Rescued 8 Year Old Declawed Gentleman and he is Still Hiding

pearl99

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FeebysOwner FeebysOwner makes a great point about rescues. They may have handled him “no problem” but how did Arthur feel about it? He may not have squirmed or growled or hissed or nipped but he could have frozen and just got through it. Then the cats and dogs, maybe still learning to trust you. And is unknown how the people who abandoned him treated him I’m guessing.
 

T.O.

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What you have there is a bush kitty. Check into Jackson Galaxy he’s an odd one, but really understands cats in a way you don’t see much in the mainstream. I tried to read through the thread to see if I had anything valuable to add before saying anything.
I kept coming across moments where you said Arthur looked at you... try giving him slow blinks. Why? Like others have said it’s saying “I trust you.”
You might move too fast sometimes. Or he hears something you don’t. That’s why he’s done with the interaction. He’s coming from an unknown period of time spent in fight or flight response.
Do you have places up high? Especially starting in that favored room. In the window. Maybe with a window attaching bird feeder. An up high cubby. I’d personally encourage up high behaviors. Food up on shelves in the room (easily accessed cat shelving).
What are you feeding him? dry food? I’d add a ritualized wet feeding once a day, every day, same time. Call him out tell him it’s dinner time. He will remember. Cats always remember.
And like everyone else has said. it’s only been six weeks.
 

T.O.

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FeebysOwner FeebysOwner makes a great point about rescues. They may have handled him “no problem” but how did Arthur feel about it? He may not have squirmed or growled or hissed or nipped but he could have frozen and just got through it. Then the cats and dogs, maybe still learning to trust you. And is unknown how the people who abandoned him treated him I’m guessing.
My husband had a cat when we met and she’d purr at us from a distance. Was so sweet and so shy. Would head butt furniture in affection, but couldn’t handle petting. She lived to about 20 the sweet little muffin.
 

Jcatbird

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Don’t kick yourself! Sometimes we want something so badly that we try too hard. Pushing a cat never works. They must come to us. Be confident that you are giving him the best life he has ever seen and then just keep providing the love and care along with offering a chin rub and kind words. Have you tried any catnip yet? I put it on the top of my shoes and let new kitties rub against my shoe. I don’t pet them when they first come to me but let them get used to rubbing my scent in them. They are making the move to me instead of the other way around. It you stood next to the bed with a catnip scented shoe on your foot, you may just feel that you are the one getting petted. It could be a small “step” in the right direction! ;)
 
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SandyCHA

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What you have there is a bush kitty. Check into Jackson Galaxy he’s an odd one, but really understands cats in a way you don’t see much in the mainstream. I tried to read through the thread to see if I had anything valuable to add before saying anything.
I kept coming across moments where you said Arthur looked at you... try giving him slow blinks. Why? Like others have said it’s saying “I trust you.”
You might move too fast sometimes. Or he hears something you don’t. That’s why he’s done with the interaction. He’s coming from an unknown period of time spent in fight or flight response.
Do you have places up high? Especially starting in that favored room. In the window. Maybe with a window attaching bird feeder. An up high cubby. I’d personally encourage up high behaviors. Food up on shelves in the room (easily accessed cat shelving).
What are you feeding him? dry food? I’d add a ritualized wet feeding once a day, every day, same time. Call him out tell him it’s dinner time. He will remember. Cats always remember.
And like everyone else has said. it’s only been six weeks.
He won't even come out from under the bed so up high is probably alot to ask! I have one of those cat towers and he has not even approached it as far as I know. I am feeding him hard food which I leave for him to eat whenever he wants. I feed him a "treat" of soft food after dinner in the evening. When I put it out I say things like, dinner time, or Arthur come and get your treat. It takes him about 15 minutes before he does come out and does eat it. He loves those Temptations so I take some up a couple times a day and offer them to him - I sit outside the bed on the floor hoping he will come to me to get them, but he won't poke his head out farther than the edge of the bed.
 
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SandyCHA

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Don’t kick yourself! Sometimes we want something so badly that we try too hard. Pushing a cat never works. They must come to us. Be confident that you are giving him the best life he has ever seen and then just keep providing the love and care along with offering a chin rub and kind words. Have you tried any catnip yet? I put it on the top of my shoes and let new kitties rub against my shoe. I don’t pet them when they first come to me but let them get used to rubbing my scent in them. They are making the move to me instead of the other way around. It you stood next to the bed with a catnip scented shoe on your foot, you may just feel that you are the one getting petted. It could be a small “step” in the right direction! ;)
I have not tried that, but I will! Was not sure if I should give him catnip at this point, but if you think it's okay I certainly will. Do you think that leaving his food up by the bed will keep him from eventually coming down to the kitchen to eat? Will it make him think that it is always okay to eat up there?
 
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SandyCHA

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What you have there is a bush kitty. Check into Jackson Galaxy he’s an odd one, but really understands cats in a way you don’t see much in the mainstream. I tried to read through the thread to see if I had anything valuable to add before saying anything.
I kept coming across moments where you said Arthur looked at you... try giving him slow blinks. Why? Like others have said it’s saying “I trust you.”
You might move too fast sometimes. Or he hears something you don’t. That’s why he’s done with the interaction. He’s coming from an unknown period of time spent in fight or flight response.
Do you have places up high? Especially starting in that favored room. In the window. Maybe with a window attaching bird feeder. An up high cubby. I’d personally encourage up high behaviors. Food up on shelves in the room (easily accessed cat shelving).
What are you feeding him? dry food? I’d add a ritualized wet feeding once a day, every day, same time. Call him out tell him it’s dinner time. He will remember. Cats always remember.
And like everyone else has said. it’s only been six weeks.
A bush kitty? I have never heard that phrase. Is that bad or good! He does look at me. Especially when I lay on the floor and look at him under the bed. I do very slow blinks and he blinks mostly too. Sometimes he just stares at me!
 

di and bob

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I don't think so. His curiosity will get the best of him someday and he will come down. Put the food in both places for a while until he is used to it. some cats just take a lot longer than others to get used to a new environment. He will come around eventually. my cats took a year to get used to each other. Two months is not long in a cat's world, never force him into anything and he will come out eventually, you'll see!
 

T.O.

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T.O.

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He won't even come out from under the bed so up high is probably alot to ask! I have one of those cat towers and he has not even approached it as far as I know. I am feeding him hard food which I leave for him to eat whenever he wants. I feed him a "treat" of soft food after dinner in the evening. When I put it out I say things like, dinner time, or Arthur come and get your treat. It takes him about 15 minutes before he does come out and does eat it. He loves those Temptations so I take some up a couple times a day and offer them to him - I sit outside the bed on the floor hoping he will come to me to get them, but he won't poke his head out farther than the edge of the bed.
Try that cat tower out in Arthur’s room... in a window. Never know.
 

Furballsmom

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...heres an update from another member, just posted, to let you know that your patience and love will be rewarded :)

 
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SandyCHA

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How wonderful for her! I so hope that happens here one day. It will be two months on Wednesday that he has been here and still won't come out from under the bed or approach me at all. If he does come out and I just walk towards him, he runs. I can still pet him while he is under the bed, but I have yet to try and handle him at all. Should I? It's been 8 weeks, certainly he has to be feeling a little more comfortable!
 

Furballsmom

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I think I'd say to continue petting him under the bed, but he's still frightened by your height so I'd say handling him at this point is too soon yet.

Hang in there, he'll come around, it'll just need a bit more time :)
 

Furballsmom

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and in case you didn't see it, here's one more, from C Catmom1234567890 :)

"I had a very skittish cat and she hid under the bed for few months before she came out. I placed her food bowl under the bed for few weeks. Eventually, she built enough courage to come out during meal time but go right back to her safe zone. I always left the door closed at all times. Eventually, I left the door open and she would explore at night and go back to her zone when sun came up. This went on for months. I spread toys all over the house to entice her to explore and build courage. One night she came to our bed and sniffed me but ran back to her spot. Eventually, she learned we were no threat to her. Let her come to you. Don't stroke her or call her. I would just say short greeting and keep it minimal."
 

tabbytom

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It will be two months on Wednesday that he has been here and still won't come out from under the bed or approach me at all. If he does come out and I just walk towards him, he runs. I can still pet him while he is under the bed, but I have yet to try and handle him at all
Some cats takes a little longer time to really get comfortable and feel real safe before they do venture out. Just have lots of patience and love for him and he can feel that as he still blink eyes with you and let you pet him whilst under the bed. A cat that has no confidence and trust will hide deep under the bed and never come out. So, your hopes are very high here. Just remember that he is still nursing his past as we do not know what has happened to him before. Cats have flash backs and many things reminds them of things no good that happened to them.

One thing you can try to do is whenever he comes out, you sit on the floor making yourself as small as possible. Standing and walking towards him makes you looks like a giant and that is very intimidating to him and that's why he'll run and go hide.

Sit on the floor and get a cat wand and play with him from a distance and make him move out or at least temporary stop him fro returning under the bed. By playing with him out from under the bed, it gives him confidence to venture out when you are in the room. Slowly and step by step, move closer to him or shorten the string of the cat wand so that he can come closer to you. Your advances must be slow and steady even if it takes a longer time.

Next, you can slowly block up the deeper part of the bed and make it a more shallower hole and that makes him more closer to the outside and gradually cover up the whole of bottom of the bed. As along as there's place to hide, he'll go hide. After you have sought of cover up the bottom of the bed, get a shallow box with a blanket or towel for him to go to and with a shallower box that is not under anything, it is more easy for you to reach him and he'll get use to your closeness and it's be easier to pet him. But all this will be according to his time and just don't rush him else you'll undo whatever you've done.

Don't give up!
 
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Wishfulwhiskers

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I’m not sure if it’s already been mentioned but I’ve found that never looking at the cat has helped me gain trust faster. With my current stray that I brought in 4 weeks ago I avoided any eye contact to the point of keeping my eyes closed for almost all interactions. Then I would occasionally wear sunglasses to sneak peeks. But for the most part it was a lot of petting with eyes closed or my head turned the whole time. I also have been very careful to never “invade” his safe space even now that we are on good terms with each other.
 
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SandyCHA

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King Arthur came out the other night for a short time and I was able to get a quick photo - sorry about the glowing eyes! He did not stay out long, but here is a recent shot! Hoping to get more. I still cannot reach for him or approach him because he runs. Baby steps. Thought you all would like to see him. He needs care badly! I told him he needs a bath and a brush! Maybe someday.
 

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tabbytom

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King Arthur came out the other night for a short time and I was able to get a quick photo - sorry about the glowing eyes! He did not stay out long, but here is a recent shot! Hoping to get more. I still cannot reach for him or approach him because he runs. Baby steps. Thought you all would like to see him. He needs care badly! I told him he needs a bath and a brush! Maybe someday.
He's a lovely boy. Yes, baby steps and I can see progress.
 
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