There is a reason why many cats are shy. In the wild, cats are often solitary animals. This means their first and last line of defense is themselves. They don't want to go into situations without doing the best they can to ensure they are safe. For this reason, even though domestic cats have their human companions to help keep them secure, they still have this shyness.
Not all cat breeds are naturally shy. Many are quite outgoing and will even approach strangers for interaction. Much of this will have to do with the individual cat rather than the breed. Their socialization period and previous experience will have a big factor in whether or not they are shy. However, these shy cat breeds are naturally inclined to be more wary of humans and even of other cats and animals. What this doesn't mean is that these shy cat breeds won't make loving pets who develop strong bonds with those they consider family.

11 breeds