Rescued 8 Year Old Declawed Gentleman and he is Still Hiding

SandyCHA

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Four weeks ago I adopted an 8 year old Maine Coon who apparently was left outside when his owners moved to Florida and did not take him along. He is declawed so I have to believe he was at one time an indoor kitty. After four weeks he still will not come out from under the bed. He comes out only at night when I go to bed, eats all his food and uses his box. He is not aggressive at all. Does not hiss or anything when I put my hand toward him under the bed. He is very gentle from what I can tell but just will not come out from under that bed! What am I doing wrong?
 

catapault

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S SandyCHA You are not doing anything wrong, at all! You did something wonderful and generous to adopt this poor cat. Why poor? Because anyone who would declaw and then discard a cat is a vile imitation of a human being.

So Poor Cat (you must have given him a better name. What is it? And a picture would also be appreciated . . . ) is confused and sad. He had a home. It was taken away. Now he has a new home. But perhaps he is not sure about that.

Talk to him when you are in his room, sweet and gentle words to reassure him that all is well and will continue that way. Sit down, so you don't loom over him. Offer treats. Patience is so tiring, but that's what it takes.

Others will soon come and offer more and better advice. I just wanted to say "Welcome" to both you and PC.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. I agree with all of the above! I don't think you are doing anything wrong either! He is older, he was likely abandoned, and you know nothing of what his life might have been like before you. Just keep doing what you are doing, don't force yourself upon him. Sitting on the floor, near the bed, and reading a book out loud (but, softly) let's him spend time with you without feeling threatened! He will come around in time! Here are a couple of TCS articles that might give you some ideas.
How To Help A New Cat Adjust To Your Home – TheCatSite Articles
10 Must-know Tips For Happy Living With A Shy Cat – TheCatSite Articles
 

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Four weeks ago I adopted an 8 year old Maine Coon who apparently was left outside when his owners moved to Florida and did not take him along. He is declawed so I have to believe he was at one time an indoor kitty. After four weeks he still will not come out from under the bed. He comes out only at night when I go to bed, eats all his food and uses his box. He is not aggressive at all. Does not hiss or anything when I put my hand toward him under the bed. He is very gentle from what I can tell but just will not come out from under that bed! What am I doing wrong?
I’m sorry this may not be the right forum to post this but here goes: I can’t believe how cruel people can be, first to de-claw him, whether he was an indoor cat or not is so, so cruel! I have a cat that her owners had her de-clawed and I saw how painful it was. I think it should be against the across every State. And then to move and leave the poor thing. I hope they at least brought him to a shelter and didn’t leave him to fend for himself.
I can’t blame him for being so scared but please give him plenty of time to adjust.
I'm so glad you are willing to give him a safe home and look after him.
👍
 

allmykitties

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What a handsome fellow!

You're not doing anything wrong--some cats just take longer to warm up and feel secure (and he's certainly had his share of traumas that he has to recover from). As long as he has his food/water/litterbox needs met, he'll get there. After all, he's already coming out at night, and he'll start feeling more secure and venture out (particularly when things are quiet).

With one of my cats who took about 6 weeks from adoption to come out, my son used to lay on the floor and look at her under the bed and talk to her (because of multiple cats, I had to close food in the room to make sure she was the one eating it).
 

Babypaws

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I agree people suck! Who could move and leave this beautiful guy out on his own. Here is a photo I forgot to post above and I don't know how to edit!View attachment 369001
He’s gorgeous!....he looks a lot like my oldest cat who is 16-17 years old (female)
 

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SandyCHA

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I’m sorry this may not be the right forum to post this but here goes: I can’t believe how cruel people can be, first to de-claw him, whether he was an indoor cat or not is so, so cruel! I have a cat that her owners had her de-clawed and I saw how painful it was. I think it should be against the across every State. And then to move and leave the poor thing. I hope they at least brought him to a shelter and didn’t leave him to fend for himself.
I can’t blame him for being so scared but please give him plenty of time to adjust.
I'm so glad you are willing to give him a safe home and look after him.
👍
They did not take him to a shelter. Apparently a girl from one shelter had her eye on him living outside and was finally able to capture him. So he has gone from being with his owner (whoever that was) to being left outside, captured by a rescue, then sent on to a different rescue where he was for two weeks before I got him. So yes he has been subjected to several events since being left outside. I just feel so bad for him that he chooses to stay under the bed instead of coming out and seeing how good his life can be NOT under the bed! I know from others that you should never drag them out or try to force them out. I guess I figured in four weeks he would be coming around.
 
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SandyCHA

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S SandyCHA You are not doing anything wrong, at all! You did something wonderful and generous to adopt this poor cat. Why poor? Because anyone who would declaw and then discard a cat is a vile imitation of a human being.

So Poor Cat (you must have given him a better name. What is it? And a picture would also be appreciated . . . ) is confused and sad. He had a home. It was taken away. Now he has a new home. But perhaps he is not sure about that.

Talk to him when you are in his room, sweet and gentle words to reassure him that all is well and will continue that way. Sit down, so you don't loom over him. Offer treats. Patience is so tiring, but that's what it takes.

Others will soon come and offer more and better advice. I just wanted to say "Welcome" to both you and PC.
Thanks so much! I do feel better that I rescued him, but feel bad he had to have such a rough go of it! His name is now Arthur and he is a beauty but needs some TLC and brushing badly. Patience is tiring and I just feel like I am failing him.
1612480856749.png
 

tabbytom

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Four weeks ago I adopted an 8 year old Maine Coon who apparently was left outside when his owners moved to Florida and did not take him along. He is declawed so I have to believe he was at one time an indoor kitty. After four weeks he still will not come out from under the bed. He comes out only at night when I go to bed, eats all his food and uses his box. He is not aggressive at all. Does not hiss or anything when I put my hand toward him under the bed. He is very gentle from what I can tell but just will not come out from under that bed! What am I doing wrong?
Agree with what all the posters mentioned, you did the right thing for rescuing him from the shelter and adopting him and for giving him a fur-ever warm and loving home and a safe sanctuary to live out his life :clapcat:

Just give him time, and maybe a lot more time as he's fresh in your house and many things are going through his mind now as he is confused as why is he taken all over and still no true love received from all the people before. Give him time to settle down. He is still doing some orientation himself. Just make sure you give him all the attention and love and with lots of patience. Most importantly is never betray his trust in you. You are his only hope.

What you can do is leave some of your used clean, non perfumed clothings with him as this is to leave your scents with him. This way, once he's used to your scents, whenever you go visit him, he'll feel no threat. Also get a towel or two and place bar him so that he can lay on them and also to soak up his scent. Once his scents are on the towels, move one further out so that his scent is spread father out and when he cones out, there's familiar scents and that will boost his confidence.

Do it step by step and don't rush him. Let him come out and explore at his own timing and keep doing slow eye blinks with him and don't look directly into his eyes. If you want to look at him, close your eyes and just open a little just to see him and when he sees your eyes closed, he may copy what you did by blinking his eyes. This is the response from him that he's comfortable with you and there's trust already. And always speak softly and gently with him and keep loud noise away from him.

So don't give up and keep us posted.

btw, he's a handsome chap :hearthrob: :redheartpump:
 

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I just feel so bad for him that he chooses to stay under the bed instead of coming out and seeing how good his life can be NOT under the bed!
To follow what tabbytom tabbytom said above along with the other posters :)

The more you relax, ignore him when you're going about your daily routine, stop feeling anything other than happiness and love, and sit on the floor nearby now and then, the sooner he will become comfortable with the routines, smells and sounds of your household.

There's nothing to feel bad about. He's not mentally living in that past, and his now is all about finding out what you're all about. The more emotional room you give him to do that, the sooner he'll decide that all is well and life is good.
 

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They did not take him to a shelter. Apparently a girl from one shelter had her eye on him living outside and was finally able to capture him. So he has gone from being with his owner (whoever that was) to being left outside, captured by a rescue, then sent on to a different rescue where he was for two weeks before I got him. So yes he has been subjected to several events since being left outside. I just feel so bad for him that he chooses to stay under the bed instead of coming out and seeing how good his life can be NOT under the bed! I know from others that you should never drag them out or try to force them out. I guess I figured in four weeks he would be coming around.
We also adopted an older declawed cat. 13 yrs old. We gave her a private place in a not much used room, a soft round bed behind a chair. We kept her in that room with her food water and litter box for the first few days. We would go in sit on the floor and talk very quietly to her. We left a small catnip mouse in there and we could tell she had been playing with it. It’s probably not good to let him have the run of the whole house right away. It’s too overwhelming for a traumatized cat. Once they feel safe and start interacting with you, introduce him to the rest of the a little at-a time. Our kitty is now an affectionate lap sitter and she’s a real “talker”.
Best of luck, you did a wonderful thing.
 
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SandyCHA

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We also adopted an older declawed cat. 13 yrs old. We gave her a private place in a not much used room, a soft round bed behind a chair. We kept her in that room with her food water and litter box for the first few days. We would go in sit on the floor and talk very quietly to her. We left a small catnip mouse in there and we could tell she had been playing with it. It’s probably not good to let him have the run of the whole house right away. It’s too overwhelming for a traumatized cat. Once they feel safe and start interacting with you, introduce him to the rest of the a little at-a time. Our kitty is now an affectionate lap sitter and she’s a real “talker”.
Best of luck, you did a wonderful thing.
I was not aware when I got him that I should not give him run of the house as no one advised that, so it's kind of late to lock him up now as he has been here now over 4 weeks. I wish I would have known but all the cats I have ever had did have run of the house from day one so I don't want to put him back at all. It is just frustrating that he is still hiding after this long.
 

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Where are his water/food bowls and his litter box? In the room with the bed that he hides under? If not, I would relocate them there, as he actually might only be 'roaming' the house in order to eat and use the box.

If all of his essentials are currently in the room that he hides in, I am curious what he is doing that lets you know he is roaming the house?

When we moved from an apartment to a house, I didn't know to start with a single room either. And, Tawny, who had been with me for 5-6 years, hid for weeks. He came out because I had his food/water and litter box in other locations in the house. This being a cat that while the house was knew to him, I was NOT - and, he still hid.
 
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SandyCHA

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Where are his water/food bowls and his litter box? In the room with the bed that he hides under? If not, I would relocate them there, as he actually might only be 'roaming' the house in order to eat and use the box.

If all of his essentials are currently in the room that he hides in, I am curious what he is doing that lets you know he is roaming the house?

When we moved from an apartment to a house, I didn't know to start with a single room either. And, Tawny, who had been with me for 5-6 years, hid for weeks. He came out because I had his food/water and litter box in other locations in the house. This being a cat that while the house was knew to him, I was NOT - and, he still hid.
See I was told by other rescuers not to put his food and water in the room he was hiding in or he would never come out, why should he if everything he needs is right there with him. So I am getting conflicting information from so many, but none of it has worked yet. His food and water is in the kitchen and his box is in a lower spare bedroom and has been since he got here. He came out last night while I was still sitting in the kitchen and I can see him at the top of the stairs. I have a quad level so it's only like six stairs up. He comes down cautiously and goes down and uses his box. I can watch him. Then he comes back up and plays with a few toys in the living room, approaches the kitchen to eat, but won't come that extra two feet to get to his food. He comes that close to me, but won't come all the way in.
 

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You will always get differences of opinion on how to handle this, so you need to go with the option you feel most comfortable with. But, even if his food/water and litter box are in the same room, he STILL has to come out from under the bed to use them. It just doesn't make him have to venture where he really isn't ready to go yet. So, he feels he is being forced to go places he doesn't yet find comfortable in order to eat and use the box. IMO, that is making him do things he isn't really all the comfortable with, and I would think that would extend the time it will take to gain his trust. When you are in the kitchen, he is not ready to come that close to you - away from safe zone - in order to eat. Forgoing eating to not have to get that close to you is a sign of discomfort. It is interesting that he plays with toys, though!

I am not at this point suggesting you lock him in that room by closing the door, I am suggesting that you put food/water and a litter box in there too, and just leave the door open. Maybe, you could even keep a food/water dish and litter box where they are at now, and have one of each in the bedroom too. That way, you might just find him using them all - when he is ready.

It is really up to you to decide which is better for the both of you. Not all cats will respond the same way to any one particular process. Some times, you have to experiment.
 
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