Very shy new cat - under the bed and won’t come out

WoodstockGirl

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Day 9: I read to the kitten a little before bed, then I slept in the bedroom from 9:30 to 12:00. The good news is I actually fell asleep during that time, which means the loud meowing must have been somewhat limited. The other good news is that she came out when I was asleep in there and ate and used the litter box. She woke me meowing loudly from the windowsill behind the blinds.

Because of the meowing I had to leave at that point and go to the living room. I came back a few minutes later because I forgot something and she was on top of the bookshelf (it’s 2 ft high).

I slept the rest of the night on the couch. I can only sleep with earplugs and headphones playing music to drown out the meowing. So I don’t know how much she meowed after that. I suspect the usual amount.

But, I’m happy about this first sign of progress!

Penny is still handling things like a champ so far. Such a good girl!
That's wonderful!
 

Mamanyt1953

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Gosh, YES, that's wonderful! She is defintely doing better to come out like that while you were in the room, sleeping or not! Progress!
 

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Welcome to the forums! If you've only had your little kitten for a couple days/weeks, don't be concerned. A cat in a new place is going to go where they feel safe and secure until they're comfortable enough to come out. Prince and Nikita both did this when I brought them home. Prince was my first cat, and he quite literally would not come out from under the bed for a good two weeks. Anytime I even walked across the floor, he'd shoot for the bed.

Nikita would hide under the bed but not as often because she'd been in foster care with other animals so she seemed a bit more comfortable, she'd explore the house a bit more-but if Prince were out and about she'd tuck herself into a hiding spot somewhere. She still likes to find places to curl up in like the closet, but that's more due to cats liking to have a place to hide out.

I'd suggest what some people on these forums suggested to me when I first got Prince. Sit on the floor, cross your legs and have some treats handy. Wait for your kitten to come out to you and give it a treat once it does. After a while, start to pet the kitten and when it lets you pet it, give it a treat. Soon enough that little cat's going to be a bundle of playtime joy and hyperactiveness just like Nikita and Prince are

(Seriously, I now have to go to home depot and buy some wood glue because Prince's bouncing off everything has caused a piece of my end table to fall off)
 

Jcatbird

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Yay! Thank you to Penny for sharing you and that’s progress for the kitten! That little tail poking out from the blinds! Awww!! Just stay in there as long as you can at night. If her meowing was less while you were there then it means she is feeling comforted by your presence as you sleep. Increased meowing when you woke up was her way of trying to communicate with you. I’m sure the little one is missing her siblings. No one to play with or cuddle. I don’t suppose you could adopt a sibling too? If not then just hang in there and keep doing what you are doing. Chances are that you will wake up to find the baby investigationg you or even cuddling you. It’s great that Penny is accepting of all this. She’s a great kitty! Beautiful too!
 
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CalicoPenny

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Day 10:
Sigh.

I tried to spend some more time sleeping in the bedroom last night but Penny was having some separation issues, pawing and meowing at the door, and Maisie seemed to be extra loud as well. And though Penny she doesn’t seem overly stressed behavior and personality-wise I am starting to be concerned about her appetite, she is eating less than usual, so I didn’t want to upset her any further by ignoring her efforts to get to me.

The time I did spend in the bedroom, Maisie was getting increasingly daring about exploring even though I wasn’t asleep. And during the time I wasn’t in there, she found treats I left in various parts of the bedroom, in different boxes and hiding spots. The bad news is that all her exploring led her to find an even more inaccessible hiding spot (worse than under the bed), under a cedar chest. Hopefully she doesn’t decide to spend all her days there. But she’s likely to emerge at night, so hopefully I can get Penny relaxed, and spend some more time in there tonight. Also my friend who she’s somewhat bonded with is supposed to coming over tonight for New Years. Maybe Maisie will come out for her.
 

rubysmama

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The bad news is that all her exploring led her to find an even more inaccessible hiding spot (worse than under the bed), under a cedar chest.
Oh no. They can certainly squeeze into the smallest spaces, can't they. :sigh:

Penny was having some separation issues, pawing and meowing at the door,
Poor Penny. Keep telling her you love her, and that she's not being replaced. She's a beauty, btw. :hearthrob:
 

pearl99

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Day 10:
Sigh.

The bad news is that all her exploring led her to find an even more inaccessible hiding spot (worse than under the bed), under a cedar chest. Hopefully she doesn’t decide to spend all her days there.
It's amazing what they can squeeze in to isn't it. I have stuffed pillows and towels and even cardboard boxes that would fit under those tight places to fill them up so the kitties can't get in there. Under bedside tables, I have a cedar chest, dressers, chests, end tables... Once I thought I had stuffed enough and Gracie, my newest one, still found a way in. So I stuffed more. I've gone to the Thrift Store to buy big towels and blankets when I didn't have enough on hand.
They are so intent on hiding aren't they! Little hiding wizards! Maisie is getting braver!
Yeah you need your sleep, so do what you can and feel good about it with getting the sleep you need!
Of course, adopt a sibling :catrub: that's how we become crazy cat people....
 
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CalicoPenny

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Day 13: Just wanted to give an update. My friend came over on New Year’s Eve, and she was able to get the get Maisie out of hiding, and I was able to hold and pet her. I told her that I felt she lonely for her brother, and apparently the brother is acting sad too. I floated the idea that if they could find an adopter for both together, that might be optimum.

Meanwhile, I felt like having the bedroom closed off for months (which I feel like at this rate is the time frame I was looking at) wasn’t going to work for me or Penny. We decided to let the cats meet.

When Penny sees the kitten she does hiss, but usually doesn’t bother getting up from where she’s laying/sitting. If she’s on her feet and hissing, she’s easy to redirect (if I call her name she will walk away).

Maisie still hides all day and then comes to out at night to eat, use the litter box and explore the apartment. Her hiding spots have been a little more accessible lately, so I have been able to reach in and give her a few pets.

She still meows a lot at night as she’s wandering around and checking out new hiding spots. But I got a reply note from my downstairs neighbor that it was not a problem. So that reduced some of my stress about the meowing.

With the apartment being open and knowing that the neighbor is not being disturbed, I am feeling less anxious and in a better position to give Maisie the time she needs to get comfortable. It’s okay if she’s not a cuddly lap cat (I have one already) I just want her to be happy.
 

rubysmama

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Wow! That was a huge step forward! And sounds like things are going well. Hissing from Penny isn't anything to stress too much over, as hissing is just the way a cat communicates. It's fighting with fur flying or bloodshed, that is something to worry about. As long as Penny keeps eating and using the litterbox normally, and doesn't seem stressed or depressed, I think things will evolve more quickly than you expect. :catlove:
 

Mamanyt1953

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Oh, a hiss here and there is so very normal. Penny, as resident Queen, knows that her job is to teach this new cat her proper place in the household. Hissing is part of that...you should HEAR mama cats giving their kittens what for! You're making excellent progress. You really are.
 
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CalicoPenny

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Day 15: Small milestone yesterday! Maisie was in my ‘craft closet’ in the living room and I was sitting on the couch, I heard a noise and looked and saw that she had taken a few steps out of the closet. When she saw that I was looking at her she went back in to the closet. A few minutes later I heard a noise again, and this time I didn’t turn my head. She left the closet and walked out of the living room into the bedroom. That was the first time she has walked out of a hiding spot while I was awake, or at least not laying down with the lights off.

Her favorite hiding spot is under the couch where I’ve been sleeping. She ventures out at night (still meowing a lot) and returns to the couch by the time I wake up in the morning. She stays under the couch all day as far as I know.
 
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CalicoPenny

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Day 19: Not too much different to report over the last few days. Maisie continues to spend most of the day under the couch as far as I know (since I am at work during the day), then comes out at night to explore and play (I heard a lot of ball track action on Wednesday night). Penny still hisses and/or growls when Maisie comes out, but doesn’t chase and there has been nothing physical between the two cats - Maisie gives Penny wide berth but still continues on her desired path (usually to the bedroom).
  • The last few nights Maisie has come out before I have shut out the lights. I give her mellow acknowledgement and try not to move at all, and she proceeds to the bedroom. I’m hoping repeated instances of her coming out and nothing scary happening will help build confidence gradually.
  • After 18 straight nights of meowing, I didn’t hear a peep from her last night. I was almost worried but I heard her munching and playing at various points during the night. We’ll see if it was a fluke.😆
  • Penny just now peered under the couch and didn’t hiss. I gave both cats a treat after. Didn’t do the proper introduction process, but I’m going to try and give them positive associations whenever I can to keep things going in the right direction.
  • Even tough she’s still hiding Maisie often looks more relaxed - stretching out, lying on her side etc.
 

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susanm9006

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She does look relaxed. I like her attitude, I think in the end will be a very spunky cat.
 
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CalicoPenny

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Day 20: It wasn’t a fluke, Maisie only meowed once last night! I feel so much better, because now I’m not worried that she’s miserable. What I did hear last night was her playing with her ball track a ton😀.
 

Mamanyt1953

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OK...do you realize how ENORMOUS the "silent treatment" is? You have made huge progress here, and only more good things will follow! And, as hard as it seems, 19 days isn't that long for a cat.
 
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CalicoPenny

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Day 23: Yesterday was a big day! I’ve been feeding Maisie her breakfast under the couch, so yesterday I put the dish halfway under so she had to put her head out a little to eat it. Which she did. When I first got her she wouldn’t eat if I was anywhere around, even if her plate was under the bed.

Then at 10:30 last night while I was sitting on the couch, Maisie came out. It’s not the first time she’s come out while I’ve been siting on the couch around that time of night. But at first she would go straight to the bedroom. Sunday night she stopped for a snack in the dining room. Yesterday she played with her ball track for 10 minutes and then had a snack and then sat under the table for a few minutes! Even with me talking and walking past a few times, and Penny doing some growling when she noticed her in the dining room.
 

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CalicoPenny

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Day 30: Haven’t updated in a while but things are progressing slowly but surely. Maisie hasn’t approached me for pets yet but this past week:
  • One night, she hopped on the couch where Penny and I were sleeping near my feet. Stayed there a few minutes.
  • Has been spending more and more time playing and sitting around in my presence in the living room.
  • Likes to be as near to Penny as Penny will tolerate. She’s doesn’t seem to be afraid of Penny, but also is wise enough not to push her luck when Penny is grumbling or hissing. Only time Penny lifts her paw is when Maisie is running in her direction (from me usually, though I’m not trying to chase her 😝)
  • She is getting more and more playful. She managed to knock my 3 foot Christmas tree off the shelf last night. Luckily it has no ornaments. She came flying onto the bed last night (I’m back sleeping in my room on my reassembled bed!) to Penny’s annoyance (that earned a couple hisses). I think she forgot I was there, she looked at me wide-eyed and bounded away.
  • Even though they both have run of the apartment, I have been doing ‘Treat and Greet’ by the couch, feeding them treats while they can see each other.
  • She let me pet her paw with my finger yesterday. (That’s all I could reach under the couch).
 

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