I need help. I adopted a 5 year old kitty and she is incredibly timid. I grew up around cats and my last cat was a shelter kitty as well but I really don't know what to do or how to help her feel more comfortable any more. I have also always had male cats if that makes much difference in behavior.
After her owner had passed away all his/er cats ended up in the shelter. Some time later all of them got adopted by one person. This person also had dogs and a bunny rabbit. The rabbit wasn't that fond of the cat and attacked my new Kitty friend; she got so scared she wouldn't get out from under the sofa for days so the person who adopted her before me had to return her to the shelter.
Now I understand this kitty has been through some traumas, her owner dying, shelter, new environment, being attacked by a bunny rabbit, being the only one brought back to the shelter and loosing all of her familiar cat family she grew up with. I will give her a few days but I want her to be happy. I'm afraid I will have to take her back to the shelter within the trail period if her behavior won't improve. The only time she got out from under the bed was when she saw herself in the mirror (She probably thought it was another cat which may indicate she need a mate to feel more at ease ,sadly I can't keep more than one cat.)
She does let me pet her when under the bed but won't come out. In fact she barely moves down there and mostly sits in one position. She becomes more active at night like most cats but then it consists of going to the "bathroom" and meowing on the window sills and scratching the front and the balcony doors. This is what made me think they made a mistake at the shelter and she has not been an indoor cat and was perhaps used to going outside at night. I suffer from anxiety and this is a problem for me because if I won't be able to get a goodnight sleep my condition will get worse too.
I just don't know what the best thing to do is. I really don't want to give her back but I do realize that if she really needs a mate and an opportunity to go outside then there is probably a better home out there for her. No sense to keep a cat if you can't make it happy.
I'd appreciate any advice or tips. So far I've put a baby blanket under my bed so she at least doesn't sleep on the floor. And I leave a bowl with food there too as she would not eat anything but dry food at night otherwise. I worry because she doesn't drink. Not even when she dares to leave her hiding spot at night. I tried persuading her with noms and toys but she is unaffected. She is very aloof and careful and didn't even dare to get on the blanket I gave her at first.
I don't know what to do any more.