Help With New Foster Cat

Katymo

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Ok, have a new rescue cat. I am fostering her with the intent to adopt her if she adapts to us and our home. She is probably less than a year Old. She was live trapped during a severe cold spell in MN and turned over to a animal shelter.
She hides all day under a cloth covered table In Our rec room. She does not appreciate being disturbed , hisses , but eats the treats I bring her. She routinely uses two liter boxes and eats like a princess which she comes upstairs to a sunroom every night at about 1030 pm for her dinner. She does not bite or cratch when I try to pet her but moves away when she has had enough contact. In other words she tolerates it for a short time. Our trip to the Vet for spaying, claw clipping and vaccinations was cancelled as we could not capture her and that put her and us thru stress and trauma . She has been rescheduled for the end of this month with the Vet.
Every night she comes into our bedroom from her downstairs hiding place and prowls in our room, watches us sleep, and stays awhile , and if we move she scatters but returns many times. I have a frlliway defuser plugged into the area she is hiding.
We don’t know if this young cat is a young feral cat or a lost stray or abandoned.
We want to adopt her but want to know how to further socialize her to be a pet not just a shadow in the night that we feed.
Any advice is welcome. By the way we have been homing her for about 5-6 weeks with very little change in behavior. Has anybody else had a cat that took this long to adapt?
Thanks
katymo’s MOm
 

abyeb

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Hi there! To start, here’s an article with a lot of helpful tips: 16 Top Cat Experts Share Tips For Dealing With Timid Cats – TheCatSite Articles

One thing that I would recommend is playing the radio for her, or having the TV running in the background (not too loud), to help her get used to human voices. Also, you can try sitting hear her hiding space, and reading aloud softly to her, to help her get accustomed to your presence and your voice. If she seems relaxed, you can try handing her some treats. Or just reach out your hand and let her sniff it. Try to be patient, and not force interactions if she doesn’t seem in the mood. You can also give her some of your unwashed t-shirts. Cats often love rolling around in their people’s sweaty attire, and this will help her get accustomed to your scent.

She may never become super friendly around visitors, but I think that with time, and patience, she’ll warm up to your family. 5-6 weeks is still not a very long time.

Thanks for caring!
 

rubysmama

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Hello and welcome to TCS. And thanks for fostering this timid kitty. It sounds like it's going to take a while for her to become comfortable around people, but the fact that she comes to your bedroom and watches you sleep is good, I think. At least she's not just hiding all the time.

It will likely take time and patience to gain her trust. But I think if you're willing, you'll get there. And even if you don't end up keeping her, you'll have helped her for whoever does adopt her.

About the vet appointment, wonder if you could ask your vet about Gabapentin.
Study: Gabapentin Reduces Stress in Cats Before Veterinary Visits

Here's another TCS article that might have some tips for you:
10 Must-know Tips For Happy Living With A Shy Cat – TheCatSite Articles

Good luck. Thanks for taking on the challenge. Keep us posted on her progress. And post some pics, if you can.
 

susanm9006

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She sounds exactly like my girl when I adopted her nearly ten years ago. Hid from me for weeks but came out at night to explore and play. Then one morning I got up and there she was sitting in the table, looking out the window and giving me a “So?” look. It took additional weeks after that before she allowed me to touch her for a second and even then there was no purr or acknowledgement she was enjoying it. But slowly over time She relaxed more and allowed more petting, when she was in the mood, always facing out so she could make a run if she needed to.

My guess is that your girl isn’t feral but more likely undersocialized and traumatized. She may have had a home and then ended up on the streets. She sounds very interested in checking everything out and making sure she is in a safe place and you are doing the best thing, letting her do that and operating on her terms.

But as traumatic as it may be, because she isn’t spayed I think you do need to get her in to the vet for that. better to do it before she trusts you than afterwards.
 
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