Hi all! I'm hoping for some advice/support/experiences from people who have adopted extremely shy/skittish cats. I'm a first-time cat mom and I really want my girl to be happy, but all my previous experience with cats (growing up with them, roommates' cats, cat-sitting for friends) has been with, um, normal cats. My cat is not a normal cat. I adopted Rosa about 7.5 weeks ago from a local rescue organization. She's a 1.5-year-old domestic medium/longhair and the floofiest of floofs, mostly grey but with a white chin, neck, tummy, and mittens. She was listed on the rescue site as "very shy but sweet", but when I read her vet records more thoroughly after I adopted her, they listed her as "semi-feral as a kitten", after which she was rescued, adopted, and given back to the rescue by the adopters for being too shy. When I met her, but she DID allow the rescue volunteers to groom her and pet her, and I knew because she was older and shy she wouldn't be easy to find a home for, so I took a leap of faith in myself and went for her. One thing I KNOW I did wrong but can't undo is that I didn't restrict her to one room when she got here. I just didn't know to do it. So she's had access to my entire (small) one bedroom apartment from the get-go. She also had some tummy issues with the first food I tried to transition her to from the rescue's food, so she was on a bland diet of poached chicken twice a day and has slowly transitioned to a new food that she's doing great on. It's been a tough 7.5 weeks but we've made a lot of progress, and I'm just wondering at this point if there's anything else I could be doing. When I got her, she spent three or four days hiding under my bathtub or kitchen counter, and it took her two full days to start eating; she also yowled incessantly for the first few nights, though I haven't heard her make a sound (that wasn't hissing) since then. After that, she claimed my bedroom window (behind the curtains) as her "safe space", which is where she hangs out and where she retreats when she's stressed. She started exploring my apartment more and more, and will now come out and sit on my TV stand or her cat tree or in the living room window at night when I'm reading or watching TV. (She LOVES the TV and is fascinated by it every time it's on.) We have sessions where I blink slowly at her and she'll blink back at me (or sometimes maybe she just falls asleep). She still hisses when I get too close. I got up the nerve to try and pet her yesterday and I actually did get pretty close before she bolted, but when I tried to actually touch her, DRAMA! She hissed and spat and bolted back to the window cave. I've been getting hissed at a lot more since then, although she does still blink back at me if I move slowly and let her see that I'm not going for her. The reason I tried this yesterday was just because she got a lot more skittish last week and stopped coming out at night/etc. This coincided with both getting a cat tree and the weather changing significantly here in Ottawa, both of which are changes I know can affect cats. I really worry about not being able to help her if she's sick or hurt, and she's VERY fluffy so I would like to brush her (there is a furminator that's been sitting in her window spot so she can get used to it that I would REALLY like to use). As well, her claws seem to get stuck on fabric (and one time in her own darn fur, which was very stressful for both of us) and I'd love to trim her nails. Things I've been doing/trying: -Feliway diffuser in the main living area (seems to help, although it's expensive so it's super annoying that the current one only lasted 20 days instead of 30!) -"Quiet Moments" calming spray with pheromones on her fave places -Cat tree with condo (the condo faces the window and has two exits, neither of which face me so she can have her own space) and she loves curling up on the top of the tower... so much that she pooped up there yesterday for whatever cat reason. Yes, I have enzyme cleaner now! -"Calm down" cat treats with melatonin and some other stuff in them (she won't eat these on their own but I crumble them into the dry food that she gets with her breakfast/dinner) -Talking to her in a quiet voice, letting her know when I'm in the room Things that have failed: -Playing. I've gotten her playing a FEW times with the string on a wand toy, but I think mostly she's still too scared. I will keep trying with this. -Treats/food. She is the least food motivated cat I've ever met. She is TOTALLY uninterested in wet food, which I've never seen in a cat before, and I've only seen her eat treats I've given her a handful of times; she'll wait until I'm gone before going for them. -Toys. She spent a while knocking several mice and a little catnip beaver around, but she hasn't been playing with them lately. -Catnip. She got into it ONCE and rolled around and seemed happy, but since then it seems to do absolutely nothing for her. Things I am considering: -Rescue Remedy. Except I think essential oils are bad for cats? It was recommended by a friend. -Changing her to strict meal times twice a day and taking the food away instead of having food in a bowl in the kitchen as well as her dinner/breakfast in her window -Literal anxiety drugs for my cat, if I can find/afford a mobile vet clinic that can successfully examine her and they think it would help I'm especially wondering about changing her meals. Is this cruel? Would she just hate me more? Or would she start to actually associate me with the delicious crunchies and hand-chopped poached chicken that she eats every day? Is there anything I'm missing? I'm sorry I've written a novel but if you have any suggestions for getting us to a place of tolerance and even snuggles, you'd be my hero. Please help a cat mom who was in NOOOO way prepared for this (I apologize to all cat gods listening, I did not think it would be this tough!) but loves her cat and wants to do better by her.