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Many shy or fearful cats can evolve into loving pets if owners properly handle them, use behavior modifications and/or anti-anxiety medications, and provide a safe environment. Make sure the cat has escape routes like on top or under furniture, especially if there are dogs or other cats in the home, says Dr. Houpt. Initially, keep dogs on leashes inside or at least separate them in a different room using barriers, such as baby gates, so they can sniff one another without having close or physical contact.
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