situations. These are cats who have not had enough human contact during critical developmental periods and, as such, are generally not comfortable being handled – oftentimes in spite of socialization efforts by great foster families. They are not aggressive, but rather shy or scared. And, unlike barn cats who thrive outside, these cats do better indoors… in the right home.

Shadow Cats almost always prefer the company of other cats to people. And they make wonderful companions for the resident cat(s).

If you don’t have a lot of time for a pet or if you think your current cat would like a buddy, adopting a Shadow Cat might be the perfect fit for you. Learn more below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Most people are looking for a social cat – even a lap cat – but there are some who have both the right environment for a Shadow Cat and the desire to give them a unique opportunity to thrive.

Shadow Cats need a quiet household with one or two adults… and they almost always need another cat… or two! They are perfect for people who loves cats, but maybe don’t have a ton of time to devote to them – or people who have a cat at home who is maybe lonely or could use more stimulation. The right home will understand that a Shadow Cat may ultimately come out of their shell and choose to interact with their humans… but they also may not… and that’s ok too!

Shadow Cats aren’t for everyone, but they can make wonderful pets in the right circumstances.

Actually, not much! Shadow Cats don’t do well outside – so they are not barn cat candidates. Rather, they need the safety and structure of a home. And like anyone else, they need food and water. They also generally need another cat companion. Lastly, they need their space and to determine their own comfort level.

In most cases, they MUST live with other cats. Shadow Cats generally love other cats. They enjoy to play, even cuddle – and generally take the lead from the more confident cats or cats. We have so many success stories of our Shadow Cats going to live with another cat or cats, taking a cue from the other cat(s), and making great strides. They make great companions for other cats in the home.

As always, it depends on fit. Sometimes we know from a foster home that a Shadow Cat has lived successfully with another dog. In fact, some absolutely love dogs and find them as comforting as other cats. It’s also important that the adopters’ dog or dogs have a history of living successfully with a cat. In order to set a Shadow Cat up best for success, we need to ensure any dog would be comfortable with a cat who may move quickly, run, jump, etc. when scared.

Shadow Cats do best in homes without children. This is not due to aggressive behaviors, but rather in recognition that a home with children is often busier. The increased noise and to-do can often be too much for a Shadow Cat causing them to hide away – and this over-stimulation can cause great anxiety as well. Furthermore, most children will want to interact with the cat which is not fair to the children and an unrealistic expectation for this type of cat.

An application is part of the process; however, the most important part is having a conversation to hear about an adopter’s lifestyle, expectations, questions, and concerns. Once we find a match, our experienced staff continues to support you in the process with a wealth of resources on how to help your Shadow Cat during the adjustment period – and beyond. We also have a wonderful cat behaviorist to support you as well.

See our Available Cats – we note which cats are deemed Shadow Cats. You can also reach out to us to learn more.

For the right person, adopting a Shadow Cat is an incredibly rewarding experience:
  • Knowing you provided a safe warm space to a cat who may otherwise languish in the shelter environment.
  • Watching them let their guard down – if ever so slightly – is an incredibly rewarding experience.
  • Seeing them gain so much comfort and confidence from you other cat – and the affect on your other cat(s).