Skittish cat ran away while moving. Do they ever relax enough to be found?

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EveAndHerThieves

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Kira's home! Nobody at the shelter wanted to touch him. I guess he's pretty scary. I have no idea how I came up with the money, but I did. He's got super runny eyes and nose, and stinks of his own pee, but he's mine again! He's slithered around under the furniture before stretching out under the bed. He looks happy, I think. I'm now realizing how many dead spiders are under that bed...
 

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Kira's home! Nobody at the shelter wanted to touch him. I guess he's pretty scary. I have no idea how I came up with the money, but I did. He's got super runny eyes and nose, and stinks of his own pee, but he's mine again! He's slithered around under the furniture before stretching out under the bed. He looks happy, I think. I'm now realizing how many dead spiders are under that bed...
It sounds like they should be paying for a vet visit and whatever medication he may need, and paying for you to have him groomed. What did they do with him there?
 
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EveAndHerThieves

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It sounds like they should be paying for a vet visit and whatever medication he may need, and paying for you to have him groomed. What did they do with him there?

I'm pretty sure they're protected from being sued or anything by some fine print somewhere. It's so frustrating. His eye is watering so bad the snot is in his whiskers. This isn't the first time I've brought a cat home from the shelter stinking of pee either. They just locked him in one of their tiny cages with the lost pets for two weeks. He had a tiny piece of fabric over his cage to help his nerves. That's about it. I think he's been sleeping in the litterbox.

I have literally 0 money now, so I'm not sure what to do. I'm hoping it's stress and he will be able to kick it. I'm not thrilled. I've got him separated from my other cats the best I can right now. I can't really keep them 100% apart due to living situations. :(

Luckily I've been in the basement two weeks and all my blankets are around. He's already out sniffing. It smells strongly of me and my other cats, who he sleeps on the bed with a lot.

I've parked in the middle of the floor on some of my most familiar blankets (that he used to sleep on a lot) and turned off the lights. I'm listening to a quiet podcast and talking softly to him. He's come out from under the bed and is sitting next to me cleaning his snotty eye. I thought for sure he would be MUCH more traumatized.
 
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EveAndHerThieves

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He is OBSESSED with the water now. :( I'll have to look up things to help him kick the cold. He's a bit hungry, but mostly thirsty. He's been there five minutes.

One step at a time. He's home, I can sleep now. I've been worried sick. And he's doing well, all things considered! I'm dang proud of him for finding his way home, even if it was the wrong home.

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Talien

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I'm pretty sure they're protected from being sued or anything by some fine print somewhere. It's so frustrating. His eye is watering so bad the snot is in his whiskers. This isn't the first time I've brought a cat home from the shelter stinking of pee either. They just locked him in one of their tiny cages with the lost pets for two weeks. He had a tiny piece of fabric over his cage to help his nerves. That's about it. I think he's been sleeping in the litterbox.

I have literally 0 money now, so I'm not sure what to do. I'm hoping it's stress and he will be able to kick it. I'm not thrilled. I've got him separated from my other cats the best I can right now. I can't really keep them 100% apart due to living situations. :(

Luckily I've been in the basement two weeks and all my blankets are around. He's already out sniffing. It smells strongly of me and my other cats, who he sleeps on the bed with a lot.

I've parked in the middle of the floor on some of my most familiar blankets (that he used to sleep on a lot) and turned off the lights. I'm listening to a quiet podcast and talking softly to him. He's come out from under the bed and is sitting next to me cleaning his snotty eye. I thought for sure he would be MUCH more traumatized.
I don't really mean legal action, there are things you can do that don't cost anything. Do they have a social media presence? Post about it there. Are there social media groups for animal rights or rescue that are based in your area? Post about it there. Is it a private shelter or is it county/city/state funded? If it gets government funding you can file a complaint. Look them up on yelp or other similar sites and post a negative review. If you're a big enough pain in the ass they might agree to cover at least part of the cost just to get you to stop making them look bad.
 
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EveAndHerThieves

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I checked and I don't think it'll make a difference. Their Google reviews are full of one and two star reviews. Even the old workers dislike it! I thought they were supposed to be improving it, ugh. I'm so not happy with my landlord. And all my pet medical supplies are buried in my storage shed somewhere. I'd buy more, but I'm eating stale crackers for dinner so he can be home. Worth it. I just feel bad for him.

The good news is Kira is less snotty now. He's attached to me whenever I am. He follows me and either purrs, meows, or kneads the bed. He's not nearly as concerned about being in a new home as he is at being with me again. He keeps stretching out like a statue. If I'm chilling out watching TV he sneaks up behind me and sits very close without touching. Just don't look, it's a secret. I didn't realize how stressed I was worrying about him.


I'm really, really surprised at how fast he's settling! He's prowling the room with his head held high and already sitting on things vs hiding. I think he's happy to have room and doesn't care that it's a different room.
 

Talien

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All you can do is add another 1* to the pile then. Eventually it will reach critical mass.

Good that he's settling in so well, it shows that he thinks you are more important than a place.
 
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EveAndHerThieves

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Oh yes, I made my voice very known. You don't mess with my cats. Although I'm proud of him for scaring everyone too much to want to handle him. He's a giant baby.

He's normally weary of people petting him and only lasts a moment or two. Now he's soaking it up. He keeps reaching out a paw to touch me while he naps. I threw out a big pile of gently worn clothes for him to sleep on.

Now to watch and hope the sniffles clear up. He's fairly congested. Drinking all the water ever seems to have helped a bit. He's finally asleep.


I'm so thrilled I think I will sleep tonight! Socks is madder than a wet hen, but she'll live. Spoon has no clue what's going on. She found a tall shelf somehow and is glued to it.
 
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EveAndHerThieves

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He's now locked in a bathroom freaking out. He's spent ALL NIGHT running around meowing/purring/rubbing against me. I'm so tired from not sleeping! But I wasn't awake enough to move him. I guess he's just a lot panicked.
 

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So glad to hear he is home again. I hope those sniffles are nothing serious. Poor boy, he's been through so much, it must be so confusing for him.

Hope he's feeling like his old self again soon.

:vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes:
 
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EveAndHerThieves

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Follow up question: how do I deal with a paranoid, skitterish, overly attached cat?! This guy is traumatized to the max. He's following me around obsessively meowing for love. He kept me up all night meowing and pacing until I locked him in the storage room. He won't settle, just paces and meows. He is VERY clingy. I have the patience of a saint usually... But I'm ready to scream. Ignoring him causes him to pace and meow. Paying attention causes pacing and meowing. Locking him in the storage room causes him to hide in a corner and shake.

I'm thinking putting him in a smaller, dark room might help? My only options are a storage room where my cat food/litterbox/back door are, or my bathroom. (studio basement apartment basically) I don't want to traumatize him worse! He just will NOT settle even for a minute. I can't even pee without him panicking. :(

At least his nose/eyes have almost completely cleared up. One of my cats is completely fine with him being home. The other shoved herself in the storage room and casually hisses as she walks by him.
 

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Put up with this for a while - he will get over it. Locking him away in a room by himself isn't going to help make him get over it, and could likely make it worse. It's only been a day, right? Please have patience with him. He's been traumatized, kept locked up with no one he knew, and now that he is back with you he is, again, in unfamiliar surroundings. The only thing that feels 'safe' to him right now is you.

Try scent swapping between the hissing female and him. She is essentially acting out what is called non-recognition aggression. Take a towel or blanket that she uses and rub it on Kira so that he smells more like her. You can also brush her and then use the same brush on him. This too should pass within the next few days.
 
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EveAndHerThieves

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I think I'm mostly insane due to lack of sleep. I took today off expecting him to be a wreck. I just wasn't expecting this kind of reaction! I thought he'd go hide. This super clingy change is been difficult.

Can I do anything to help him settle or just let him work through it?

Luckily scent swapping is something I'm good at! I've been making sure Socks gets lots of love herself so she doesn't feel put out. I go back and forth to make sure they get smells mixed. Which has now causes Spoon to hiss at Socks. I had to open the window above my bed to air it out. The results have been Spoon and Socks glued to the window while Kira sleeps under it. They're all aware of each other and can smell. The two girls are more obsessed with "freedom" than him, and he's more interested in napping in my blankets.
 

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I'd give him all the attention he wants, but still go about your day as usual - and, if he wants to follow you, so be it. I really think you will see things calm down for him gradually over the next few days.
 
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