Cat Depression / Frightened ?

George le_Wolf

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I have joined TheCatSite today and would firstly like to say hello and also thank you for allowing me to take part.

We have over the last 12 months been fostering cats for a short period of time, before a new home could be found. It is wonderful, except that we now have a cat that we just cant fathom out. She is a stray, we think about 2 to 3 years old. She hides all day and is so utterly nervous. She will come out readily to eat but will then run off and hide. She eats very well and has no problem with her appetite or toileting. She is also toilet trained and a very good and clean girl.

In the evening, with lights on she will come out and be fussed and loves to be handled and stroked. When its time for us to go to bed, she runs off and hides again and we will not see her again until we find her in the morning for food.

She is a really unfathomable. We try everything to encourage her to be more social. We mostly adopt a very gentle soft approach so not to frighten or intimidate her. No response at all. She is a real enigma.

Please, if you have previous experience of this or understand this predicament any help would be so gratefully received. We are at a loss and somehow feel so sad for her. That said we have no knowledge of her background or history or previous ownership or treatment.

Many thanks for reading this.

George
 

Jem

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First of all,....welcome!!!!:hithere: And thank you for being a foster for these kitties, they are lucky to have you.

I have a couple of questions for you.
How long have you had her in your care?
Also, I'm slightly confused, you mention she hides all day and all night (except for feedings), but will come out once in the evenings for cuddles? Does she come right to you for attention, or do you go to her and she lets you love on her?
When in hiding, have you ever tried to approach her? Does she cower, or does she hiss and swat to keep you away?
Does she play?, either alone or with you? Have you ever seen her up on things like shelves and cat trees or does she hide low, in "caves" and under stuff?
 

susanm9006

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If she comes out night and enjoys being petted at that time then we know she is not a feral. More than likely she’s experienced something traumatic during the day, perhaps being captured and being brought to a shelter or thrown out, so during the time she sees as dangerous she hides. Or perhaps there was an abusive person that was only present during the day. Or maybe even the fact that you may be sitting down more in the evening. In any case, it is something that she will overcome in time once she realizes that daytime is safe too.

I would just ignore her hiding and not disturb her.
 
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George le_Wolf

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Thank you to both Susanm9006 and Jem.

She never gets angry, never wants to play, generally she will half come to us in an evening and then we pick her up and bring her on to the sofa. When she hides its always in the dark and away to hide. Now thinking more, I think you both have a real grasp of our kitty and also agree that over time she will become more and more confident and we can give her much love which in turn will give her more confidence to return back to normality. She is very gradually becoming more confident. I so feel sad that she might have had a terrible time with a previous owner and she so wants to be loved and cared for. She is safe with us. She will be fed, have lovely surroundings and most of all be loved.

Thank you both for helping me.
 

Jem

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You girl sounds a bit like how ours was. Our girl took over 6 months before she really came around, but it sounds like it will happen. She just needs to see that you are great people and that she can learn to trust again.
 
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