When you first got your cat, you probably envisioned a cuddly little ball of fur that was ready and willing to accept affection whenever you chose to give it. There are some cats who are, however, very shy by nature. These ones will hide and act scared of you if you look at them. Below are a couple suggestions to help.
It is usual for a cat to be cautious and timid for the first week or so in its new home. The more contact a cat has had with humans, the less timid it will be. Give your cat a little space and don’t force the issue. It is very likely he will approach you once he becomes sure of his new surroundings. Playing some soft music in the house, and more importantly limiting loud noises have been known to work well for the timid kitty.
One way to gradually get a nervous cat used to petting is to gently wrap your pet in a thick towel, to prevent it from scratching you, and gently stroke its head. Talk to your cat softly as you do so. Set aside a time each day to perform this bonding ritual and your shy cat may grow to trust you enough to stroke it without the towel, remember patience pays.
Bribery can often work wonders with nervous cats. Try an offering a tempting healthy treat, if your cat is hungry enough to overcome its fear and stay still to eat its treat, stroke it gently, don't make sudden movements! You may have to persevere, but often your pet will eventually accept and enjoy your petting.
Never lose patience, and remember that your nervous cat is not rejecting you, it is just a built-in protective reaction to something that has given kitty cause to be wary of humans. Love and perseverance will often win the day, and you will be rewarded by your cat's affection.