Adopted Cat - Hiding after 2 months...help!

jdell90

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Hello,

We rehomed a 5 year old female cat 2 months ago and she's been hiding in our bedroom closet ever since. She is incredibly friendly with us - she'll play and always greets us purring. She eats/drinks/uses the litter box normally.....but she is so afraid of our apartment. If we try (rarely do) to put her in our bedroom she runs back into the closet. Should we make her new "safe space" in the bedroom to acclimate her to other rooms? We just moved the litter box out of the bedroom as she started using the other one in the next room on her own. We know she explores a little at night, but never ever during the day. There's hardbly been progress made, it's so slight.

We know her old owners and they are lovely people who took good care of her. They gave her up due to a move. So as far as I know, she wasn't in a bad situation prior.

What would you do? Should we let her be or force her out of her comfort zone a little?
 

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Try cat music, and try sitting on the floor in her room while you're working on your computer, read to her sometimes while you're sitting on the floor, and at times ignore her and just go about your day. It takes the emotional pressure off of her. She'll eventually come out.

You're miles ahead since she loves you already, just hang in there with her :)
 
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jdell90

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Try cat music, and try sitting on the floor in her room while you're working on your computer, read to her sometimes while you're sitting on the floor, and at times ignore her and just go about your day. It takes the emotional pressure off of her. She'll eventually come out.

You're miles ahead since she loves you already, just hang in there with her :)
Thanks! We've been doing this a lot already too. We're kind of frustrated since she loves us, but seems to be terrified of her new home. This is a true scaredy cat.
 

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Just keep being patient with her and playing where she is comfortable. And try to maybe sweep instead of vaccum for a bit, if you can. If you have to make a smoothie in the blender, I dunno, maybe give her a treat before and after. That sort of thing. If this is a city apartment and the outside noises are a problem, not much you can do, but time should help there.

I wouldn't take her out of her area, thats going to be stressful and might link the rest of the place with stress, but I would try luring with toys and treats a bit. Might speed it up some.

We've had a few posters with cats hiding in walls, and other bad places. This isn't a bad place, she seems happy and is just taking a long pause to find her courage. Thats ok, right?
 
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I have a cat who sounds very similar. We recently moved and she stayed in my ceiling for over a month. It seemed like she was making barely any progress but coming out to explore at night more often, similar to you.

Eventually she did come out of the ceiling and has found a better hiding place in the bedroom. She comes out to be around us in the living room sometimes at night but is still fearful in general because she is not comfortable.

All I can say is it does slowly help her to sit on the floor and pet her when she does breifly come out, and not to pressure her or chase her or force her out by closing off all hiding spots. I think you may just need to be really patient. If she likes to play you can try noisily playing with a toy with a bell just outside her spot to entice her.

If you can spend time in the room where the closet is just quietly hanging out near her it may help. When Bonnie was in the wall I talked to her every day and played with her toys in front of the hole and I could never really know but I think it did remind her of us and make her a little more motivated to come out.

Just keep believing that she will eventually come out, one day it will just happen! And then it will happen more and more.
 
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jdell90

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I have a cat who sounds very similar. We recently moved and she stayed in my ceiling for over a month. It seemed like she was making barely any progress but coming out to explore at night more often, similar to you.

Eventually she did come out of the ceiling and has found a better hiding place in the bedroom. She comes out to be around us in the living room sometimes at night but is still fearful in general because she is not comfortable.

All I can say is it does slowly help her to sit on the floor and pet her when she does breifly come out, and not to pressure her or chase her or force her out by closing off all hiding spots. I think you may just need to be really patient. If she likes to play you can try noisily playing with a toy with a bell just outside her spot to entice her.

If you can spend time in the room where the closet is just quietly hanging out near her it may help. When Bonnie was in the wall I talked to her every day and played with her toys in front of the hole and I could never really know but I think it did remind her of us and make her a little more motivated to come out.

Just keep believing that she will eventually come out, one day it will just happen! And then it will happen more and more.
They do sound similar! We spend a ton of time in the room with the closet as we are working from home in the pandemic. I see her playing by herself too when I'm in the room. We visit her maybe 4-5 times a day with treats and playtime. My bf and I have different view about taking her box and cat cave in the closet and moving them to the bedroom. I guess we won't do that and let her come out on her own. We also give her Bach's Rescue Remedy which definitely has taken the edge off of her fearfulness to sounds.
 

neely

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One thing I would not do is move the litter box - keep it where it is for now and down the road you can decide whether to change the location or not. Since you mentioned she was well cared for in her previous home she probably just misses those surroundings and her people. As others have said, give her time and be patient. Like the phrase, Rome wasn't built in a day! ;)

These Articles about shyness and how to get a cat out of hiding might have some helpful advice and tips for you:
How To Get A Cat To Come Out Of Hiding? – TheCatSite Articles
10 Must-know Tips For Happy Living With A Shy Cat – TheCatSite Articles

Best of luck! You're doing a great job and thank you for rehoming her. :goodluck:
 
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jdell90

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One thing I would not do is move the litter box - keep it where it is for now and down the road you can decide whether to change the location or not. Since you mentioned she was well cared for in her previous home she probably just misses those surroundings and her people. As others have said, give her time and be patient. Like the phrase, Rome wasn't built in a day! ;)

These Articles about shyness and how to get a cat out of hiding might have some helpful advice and tips for you:
How To Get A Cat To Come Out Of Hiding? – TheCatSite Articles
10 Must-know Tips For Happy Living With A Shy Cat – TheCatSite Articles

Best of luck! You're doing a great job and thank you for rehoming her. :goodluck:
Thank you!! For the litter box, we had two set up. 1 in the bedroom and 1 in the living room closet. She used the bedroom one for a while and on her own started the using the other on her own. So we got rid of the bedroom one...no accidents yet (fingers crossed).
 

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They do sound similar! We spend a ton of time in the room with the closet as we are working from home in the pandemic. I see her playing by herself too when I'm in the room. We visit her maybe 4-5 times a day with treats and playtime. My bf and I have different view about taking her box and cat cave in the closet and moving them to the bedroom. I guess we won't do that and let her come out on her own. We also give her Bach's Rescue Remedy which definitely has taken the edge off of her fearfulness to sounds.

That sounds really good! She sounds really playful which is helpful in getting her to come out. She does sound so much like my Bonnie. She comes to toys before treats.

I think its good you have the litter box in the family room, that way she goes there more and it shows you that she goes there when you arent looking. (Or maybe even when you are?) And she can "mark" that area.

One other thing you can do if you havent already is have plenty of toys, comfy cat spots and things she may like outside of the closet. I would personally not put anything fun, comfy or cool in the closet so she sees when she does venture out that its way better out there! If she has everything she wants like toys and a bed in the closet it wont help her to come out. If she is bored in there it might quicken up her coming out.

She will definitely come out with you talking to her every day!! Especially if she walked all around your neighbors house when they had her. Just think if its really scary for a shy cat to move with all her people and other kitties, how scary it must be to be in an unknown place with a new family.
 
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jdell90

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That's a good idea about putting things she likes outside of the room. We have everything in here now, because we wanted to her to be comfortable with the transition. I feel like she bonded with us weeks ago, but she is taking a long time to bond to our apartment.
 
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jdell90

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That sounds really good! She sounds really playful which is helpful in getting her to come out. She does sound so much like my Bonnie. She comes to toys before treats.

I think its good you have the litter box in the family room, that way she goes there more and it shows you that she goes there when you arent looking. (Or maybe even when you are?) And she can "mark" that area.

One other thing you can do if you havent already is have plenty of toys, comfy cat spots and things she may like outside of the closet. I would personally not put anything fun, comfy or cool in the closet so she sees when she does venture out that its way better out there! If she has everything she wants like toys and a bed in the closet it wont help her to come out. If she is bored in there it might quicken up her coming out.

She will definitely come out with you talking to her every day!! Especially if she walked all around your neighbors house when they had her. Just think if its really scary for a shy cat to move with all her people and other kitties, how scary it must be to be in an unknown place with a new family.
That's a good idea about putting things she likes outside of the room. We have everything in here now, because we wanted to her to be comfortable with the transition. I feel like she bonded with us weeks ago, but she is taking a long time to bond to our apartment.
 

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Definitely think moving her kitty stuff outside the room now, it will have her scent on it and make her feel more comfortable when she does venture out. One thing I did with my shy kitties was leave a trail of dry treats leading out of their safe room at night. When the house was quiet at night they would follow the 'trail' of treats which would lead them to explore different areas of the house. Plus, you can tell in the morning if the treats were eaten, then kitty was there :)
 
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