Looking for support/ adopted semi-feral cat

H&Alina

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Hi everyone,
I am looking for feedback and honestly support. I adopted a cat (Alina) who is just about a year old. She had minimal to no socializing and is very scared. I do not know her previous story, but I am her first owner . I have read a lot and am trying everything and making little progress and am honestly very sad :(
I have set up a cozy room, with various bed/safe spots, feliway , classical music , kitty Tv etc.
she is eating regularly and using the litter box . I have gotten her to play in the evening a few times . I’m in the room with her other times , just reading etc. She shows NO interest in me most of the time and has not come up to me yet . She seems scared if Im too close and I don’t want to rush her. Should I be trying more to pet her or let her come to me ??
Im also wondering if I should open the door and let her explore another room ??? (It’s been over a month ) or should I wait until she seems more comfortable in her cozy place with me present?? Im sorry for the long post , but I am really looking for advice. This is much more difficult than I expected and I want to do the right thing . Any feedback and support is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much
 

fionasmom

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Welcome to The Cat Site and thank you for rescuing Alina. You have done exactly right to set up a room for her and give her all the necessities. Believe it or not, but the fact that you have gotten her to play is huge. At this point I would not approach too much, but you might try a wand type cat toy or stick with a soft washcloth on the end and see if she will let you touch her with that, especially since she is willing to play. Sometimes interacting, but not overly, will help. A cat will sometimes express interest in someone who is not overly friendly with them, almost out of curiosity. If she is in a decent room which is now her own space, I would not let her out as it might result in her hiding under some piece of furniture, trying to dart out the door, etc. I have kept cats in their own room for longer than a month with no issues and have a couple who have voluntarily stayed in one room for most of their lives, waiting for me to come in and feed and interact with them despite the fact that the door is open.

10 Must-know Tips For Happy Living With A Shy Cat – TheCatSite Articles
How To Help An Abused Cat Recover – TheCatSite Articles
How To Get A Cat To Come Out Of Hiding? – TheCatSite Articles
How To Help A New Cat Adjust To Your Home – TheCatSite Articles

There are a number of tips in those articles. I am not suggesting that Alina was abused, but there might be a few hints in that article as well that will overlay what the others propose.
 
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H&Alina

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Thank you so much for responding and thank you for the support . I will check out the resources and be more patient. 😊
 

dahlia

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Hang in there. I have a friend who got a one year old feral cat and she hid under the spare room bed for about 4 months. My friend was pretty discouraged. The cat then started to interact by playing with a wand toy and then worked her way up to being on the bed instead of under it. It has now been about 8 months and the cat is quite well socialized and will follow my friend around and talk to her. She still can't touch her though so that is the next big hurdle.
 
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H&Alina

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Hang in there. I have a friend who got a one year old feral cat and she hid under the spare room bed for about 4 months. My friend was pretty discouraged. The cat then started to interact by playing with a wand toy and then worked her way up to being on the bed instead of under it. It has now been about 8 months and the cat is quite well socialized and will follow my friend around and talk to her. She still can't touch her though so that is the next big hurdle.
 
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H&Alina

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Thank you! It’s helpful to hear 😊
 

sarah430

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You're doing great! Just keep taking it slow and don't be discouraged. I adopted my two (Link & Navi) in my avatar pic when they were 6 months old. I don't know their exact history but they definitely hadn't been socialized to people. They lived in the spare room under the bed for months. Keep up with the baby steps and you may find that she progresses in leaps and bounds. But also understand that there are some things your Alina may never overcome. For instance at 5 years old my kitties still do not like to be picked up and Navi still hides if there is someone else in the house. But they are very attached to us and stay close all the time. I can't pick them up to cuddle them but they'll come to my lap to cuddle and they sleep with us at night. Hang in there!
 

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Don't be discouraged. It can be agonisingly slow in the beginning. I took in an ex-street cat (Fergie) back in March. She'd been in a cage in a shelter for some time and was very frightened and shut down.

It took 2 months before she'd stick her head out of her hiding place to play with a toy. It was 4 months before she was comfortable moving around her room exploring it (when I wasn't there). She will play out in the open with me now, but only if I sit still and just wave the toy around. She still won't let me touch her.

That your cat will play with you in only 1 month is lightening fast by my standards :D.

I'd leave her in her safe space until she is more comfortable in it. Does she explore it (when you aren't there) or play with toys on her own? If so, then I think she is ready to explore the rest of your house. If she doesn't, then I think it would be too much and would just frighten her.

I used a cheap home security camera to watch what Fergie was up to when I wasn't there - a TP-Link Tapo C200. I'd recommend installing something like this as it would be useful to help see how Alina is settling in.
 
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H&Alina

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Thank you so much for the feedback. I did borrow a nanny cam from my friend and Alina is all over that room when I’m not home or at night . If she hears me she hides in one of her safe spots. It’s similar with the play , she will play with me or the toys when I’m in there but far away . She will not come close . She hissed the past few days at me and was very upset , because I thought that stopped:(.
But , Reading posts like this give me hope !
Thank you 😊
 

Szczygiel

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Hi everyone,
I am looking for feedback and honestly support. I adopted a cat (Alina) who is just about a year old. She had minimal to no socializing and is very scared. I do not know her previous story, but I am her first owner . I have read a lot and am trying everything and making little progress and am honestly very sad :(
I have set up a cozy room, with various bed/safe spots, feliway , classical music , kitty Tv etc.
she is eating regularly and using the litter box . I have gotten her to play in the evening a few times . I’m in the room with her other times , just reading etc. She shows NO interest in me most of the time and has not come up to me yet . She seems scared if Im too close and I don’t want to rush her. Should I be trying more to pet her or let her come to me ??
Im also wondering if I should open the door and let her explore another room ??? (It’s been over a month ) or should I wait until she seems more comfortable in her cozy place with me present?? Im sorry for the long post , but I am really looking for advice. This is much more difficult than I expected and I want to do the right thing . Any feedback and support is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much
I can help
 
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H&Alina

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Don't be discouraged. It can be agonisingly slow in the beginning. I took in an ex-street cat (Fergie) back in March. She'd been in a cage in a shelter for some time and was very frightened and shut down.

It took 2 months before she'd stick her head out of her hiding place to play with a toy. It was 4 months before she was comfortable moving around her room exploring it (when I wasn't there). She will play out in the open with me now, but only if I sit still and just wave the toy around. She still won't let me touch her.

That your cat will play with you in only 1 month is lightening fast by my standards :D.

I'd leave her in her safe space until she is more comfortable in it. Does she explore it (when you aren't there) or play with toys on her own? If so, then I think she is ready to explore the rest of your house. If she doesn't, then I think it would be too much and would just frighten her.

I used a cheap home security camera to watch what Fergie was up to when I wasn't there - a TP-Link Tapo C200. I'd recommend installing something like this as it would be useful to help see how Alina is settling in.
Don't be discouraged. It can be agonisingly slow in the beginning. I took in an ex-street cat (Fergie) back in March. She'd been in a cage in a shelter for some time and was very frightened and shut down.

It took 2 months before she'd stick her head out of her hiding place to play with a toy. It was 4 months before she was comfortable moving around her room exploring it (when I wasn't there). She will play out in the open with me now, but only if I sit still and just wave the toy around. She still won't let me touch her.

That your cat will play with you in only 1 month is lightening fast by my standards :D.

I'd leave her in her safe space until she is more comfortable in it. Does she explore it (when you aren't there) or play with toys on her own? If so, then I think she is ready to explore the rest of your house. If she doesn't, then I think it would be too much and would just frighten her.

I used a cheap home security camera to watch what Fergie was up to when I wasn't there - a TP-Link Tapo C200. I'd recommend installing something like this as it would be useful to help see how Alina is settling in.
Thank you for responding. I think I started a new thread instead of reply on your message . I’m new to this 🤦🏽‍♀️
 

bfls

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Thank you so much for the feedback. I did borrow a nanny cam from my friend and Alina is all over that room when I’m not home or at night . If she hears me she hides in one of her safe spots. It’s similar with the play , she will play with me or the toys when I’m in there but far away . She will not come close . She hissed the past few days at me and was very upset , because I thought that stopped:(.
But , Reading posts like this give me hope !
Thank you 😊
Don't worry. It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Cats just take their own sweet time to adapt to change, but she will come to trust you. Just expect progress to occur week to week. If you expect things to get better day by day you will be disappointed.
 
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H&Alina

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Don't worry. It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Cats just take their own sweet time to adapt to change, but she will come to trust you. Just expect progress to occur week to week. If you expect things to get better day by day you will be disappointed.
Thank you again. I’m off and on the verge of tears and Hoping that one day she will feel safe enough for me to walk in a room and maybe even one day come up to me 🤞🙏🏽
 

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This will be a test in patience. Every cat is different and it could take a month or 2 for her to warm up and trust. Also every cat has a different personality some are naturally more friendly than others just like people. If you are able to touch and pet her now and she seems partly receptive then you are on the right path.
 
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H&Alina

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This will be a test in patience. Every cat is different and it could take a month or 2 for her to warm up and trust. Also every cat has a different personality some are naturally more friendly than others just like people. If you are able to touch and pet her now and she seems partly receptive then you are on the right path.
It is definitely a test of patience. It’s been almost 2 months and she is still quite scared when I’m in the room with her . I have attempted to pet her when giving a treat , but she is not receptive so I’ve backed off a bit . I hope that’s the right thing?
 

hexiesfriend

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Then she may be one of those cats that are intimidated by your size. This is just a personality thing and nothing you are doing. You may want to add just laying down beside where she is hiding and killing some some time(watching something on your phone etc) You may find that she will come out more when you are down on her level. I have a cat like this that is a skittish approaching her to pet her but laying down somewhere she will approach and is very affectionate. This will help build more trust and may bring her out of her shell more.
 

fionasmom

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Yes, it is the right thing to do. Don't force attempting to touch her if she does not want it right now. Try going down to her level as was suggested.
 
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H&Alina

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Yes, it is the right thing to do. Don't force attempting to touch her if she does not want it right now. Try going down to her level as was suggested.
Thank you both ! I keep saying this , but it helps to hear your feedback . 🙂
 

lisalu

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Hi everyone,
I am looking for feedback and honestly support. I adopted a cat (Alina) who is just about a year old. She had minimal to no socializing and is very scared. I do not know her previous story, but I am her first owner . I have read a lot and am trying everything and making little progress and am honestly very sad :(
I have set up a cozy room, with various bed/safe spots, feliway , classical music , kitty Tv etc.
she is eating regularly and using the litter box . I have gotten her to play in the evening a few times . I’m in the room with her other times , just reading etc. She shows NO interest in me most of the time and has not come up to me yet . She seems scared if Im too close and I don’t want to rush her. Should I be trying more to pet her or let her come to me ??
Im also wondering if I should open the door and let her explore another room ??? (It’s been over a month ) or should I wait until she seems more comfortable in her cozy place with me present?? Im sorry for the long post , but I am really looking for advice. This is much more difficult than I expected and I want to do the right thing . Any feedback and support is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much
I rescued my young cat without much preparation, so I didn't know all the "rules" for socializing a scared semi-feral cat. (Mine was about 8-12 months old.) Therefore, I let her have the run of the house right out of the trap, which I guess wasn't the recommended way to do it. But otherwise, it progressed very much like what you're describing. She found a couple of favorite hiding places right away, and for the first week pretty much stayed there except to come out to eat. She'd occasionally walk around the room I was in and meow loudly almost like she was scolding me for having brought her inside, but she wouldn't let me get close enough to touch her. It took about 10 days before I could pet her, and that was only after I spent hours getting down on the floor, talking to her softly and giving her treats to coax her out from under the couch and close to me until I could finally touch her. (I know the advice here is to do the opposite and ignore the kitty until she comes to you, but I guess I'm impatient and had a hard time doing that.) One day while she was eating a treat, I was able to reach up and touch her head for a few seconds, then the next time a little longer until she finally saw I wasn't going to hurt her and let me really pet and stroke her. Once that happened, it was like crack to this kitty, she couldn't get enough!

Within two weeks that cat went from scrounging behind the washing machine or under the couch to being my total furbaby - sitting in my lap, following me around the house, begging for attention, and waiting outside my bedroom for me every morning. I've had dogs who didn't love me as much as this cat does!

So, I didn't follow the recommendations about confining her to one room and waiting for her to come to me (I just didn't know better!) but it worked out. I suppose cats are unique individuals just like humans and while some general things apply to all of them, the methods that work to win them over may be different according to their temperament and/or past experiences.
 
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