Shy kitten who thrived in foster care returns to shelter, needs home meow

Ricky is a five-month-old kitten who had been in foster care since late April. Today, he’s back at the shelter and is ready for adoption. Ricky, although very sweet, is also very shy, and our staff members fear he may have a difficult time readjusting to a shelter environment.

Ricky (26450) was brought to Valley Animal Center on March 4, 2023 and showed signs of being sick. Our cat care associates monitored his fever, constantly checking his temperature for signs of improvement. Unfortunately, this caused Ricky to develop a defensive personality when it comes to people.

This is not an uncommon reaction for pets who stay in shelters, as they are often exposed to many stressors. Although our animal care associates strive to provide comfort and enrichment, providing a stress-free environment can be challenging with limited resources and space.

Magali Renteria, one of our cat care associates, says it is important to give shy cats their space and let them come to you. On their own and at their own pace, cats will let their defenses down. Ricky responded to this very well, according to Magali. She said he would even greet her when she entered his pod. As always, with patience, many cats will begin to show their true playful sides.

“Patience pays off,” Magali said. “It’s rewarding to see [cats] for who they really are.”

Ricky was fortunate enough to find a temporary foster home where he soon began to thrive. The woman who fostered him was very patient with him and did not react when he grew aggressive. Showing signs of aggression can sometimes be a cat’s way of finding out if a person means them harm. Eventually, Ricky settled in his new environment and even got along with his foster sibling.

Ricky showed great progress in his foster home. Magali worries that being reintroduced to previous stressors will hurt his progress and, sadly, his chances of adoption. Many potential adopters seek to adopt kittens who are very playful and outgoing, which is why we strive to find homes for Ricky and many cats like him as soon as possible.


4 Tips When Adopting a Shy Cat

Thanks to Magali, we have four tips to help you transition your newly adopted cat into their new furever home. Please note that any animal, regardless of their personality, can take months to fully adjust to a new home. Before you consider returning an animal, reach out to us for help and resources at

Foster at Valley Animal Center

Every year, Valley Animal Center rescues many kittens and puppies under eight weeks old. At this delicate age, they’re not ready for adoption. They also don’t have a parent to care for them. During their most vulnerable time, we rely on foster parents to help us care for and love these little ones until they are ready to be adopted into a furever home. Likewise, we have many young or adult dogs and cats who may benefit from being in a temporary foster home. If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, click HERE to sign up today! As a foster parent, you may not be animal’s furever companion, but your temporary love and care is extremely vital to their survival.

Valley Animal Center is dedicated to serving animal companions in the Central Valley and beyond. Our mission is to unite dogs and cats with loving people. We believe every animal deserves a loving family and furever home. Donate to support our endless mission as we care for hundreds of homeless dogs and cats.