Urgent - can't find new cat

jc66

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I'm in desperate need of help. My family adopted a 10 month old kitten named Penny Saturday night. She's extremely shy, her rescuer said it took 2 weeks for her to warm up and come out. We put her in our storage room with beds, food, water, litterbox, toys, and cat trees. She ran and hid so we left her alone. Sunday, my dad wanted to see her and moved a bunch of boxes, chasing her into a corner where she stayed. He spent an hour talking to her and petting her. She always came out to eat when we weren't around. We have a pet gate that comes up to our chest in the door. We didn't know she could squeeze through the bars. Today, I told my mom to leave her balcony shut, it's not enclosed, but our cats go out there to sun. I shut it for her, but apparently she said it was open when she went back up. I looked outside but no gravel was disturbed in the area, so I don't think she jumped (it's a 2 story balcony). We've torn the house apart and can't find her. I know if a cat doesn't want to be found they won't be. I've shut the door, hoping she can squeeze back in and put fresh food and a bowl of tuna inside. Does anyone have any other advice to try and find her? We are all freaking out right now. We haven't seen her since Sunday night and her food hasn't been touched. Also, we have multiple cats so we can't put food out around the house to check if it's been eaten. I'm in a state of absolute panic right now.
 

tyleete

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Take a deep breath. Surely she's in there somewhere. Cats can get in the smallest of places. And the gate while high, is but a challenge to a cat. She probably climbed or jumped it. And they can definitely jump and clear a good 4-5'. I've seen one of mine so it without blinking at it was straight up.
So, if it were me, is close the gate again since you have others and leave food in there. If the smell is too tempting to the others, just use the regular cat food she was eating. I'd still look around. But not as often. I know that's going to be hard, but she'll never come out of everyone's shuffling around and moving things constantly. Add this point, you just want to make sure she's still there. So hopefully if you're rather quiet asked accruing normal, she may creep out for litter, food, or water. Put more litter boxes around if you haven't enough. You don't want her coming out desperately in need and none close by or in site. Also do that with water bowls too. She'll need that more than anything else. And just be patient.
As for the fear of being outside? Poor out a litter box and a blanket with either hers or your scent on it and leave it close by your home. If you have it can get a trap, might try that.
Definitely keep that balcony closed. Hopefully she didn't get out there. But if she didn't, don't give her the opportunity.
It's going to be hard, but I'm sure everything will work out fine. Try keeping it quiet to listen out for her and call her name occasionally. Won't hurt to look around occasionally, just don't go moving everything in effort of finding her.
Anyhow, that's what I'd do. I've worked rescue for over 20yrs, grew up in a cattery, and also worked at a shelter to tame a lot of ferals. She's just got to feel comfortable and learn to trust you. It'll come
 

Meekie

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My experience has been that the best thing you can do is stop looking for her. I understand how difficult not looking for her can be, but the shifting of boxes and moving furniture are interpreted by the cat as you hunting for her, and it will drive her further into hiding, and she'll hide longer.

It's heartbreaking and torturous to not know whether she's gotten out of the house or not, but I'm afraid looking for her outside will produce the same result. Cats can easily identify the sounds that frighten them, and I believe they can even differentiate the sound of different people's footsteps. If you're looking for her outside, do not call out her name and try not to replicate any of the behavior or sounds made while looking for her inside. You don't want her thinking "It's them! The ones who are after me!" Give her time to calm down and let some of her fear go away and she'll hopefully wander back.

You didn't mention her relationship with the other cats. If there is a dominant cat who was bullying her, she might be avoiding that, too.

I know not looking for her is hard, but it's always been my experience that it will only make things worse. Hopefully someone else might have a success story to share...
 

Robyn5678

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Cats can find the craziest places to hide. Mine have figured out how to get up inside the box spring or under the sofa up inside under the fabric that covers. She will come out once she feels safe. Searchi g for her may be scaring her more
 
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jc66

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My experience has been that the best thing you can do is stop looking for her. I understand how difficult not looking for her can be, but the shifting of boxes and moving furniture are interpreted by the cat as you hunting for her, and it will drive her further into hiding, and she'll hide longer.

It's heartbreaking and torturous to not know whether she's gotten out of the house or not, but I'm afraid looking for her outside will produce the same result. Cats can easily identify the sounds that frighten them, and I believe they can even differentiate the sound of different people's footsteps. If you're looking for her outside, do not call out her name and try not to replicate any of the behavior or sounds made while looking for her inside. You don't want her thinking "It's them! The ones who are after me!" Give her time to calm down and let some of her fear go away and she'll hopefully wander back.

You didn't mention her relationship with the other cats. If there is a dominant cat who was bullying her, she might be avoiding that, too.

I know not looking for her is hard, but it's always been my experience that it will only make things worse. Hopefully someone else might have a success story to share...

She just came her Saturday and has yet to meet the other cats. Two sniffed her through the carrier she came in. There was no hissing or anything. After that we took her to a secluded room so she could take in all the smells. My dad did say he heard a cat fight this morning, but not sure who it was. We have two cats that stay secluded to one room and do not like anyone so I could have been them yelling at each other. They are litter mates and self secluded themselves. We will try not to look for her and give her time to adjust.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. You are probably already aware about looking in all the possible 'hiding' places in your house, but just in case this article could be of any help, although it is probably repeating what one of the members above already suggested.
Help! My Cat Is Lost! – TheCatSite Articles

Once you find her, hopefully somewhere in your home, then maybe these articles will help to ensure she can't hide like that again!
Bringing Home A New Cat – The Complete Guide – TheCatSite Articles
How To Help A New Cat Adjust To Your Home – TheCatSite Articles
 
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tyleete

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Oh! You said your father heard cats fighting? Perfect! I'd forgotten about the others. Watch them. They will eventually show you where she is. I'd definitely stop looking. Listen and watch them.;)
 
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jc66

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We found her, hiding behind a box of baking soda under an old vanity. We looked there numerous times, but it's a very hard location to see under. Now we are realizing that's where 2 of our recently deceased cats hid when it was time for meds or the vet. We are so relieved. Thank you for your help everyone.
 

susanm9006

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So glad you found her. Try to give her a safe hiding space where she has food, water and litterbox nearby and the opportunity to adjust without being removed or scared by other cats. Then let her start coming out when she is ready. She is young and they usually adjust pretty quickly.
 

maggie101

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We found her, hiding behind a box of baking soda under an old vanity. We looked there numerous times, but it's a very hard location to see under. Now we are realizing that's where 2 of our recently deceased cats hid when it was time for meds or the vet. We are so relieved. Thank you for your help everyone.
When I can't find my cat I use my clicker. She immediately comes at my command. I need to clicker train her again because she does not come if she sees me. I have to do it in my bathroom!
 
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