Mimi was in the shelter a really long time

FeebysOwner

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I'd be curious to know whether or not she is meowing like that when you are not in the room. Any way to find out? If she doesn't make a lot of noise when you are not in the room, then she is trying to get your attention.

Since you don't normally sleep in her room, can you imagine what she might be writing here if she were a TCS member? "That crazy person came in my room last night and KEPT ME UP ALL NIGHT LONG!!" ;)
 
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Jerseymeow

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She does not meow at all during the day - at all. I go in room often, sometimes just to peek. She sleeps most of the day. Although it gives me a chuckle, she may have been upset that I was in the room. "What are YOU here". "Why cant YOU leave me alone". etc.
 

bfls

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My guess is that was her "I'm bored. Come and play with me." meow. The reason she was so very noisy is because you were clearly hearing her but you weren't doing as you were told.

Adult cats don't meow to communicate between themselves, they do it to communicate to humans. She'll have different sounding meows for different messages. There will be the "I'm bored. Come and play with me." Then there is the "I'm hungry. Feed me." and the "I'm lonely. Pay attention to me." Also, if you let her outside you might get to hear the "I've caught something. I'm bringing it inside to share with you".
 

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February 25 was our one month anniversary with Mimi, our shelter cat. In my life Mimi is the fifth cat I have owned. Because we always raised our cats as kittens, I have realized that there is a lot about cat behavior that we have not experienced, and did not know about. And, some funny things have happened along the way.
  • Hissing - I don't think I have ever been hissed at until we took in Mimi. Our cats were always super friendly and mellow and loved people. So, this is a new experience.
  • Hiding - Our cats did not hide. They would be out in the open, spread out on their backs, showing off their tummy, looking silly.
  • Unders - What's that? I did not know about the pros and cons of letting a cat hide in unders until I read about Jackson Galaxy, and cat mojo. We did after the first week close off the unders (bed, dresser, desk) but provided new and better hiding places for Mimi - like in the corner on the baseboard heater. If you have a "new" all grey cat that is under a queen sized bed....that is not good because you can't care for it...or see it (without a flashlight).
  • Wide eyed fear - nope. No experience.
  • Play - I could always play with our cats and we had a lot of fun. Mimi plays at night when I am not there. I know because she moves the toys.
  • Staring - We learned just now "don't stare at a cat". Really? I feel really stupid with this one. I would look at our cats all the time and I suppose I was staring, but did not really think about it. Now I am paranoid about staring at Mimi. I blink a lot and look away when I talk to her.
  • Walking - I love to watch a cat walk across the room. I hope someday Mimi will relax enough to let me see her walk across the room. It's such a simple thing.
  • Don't touch me - Our cats loved to be touched. Mimi, not so much. Once in a blue moon she will let me scratch her head, and then she will move away when she is done.
  • Food - Mimi loves to eat and she drinks water from her bowl. Therefore, there is a litter box that needs to be changed at least twice a day! Our other cats were not really foodies.
  • Home decor - There is a litter box in our daughters former bedroom, because that is now Mimi's room. She has everything she needs including a nice high cat tree in the south facing window where she can lounge. She seems very content there and allows me to visit frequently. All of our other cats roamed the house. The food and litter were in our basement (and I did go down and change the LB frequently).
The point of this update is...TieDie, Molly, Starlight, Pigpen (former cats) were all nothing like Mimi. Mimi is a 5 year old cat that I really know nothing about. I thought as a cat owner I knew a lot about cat behavior, but Mimi has taught me there is still much more to learn. Mimi likes it when I sing to her.
Gosh this is so similar to my Arthur - I am enjoying reading about another rescued, hiding kitty! I too had many cats along the years and have never dealt with all the things you say above! It is strange actually to have a cat that does NOT interact and do normal cat things! My Arthur is in training also - we are on 11 weeks now and making slow - VERY slow progress, but I look at every little thing as a victory and hope one day to have a cat like I am used to. Being left outside by his owners (we don't know how long) I am sure that every hand he sees he thinks that someone is again going to put him in a cage or a carrier and take him somewhere else. Good luck to you and I will continue to read your updates. These folks here are pros and have helped me a ton in the past few months with Arthur.
 
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Jerseymeow

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Gosh this is so similar to my Arthur - I am enjoying reading about another rescued, hiding kitty! I too had many cats along the years and have never dealt with all the things you say above! It is strange actually to have a cat that does NOT interact and do normal cat things! My Arthur is in training also - we are on 11 weeks now and making slow - VERY slow progress, but I look at every little thing as a victory and hope one day to have a cat like I am used to. Being left outside by his owners (we don't know how long) I am sure that every hand he sees he thinks that someone is again going to put him in a cage or a carrier and take him somewhere else. Good luck to you and I will continue to read your updates. These folks here are pros and have helped me a ton in the past few months with Arthur.
Thank you so very much for telling me about Arthur. Having raised many cats, I had great confidence when we fostered to adopt Mimi, Now I realize my confidence was foolish, although well intended. I think Mimi is settling in...as long as I don't try to touch her.
 

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Thank you so very much for telling me about Arthur. Having raised many cats, I had great confidence when we fostered to adopt Mimi, Now I realize my confidence was foolish, although well intended. I think Mimi is settling in...as long as I don't try to touch her.
I have not attempted to reach for him or try to pick him up (as much as I would like to) because I fear it will set him backwards instead of gaining more trust. I had one rescuer tell me not too long ago to yes, reach under the bed and take him out by the scruff and hold him for at least 30 minutes petting him all the while. She said she can turn over a cat in 24 hours by doing that. I have not attempted it here because I do fear him going backward. So there are so many opinions on how to handle these kind of cats. I also felt very confident after raising many cats over the years that this would be no big deal. Just another cat. But it has not turned out that way for sure.
 

FeebysOwner

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She said she can turn over a cat in 24 hours by doing that. I have not attempted it here because I do fear him going backward.
Just don't forget what I said about this - a rescuer's goal is to get short term cooperation out of the cat to make it easier for the rescuer - not the cat. I understand why they do it and how it helps to get a cat through the vetting process for adoption, but I also know that it can really cause problems for the eventual adopter. Forcing a cat to do such things, may get everybody involved hurt - BUT, the real issue is what it does to the cat's trust factor.
 

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Grabbing a cat by the scruff and forcing them to be held is the absolute worst advice you could possibly find. Never force an animal to be held.

It's also a good way to get sent to the hospital. They will bite and scratch and flail out of fear.
That was kind of my reaction also. This kitty has NEVER been aggressive, attempted to bite, heck he doesn't even hiss! So I would not want to upset that gentleness that I can see already in him. Grabbing him could be catastrophic!
 

SandyCHA

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Just don't forget what I said about this - a rescuer's goal is to get short term cooperation out of the cat to make it easier for the rescuer - not the cat. I understand why they do it and how it helps to get a cat through the vetting process for adoption, but I also know that it can really cause problems for the eventual adopter. Forcing a cat to do such things, may get everybody involved hurt - BUT, the real issue is what it does to the cat's trust factor.
You did give me that advice when I mentioned it before, and I took your advice! I just thought it odd that she would suggest that to me. But I do understand from what you are saying why they do it.
 

daftcat75

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I have not attempted to reach for him or try to pick him up (as much as I would like to) because I fear it will set him backwards instead of gaining more trust. I had one rescuer tell me not too long ago to yes, reach under the bed and take him out by the scruff and hold him for at least 30 minutes petting him all the while. She said she can turn over a cat in 24 hours by doing that. I have not attempted it here because I do fear him going backward. So there are so many opinions on how to handle these kind of cats. I also felt very confident after raising many cats over the years that this would be no big deal. Just another cat. But it has not turned out that way for sure.
I wouldn’t try that scruff, drag, grab, and pet approach. Your instincts on that are correct. It’s more likely to damage the relationship than improve it.

Cats, being prey animals, must be cautious around other animals who show too much interest in them. In the wild, those animals are looking to eat or mate. As someone who used to be allergic to cats, it has been my experience that they prefer those who want nothing to do with them. 🤦🏼‍♂️😹😻 Treat Arthur (or Mimi) like a roommate. Respect their autonomy. They’ll learn to trust and reward you with affection in their own ways, in their own time.
 

dustydiamond1

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Maybe sit in the room reading out loud ignoring the kitty except for an occasional ' how ya doing type of banter, don't force eye contact or interaction. Tv or radio softly playing wouldn't hurt. Don't force contact make them want to come to you. On Instagram one of the long time kitten savers does occasionally force love but only on kittens. Some one on here, can't remember who, created a 'hand' on a yardstick to stroke their feral they'd rescued. Be patient. You might try dropping a treat now and again, make sure they see you doing so. Gypsy finds the two pictured below irresistible, inside she comes running when the Temptations bag is rattled but ignores them putside but a crinkle of the package and piece of the Sheba stick and I have her complete cooperation. Walmart etc..carries the Sheba meat sticks, I ordered the Churu on line. It has a high water content and I first saw it on an Instagram Adventure
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Cat thread. One of the folks carry them in the summer for hydration. I mix one with her daily probotics and she licks the bowl clean. A month isn't that long at all, you're doing fine above all be patient, don't force unless necessary for meds or vet visit. As a former stray Gypsy didn't know how to play. Mayve try wand toys. Good luck and keep us updated on Mimi & Arthur.
 
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Jerseymeow

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This is week 9 of caring for Mimi. I am discouraged. The only progress we have made is that she will sometimes sit under the cat tree, or in the cat tree, when I am in the room. Otherwise, she is in her hiding corner.
She still hisses at me most times I enter the room, at least several times a day. I enter the room and say her name so she knows it is me. Sometimes I have food. "Look Mimi food". Hiss. She also hisses at the world, there is spit on the window. But, this is probably her first window.
I don't try to touch her. At this point I cannot even get close. I sit on the floor about 5 feet from her. If I move my body in any way, she runs and hides in her corner. I tried offering treats while sitting close by. I put the treats on the floor. She waits till I leave the room, and then eats them.
I am tired of her hissing at me.
 

bfls

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This is week 9 of caring for Mimi. I am discouraged. The only progress we have made is that she will sometimes sit under the cat tree, or in the cat tree, when I am in the room. Otherwise, she is in her hiding corner.
She still hisses at me most times I enter the room, at least several times a day. I enter the room and say her name so she knows it is me. Sometimes I have food. "Look Mimi food". Hiss. She also hisses at the world, there is spit on the window. But, this is probably her first window.
I don't try to touch her. At this point I cannot even get close. I sit on the floor about 5 feet from her. If I move my body in any way, she runs and hides in her corner. I tried offering treats while sitting close by. I put the treats on the floor. She waits till I leave the room, and then eats them.
I am tired of her hissing at me.
I'm so sorry to hear this. It must be so demoralising.

Have you tried using a Feliway diffuser? It never did much for me but it can't hurt.

Also, if she is hissing at the window, perhaps cover it up. It sounds as if that is another source of stress for her. Perhaps a neighbourhood cat is visiting?
 

tarasgirl06

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This is week 9 of caring for Mimi. I am discouraged. The only progress we have made is that she will sometimes sit under the cat tree, or in the cat tree, when I am in the room. Otherwise, she is in her hiding corner.
She still hisses at me most times I enter the room, at least several times a day. I enter the room and say her name so she knows it is me. Sometimes I have food. "Look Mimi food". Hiss. She also hisses at the world, there is spit on the window. But, this is probably her first window.
I don't try to touch her. At this point I cannot even get close. I sit on the floor about 5 feet from her. If I move my body in any way, she runs and hides in her corner. I tried offering treats while sitting close by. I put the treats on the floor. She waits till I leave the room, and then eats them.
I am tired of her hissing at me.
Time, patience, food, and love. Interactive wand and lure toys, perhaps?
 
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