Need Advice on New Cat Behavior

mrsora

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Hi,

I recently received a cat from an acquaintance who could no longer care for her cat due to personal health reasons. Nevertheless, despite the context of the situation, I had been thinking about getting a cat for a long time, so I gladly accepted the offer when it came. The cat, Kimchi, is a beautiful 5-ish year old Ragdoll/Siamese mix, who according to my friend, was originally pretty shy, but became more and more friendly as she grew older. I would attach a photo, but I will explain why I didn't in the rest of the post.

On Kimchi's first day back, I had her in a bonding room (after doing some research on how to care for a new cat), and that went pretty well. At first she was very shy, hiding underneath the table in the room, but eventually warmed up to me, began brushing around my legs and sitting under the chair that I was sitting in; pretty good signs. However, during the night, she somehow escaped from that room, and I haven't seen her in person since. It's been 5 days since she got free, and I still haven't seen her anywhere. I know that she's in the house, since I've been scooping her litter and refilling her food and water, and I've seen her through some of the cameras I set up at night, but I have no idea where she hides; I've checked in every conceivable place.

I was just wondering, since Kimchi is my first cat, if this was a problem and if I should keep looking for her. From my research, it seems that it's pretty normal for cats to hide for the first 3-7 days in a new environment, but the solution that most of the materials suggest is to bait the cat out with food, play with the cat, or talk soothingly to them, all of which is problematic for my situation since I can't even seem to find her in the first place. And with that, I hope that I can get some advice from all of you experienced cat owners out there. Should I even bother to keep looking for her if she's hiding herself that well? Or should I just go on with my everyday life until she's ready to come out and show herself. Similarly, at what point should I start to see a red flag that maybe I will have a furry roommate that I won't see? I was also planning on getting a nice cat tree for her which I could put in my office, but in this case should I wait on that investment until she becomes more sociable?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions,

mrsora
 

StanAndAlf

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As long as she is eating and using her litter still, I wouldn't be too concerned just yet, she is likely still settling in. A calming diffuser such as Feliway might help to soothe her transition. The cat tree might help lure her out if she likes that kind of thing, but that decision is up to you. If you really want to find her, something you could try:

Process of elimination, basically. Get an extra set of water and food bowls, and a litter tray. Shut the door to one room for a day (or overnight), with the extra set inside and her usual set in its normal place. If she eats from the set inside the room, great, she is hiding somewhere in there. If she eats from her usual place, she isn't in that room. Keep that door shut, but move the extra set of necessities, with fresh food etc, into another room and close the door. Repeat the process and you should eventually locate what room she is in, or at least those she is not.

Until then, I would recommend stay away from the vacuum and other stressful disturbances for as long as you can until she settles.
 

Kokomo

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Do you have a box spring under your mattress? Those make excellent hiding places for cats! We have also "rescued," really found, numerous cats inside people's couches.
 
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mrsora

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Thanks for the replies everyone,

Good news: Found the cat; put some flour on the floor (we have hardwood floors) and just watched where those little paw prints went.
Bad news: Paw prints went into this weird little crack that leads into the walls.
Thankfully, I don't think that that specific crack can lead to the rest of the walls in the house due to how the walls are set up, but it's still pretty deep and narrow. I'm currently thinking about setting a little cat trap so can I plug up that hole while I can make sure that she's not in there. Any thoughts or suggestions on that?
 

Cat McCannon

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Sprinkling flour on the floor was a clever idea!

You do need to figure out a way to close off that crack after your cat comes out. Put cameras in the area to see when she's coming out and make a plan.
 

ArtNJ

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We get posters with cat-in-the-walls maybe once every 6 months here or even less frequently, so we don't have any true expertise, but it does seem like once they are in the walls, it is not always the case that they decide they don't need that anymore and come out. Its maybe too isolated and secure compared to a more typical hiding spot like under a bed, so they don't acclimate? Anyway, just a general impression based on a couple of posts, but there have definitely been a couple of these that have lingered. So I would try to lure her out with treats or toys and block that off.
 

silent meowlook

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Hi. I would try setting up a cat trap at night if she is coming out for food. Once she is in the trap you can release her into a large cage or small room for now. I would keep her confined until she is more secure in her environment.
 
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