Should i take away her hidey hole?

Hoboforeternity

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so Rivel apparently have picked under the bed for her "safe" space. she is going out, using the litter and eat outside, groom outside, but when she's startled or want to sleep she just do it under the bed.

i watched this JG's video:
i bought her a cat tree with a cave plus a cardboard box lined with bed and clothes but she doesn't seem to be interested in it. i tried putting treats inside those places she still isn't interested very much.

the underside of the bed is very dirty and she comes out several times with cobwebs stuck on her ears or head. i tried several makeshift solution blocking it with pillows or blanket but she outsmarted me and found a way inside anyway. i can block it with sturdier materials or just take away the upper layer of the bed.




i have bed like this that i've used since my brother lived with me and the bed has a crawlspace between the upper and lower bed so that's where she hides.
 

Bolts

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I wouldn’t worry my rescue chose the back of the washing machine as his safe space, when he got a bit more confident he moved into the cardboard box next to the washing machine. I just used cat treats to get him to come closer to me. I had to show him the rest of the house with a food trail, but I guess I was lucky cos he’s a food hoover.
 

molly92

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I think you should block it off. She's not getting much opportunity to watch you and see how not-scary you are from way under the bed. She'll use the alternative hiding places when the ultra-secure under the bed space isn't available anymore, and then she'll be able to watch you and learn about daily life in the open, and you'll have more opportunity to work with her too.
 

Hellenww

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If it's safe I'd let her have that as her safe place. From your other posts I get the immression that she hasn't been home or indoors very long. Her coming out to eat, litter, and groom is a big deal this quickly. Unless they are cold and want to us for body heat both my senior boys like to sleep in dark areas during the day.

Put toys around the house at night and that could tell you if she is roaming and getting to know the rest of the house.
 

ArtNJ

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Cobwebs are kind of gross, but maybe you can slide a broom or mop under there. The thing about blocking off a space is that some cats will work *really* hard to get back in there, and that could cause problems. And if she really can't find a way, she may find another hidey spot that you like even less. Besides, as Hellenww Hellenww mentioned, haivng a secure spot can help build confidence. Its better she knows where to go when the vaccum comes on rather than panicking trying to find a spot that feels safe.

From a bunch of these posts, it seems the general recommendation is to be block off dangerous spots or spots that destroy your property, and not other kinds of spots.
 

tabbytom

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so Rivel apparently have picked under the bed for her "safe" space. she is going out, using the litter and eat outside, groom outside, but when she's startled or want to sleep she just do it under the bed.
As long as she is coming out to eat, use the litterbox and groom outside, I would just leave her alone. That is he safe place and she feels comfortable and safe. You can clean up the cobwebs so she won't be covered with them and in dust.

Alternatively, if the cardboard box fits under the bed, place it there and have some towels with her scents unit and leave it in the box and cover up the rest of the extra space so that she doesn't go in further.

But if you ask me, I would clean up under the bed and let her use it to rest and sleep. Anyway, cats always change their places of sleep. My boy is a rescue and he have many sleeping places from under the bed, on the bed, on top of cupboards, under the chest and inside big boxes, on the armchair and under the armchair. So he does not have a fix place.

So once Rivel gets use to the house and surroundings and feels very safe, you'll find her sleeping all over the place.
 
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Hoboforeternity

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As long as she is coming out to eat, use the litterbox and groom outside, I would just leave her alone. That is he safe place and she feels comfortable and safe. You can clean up the cobwebs so she won't be covered with them and in dust.

Alternatively, if the cardboard box fits under the bed, place it there and have some towels with her scents unit and leave it in the box and cover up the rest of the extra space so that she doesn't go in further.

But if you ask me, I would clean up under the bed and let her use it to rest and sleep. Anyway, cats always change their places of sleep. My boy is a rescue and he have many sleeping places from under the bed, on the bed, on top of cupboards, under the chest and inside big boxes, on the armchair and under the armchair. So he does not have a fix place.

So once Rivel gets use to the house and surroundings and feels very safe, you'll find her sleeping all over the place.
Ok. I managed to get her inside the tree hole. How do i reinforce even further that it is her ultimate comfy safe space?

I think my mistake with the old cardboard was bringing it to the vet with him. I thought it would calm him down in there, turned out he just associated the box as a bad place.

Basically from what i learned the past week is if he finally get his place in the location you want:

1. Don't ever force them out (maybe unless super emergency)
2. Just pretend they don't exist while in there. No petting, no reaching.
3. Does treats work ? I put some treats inside there
But he ignored it basically
 

tabbytom

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Ok. I managed to get her inside the tree hole. How do i reinforce even further that it is her ultimate comfy safe space?

I think my mistake with the old cardboard was bringing it to the vet with him. I thought it would calm him down in there, turned out he just associated the box as a bad place.
There could be many safe space for her and we can't choose it for her. What looks safe to us may not look safe to them. What you can do is get a soft towel and gently rub her face where the scent glands are and also her body and leave the towel where you want her to be.. It may work and it may not but having her scents at the spot is really important.

Ditch the cardboard box and get another one. The old one has got vet's smell.

Treats are to lure her out if she's really scared and hiding as in first time in the house but I don't think she's that afraid and skittish. She just found what seems safe to her and therefore make that place her very own safe spot.

Have more interaction with her and make sure she earns all the confidence and trust in you and don't betray her trust. As I've mentioned earlier, this could just be her initial spot. Once she grows older and bolder, she'll find new spots when she feels very confident and feel very at home.
 

FeebysOwner

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2. Just pretend they don't exist while in there. No petting, no reaching.
3. Does treats work ? I put some treats inside there
I think one of the members above mentioned it - you need to be spending time in that room with her - you can sit on the floor by the bed and read a book out loud or just talk softly to her while you sit. Treats are a good idea to have with you while you sit near her, you can place them on the floor between you and her - and keep some by your other side, so you can try to offer her some from your hand as well, once she shows an interest in getting them. It might not work the first time you have them in your hand, but it will eventually.

Let her have the space she chooses, but you can try to set up other possible places she might consider migrating to over time. The key is to spend time near her, just not trying to 'bother' her with petting attempts at this point.
 
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Hoboforeternity

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Yeah i think i blew it up :(
I took the bed out leaving only the inner layer. I thought she finally chosen the tree hole, but she seem just to be panicking instead. keep meowing in low tone. The only one she made sound like that before was when she was stressed after the vet.

I put it back now she's still acting a bit off like she sniff her hole but she wouldn't enter it maybe because the scents mingled with other scents outside.

I f'd up :(

I blew it. She might feel i broke her trust.
 

ArtNJ

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Na, don't worry, just a small set back, a blip in the scheme of things. Plenty of people do have to block off hidey holes because they are in inappropriate spots, and the cats get over it. We were just saying that under the bed isn't really a problematic spot, so we wouldn't have done that, not suggesting you were risking some real problem. All good in the long run, promise.
 

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Agree, just a minor setback.

With my two scaredy-cats, they hid under the bed for a couple of months (coming out for food/litterbox, then eventually play/treats). However our boy was always glued in the back corner of the bed and seemed to be regressing (coming out less for treats, not looking at us, hissing if we put our hands under the bed) so eventually we did block off the unders. Both made more progress in socializing with us after that point (though that was a stressful day for them and us). Almost 5 months later, both still like to sleep in covered spaces sometimes but they are covered beds or hidey holes, so not completely shut away from us.

It hasn't been that long for Rivel so probably needs more time to adjust to all the strange new sounds and smells.

Make sure you spend time with her reading or speaking softly, as others suggest. Keep working on offering treats (start out by placing them under the bed, then keep moving them further and further away until she has to come out from hiding for the treat). She will muster the courage to come out of hiding eventually. It takes some time to find out what they really like but it helps to start with smelly things like sardines or tuna. When ours were new and scared they would not eat treats in front of us but now we shake the treat bag and they come running to us :)
 

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My cats all have hidey holes and the only two I ever blocked were for safety reasons.....one was behind a dryer and the other behind a TV. Otherwise, I let them have their safe spot. Eventually, new cats adapt and come out and interact. I have also found that if they bolt for some reason, like a knock on the door, I know where they all have gone.
 
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Hoboforeternity

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Agree, just a minor setback.

With my two scaredy-cats, they hid under the bed for a couple of months (coming out for food/litterbox, then eventually play/treats). However our boy was always glued in the back corner of the bed and seemed to be regressing (coming out less for treats, not looking at us, hissing if we put our hands under the bed) so eventually we did block off the unders. Both made more progress in socializing with us after that point (though that was a stressful day for them and us). Almost 5 months later, both still like to sleep in covered spaces sometimes but they are covered beds or hidey holes, so not completely shut away from us.

It hasn't been that long for Rivel so probably needs more time to adjust to all the strange new sounds and smells.

Make sure you spend time with her reading or speaking softly, as others suggest. Keep working on offering treats (start out by placing them under the bed, then keep moving them further and further away until she has to come out from hiding for the treat). She will muster the courage to come out of hiding eventually. It takes some time to find out what they really like but it helps to start with smelly things like sardines or tuna. When ours were new and scared they would not eat treats in front of us but now we shake the treat bag and they come running to us :)
My cats all have hidey holes and the only two I ever blocked were for safety reasons.....one was behind a dryer and the other behind a TV. Otherwise, I let them have their safe spot. Eventually, new cats adapt and come out and interact. I have also found that if they bolt for some reason, like a knock on the door, I know where they all have gone.
Yeah, i can summon her out of hiding if it is quiet and i shake the treat bag. I will just let her have her place now. Just cleaned up the unders
 
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Hoboforeternity

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she's less active today. still eat and using the litter box, but she reverted to the less confident version few days ago :( before i took away the hole she'd spend time outside just exploring, napping on my chair if there is no loud noises to startle her. today she just eat, pee, then go back inside.
 

tabbytom

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she's less active today. still eat and using the litter box, but she reverted to the less confident version few days ago :( before i took away the hole she'd spend time outside just exploring, napping on my chair if there is no loud noises to startle her. today she just eat, pee, then go back inside.
Just give her time to recompose and you just keep up with the routines as cats don’t like changes.
As long as she’s eating and using the litterbox, she should be ok.
 
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Hoboforeternity

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Just give her time to recompose and you just keep up with the routines as cats don’t like changes.
As long as she’s eating and using the litterbox, she should be ok.
yeah, it kinda sucks because if i just take it slow, the setback wouldn't have happened.
 
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