Shelter cat is broken and super depressed

iPappy

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You could try leaving little dishes of treats around the hallway and house at night, so she is more apt to explore and become more comfortable in her surroundings. Just be aware of any chair or couch with a reclining mechanism, you don't want her deciding crawling up in there is a good hiding spot. I always check before using a recliner.
 

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Cosette is doing amazingly! Tiny steps, but steps... She is really flourishing!!
When I feed Geoffrey or even Artie before him; I always say: " Want Num-Nums? Time for Nummy. Nummies".

I know it sounds strange but I read somewhere, or did I fantasize it "Y" or "IE'. They respond better.
 

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Cosette is doing amazingly! Tiny steps, but steps... She is really flourishing!!
When I feed Geoffrey or even Artie before him; I always say: " Want Num-Nums? Time for Nummy. Nummies".

I know it sounds strange but I read somewhere, or did I fantasize it "Y" or "IE'. They respond better.
I name names when I set bowls down. Cats get fed first, and everyone has their "spot" they eat at, so when I set the bowls down I say "this is for (name)". I don't know why I do it, but I do. Livie gets fed last, and has caught onto the sound of the spoon tapping onto the side of her bowl to dislodge anything on it and starts prancing around like a tiny show pony anytime she hears it. :lol:
 
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VAMama

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Cosette knows the time for food. She waits in the hall by her door. She's currently living under the couch. Comes out morning and night for meals, makes a dash for the potty, then right back to the couch. Even when you sit on her she doesn't budge.
 

tabbytom

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Cosette knows the time for food. She waits in the hall by her door. She's currently living under the couch. Comes out morning and night for meals, makes a dash for the potty, then right back to the couch. Even when you sit on her she doesn't budge.
Yes, she knows the routine and also, she's observing you and the surroundings.
 
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VAMama

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Cosette spends early morning out and about, mostly in the hall. She tries to be brave when you approach, but her nerves get the best of her and she backs away. Breakfast at 9:00, then under the couch all day.
 

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tabbytom

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Cosette spends early morning out and about, mostly in the hall. She tries to be brave when you approach, but her nerves get the best of her and she backs away. Breakfast at 9:00, then under the couch all day.
Maybe you can kneel down as you approach her and slowly move towards her. You’ve got to try several times to get her use to it.
 
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VAMama

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Update on Cosette.

She eats in the living room as long as no one watches. I'm slowly moving her to the kitchen. I've worked to build up her appetite to eat more food to get more calories in her. She's accustomed to eating just enough. I started filling her bowl with extra. At first she was baffled and ignored the extra, but slowly she eats more and more.

Having fixed her ears and gotten more food/water in her, she is finally perking up. She's still under the couch all day, but her morning/night outings are more robust. However she's extremely on high alert. The slightest aberration, such as getting up for a drink after bedtime, disrupts her.

She still won't clean herself. She may lick her paw to remove an obvious piece of debris, but no actual grooming. She leaves a trail of litter on the floor in her room. She has a childlike tendency to be very messy and expect us clean it.

I haven't touched her since she discovered the couch. She won't let me near her. She looks for me twice a day to feed her, but no pets. She waits for me to leave before she eats.
 
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VAMama

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Cosette is angry at me. She realized I've been sitting on the couch on top of her. She thinks I'm terrorizing her. 😂 I'm the devil! Now she stays hidden even when I make her food. She comes out only when alone for 20 minutes to eat and potty.
 

tabbytom

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Update on Cosette.

She eats in the living room as long as no one watches. I'm slowly moving her to the kitchen. I've worked to build up her appetite to eat more food to get more calories in her. She's accustomed to eating just enough. I started filling her bowl with extra. At first she was baffled and ignored the extra, but slowly she eats more and more.

Having fixed her ears and gotten more food/water in her, she is finally perking up. She's still under the couch all day, but her morning/night outings are more robust. However she's extremely on high alert. The slightest aberration, such as getting up for a drink after bedtime, disrupts her.

She still won't clean herself. She may lick her paw to remove an obvious piece of debris, but no actual grooming. She leaves a trail of litter on the floor in her room. She has a childlike tendency to be very messy and expect us clean it.

I haven't touched her since she discovered the couch. She won't let me near her. She looks for me twice a day to feed her, but no pets. She waits for me to leave before she eats.
I guess Cosette is doing very well and fitting in at her own time. I would not rush in to doing anything else besides what you are doing and what she's doing right now as any more things added would disrupt her more.

Having litter strewn around after using the litter box is normal. My boy does that everyday and I have to pick up the litter after him.

Have you tried spoon feeding her. This will help her gain confidence and also you may try to bring the food to her and speak lovingly to her and ask he rot eat.

I believe that she'll come around just that she needs more time.

Cosette is angry at me. She realized I've been sitting on the couch on top of her. She thinks I'm terrorizing her. 😂 I'm the devil! Now she stays hidden even when I make her food. She comes out only when alone for 20 minutes to eat and potty.
Have a cat wand with you when you sit on the couch when she's under it. Use the cat wand and play with her. This is also an interaction time with her. Just wave the cat wand around and let her catch the bird and it may also lure her out from under the couch.

Try to delay her meal time a little and see when she's hungry, will she call for food. This is also one way to get her out of hiding to eat when you are preparing her food. Each time you prepare her food, tell her you are preparing her food and call her to eat. She may need a little coaxing.
 

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Cosette is angry at me. She realized I've been sitting on the couch on top of her. She thinks I'm terrorizing her. 😂 I'm the devil! Now she stays hidden even when I make her food. She comes out only when alone for 20 minutes to eat and potty.
Oh dear! Does she have any of her boxes in that room?
 

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Our city shelter was promoting a cat they couldn't give away (3yo shorthair). She would hiss at everyone. After 6 months in the shelter she was at risk to be put down. We adopted her to give her a life. She presently lives in our spare bedroom. She lays on the floor in one corner all day, not making a sound. She doesn't groom herself or anything. No interest in toys. Not enticed by treats. She hisses when we approach her. But when we touch her, she relents and just lays there putting up with it. She will silently let us pet her to appease us. No signs of pleasure. She eats, drinks, and uses the potty -- always when she's alone. I can't use food to bond with her because I think she'd get dehydrated before she moved in front of me. She literally won't move at all. We took her to the vet and they say she's fine. I know she's capable of moving because she fought me over the vet visit. There's no physical reason for her to be so lethargic. I've worked with strays and rescues before, but I've never seen a case this bad.
Hi, your story has touched my 💜 heart in many ways. I suggest, if you want to, Google "Huggie Kitty". Please do check it out. It might help. Your kitty is so cute.
 

dustydiamond1

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Cosette is doing amazingly! Tiny steps, but steps... She is really flourishing!!
When I feed Geoffrey or even Artie before him; I always say: " Want Num-Nums? Time for Nummy. Nummies".

I know it sounds strange but I read somewhere, or did I fantasize it "Y" or "IE'. They respond better.
I read that too, supposedly for names too.
 

dustydiamond1

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You might try setting out some low boxes or box lids for her to feel secure in.
Ever since our former neighborhood stray Gypsy adopted us back in 2016 she has not liked to be in boxes. She will jump in one for the purrparazzi but only once, maybe twice but that's it. For a long time the only way we could snuggle, cuddle, massage and tum rub was if she was in a low box like a paper box lid. Even today she enjoys her low boxes and usually sleeps in one. She doesn't care for fluffy or super soft beds.
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She's got this rectangular one almost circular. In the top photo the cheek overhang is all fluff 😸
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This is a thin handmade cat bed in a paper box lid.
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Here she is stretched out next to me on the bed after getting brushed. Brushing is also something you should try using a variety of brushes and combs to find out which one she likes best. Brushing Gypsy outside is how we first got to where we could pet her way back then although for a long time after she came inside we had to stroke down her back one hand after the other so she always knew where both hands were til finally she trusted us enough so that we could touch every inch of her. Bless you both for saving her and being so patient. You should try tempting her with Inaba Churus and Sheba meat sticks. Some cats really like freeze dried minnows (Gypsy didn't 😸) Please keep us updated and post lots of pictures.
 
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VAMama

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Cosette has gotten worse. Now she pees on the floor around her litter. She's under the couch 24/7. I no longer see her at mealtime. I put out food for a phantom cat who thanks me by peeing on the carpet. Hubby has been supportive but he's losing interest. Once she found the couch she abandoned the boxes in her room.

We've offered her many items through the months, to no avail. Blanket, toys, catnip, pillow, boxes, scratch post, you name it. She doesn't respond to anything. There was one day when I got her somewhat curious about a wand toy. Since she found the couch she won't interact with me at all.
 

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Cosette has gotten worse. Now she pees on the floor around her litter. She's under the couch 24/7. I no longer see her at mealtime. I put out food for a phantom cat who thanks me by peeing on the carpet. Hubby has been supportive but he's losing interest. Once she found the couch she abandoned the boxes in her room.

We've offered her many items through the months, to no avail. Blanket, toys, catnip, pillow, boxes, scratch post, you name it. She doesn't respond to anything. There was one day when I got her somewhat curious about a wand toy. Since she found the couch she won't interact with me at all.
She might have a bladder infection. Shes been so good about her potty, it tells me something is up.

It might be best to move her back to the room she was in. You could always check out Kwik Kwik 's post on Timmy (the now housecat). But I believe a smaller area for socialization was going better for you and is what Kwik recommends anyway.
 

dustydiamond1

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Vet check ASAP, back in the room, too much space is overwhelming, put down some boxes, tall and short. Try bonding with brushing, keep brushing with different brushes. Don't attribute humans feelings to her. She is not "paying you back". Her life has changed so drastically and she is trying to get her brain wrapped around all the changes. Please don't give up.
 
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