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Thread: New cat doesn't want to socialize

  1. #1
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    New cat doesn't want to socialize

    I got a second cat on June 1, Murphy. He is very affectionate with me, but since I already have a petite little Tortie at home (Nugget) who still hasn't completely accepted him (they will bump noses and even sleep on my bed together at night, on opposite sides, but then she also swats him when he comes too close), he spends most of his time under the guest bed, not even sleeping on it comfortably. Instead he plays limbo and squishes himself under the bed to sleep most of the day. He came from a loving shelter without cages, and is used to other cats, but still is very uncomfortable socializing with us out in the main part of the house. He is extremely friendly towards people.

    I have closed off his room to force him out of there, and then find him laying on the bathroom floor instead of being out with us.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do next? He is a cute guy, but apparently shy. The shelter said that was his normal reaction to situations, but it's been almost a month and I can't get him to stay with us much more than when I first brought him home.

    He is 3, Nugget is 4 if that makes any difference. She has only been with me since last August. He is at least twice her size. I am teaching him to become a cat (playing with toys, chasing fishing pole feathers, etc). He was found in a feral cat colony trying to survive, but acts anything BUT feral with people.

  2. #2
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    Does Murphy show any interest when you play with the toys with Nugget? I'd try to get both of them involved with
    play sessions or treat times, doleing out treats to both, or sharing catnip in a group session with you as" the bountiful
    giver of all good things".
    I've Been Boo'd

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    Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
    — Charles Mackay, Scottish journalist, circa 1841

  3. #3
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    I not sure if this will help you or not but I'll give it a shot. Is he food motivated? Does he enjoy playing with a particular toy? If so then you could help him associate being out with you as a good thing by giving him a taste of wet food or a treat. If he prefers play, then find that special toy and start playing with him while he's out with you. Maybe over time he'll begin to then enjoy being out with you and your family. Good luck.
    Owned by Sky, Pearl, Ziggy Stardust, Alani, Blaze, Colby, Finnegan, and Summer.


    My Rainbow Bridge Babies:
    RB Pepper 3/17/97- 2/3/03 RIP Sweet Pepper
    RB Starr 3/22/05- 7/1/09 RIP Sweet Starr
    RB Sunny 8/25/00- 2/28/10 RIP Sweet Sunny
    RB Storm 1/11/96- 8/2/12 RIP Sweet Storm

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizbud View Post
    Does Murphy show any interest when you play with the toys with Nugget? I'd try to get both of them involved with
    play sessions or treat times, doleing out treats to both, or sharing catnip in a group session with you as" the bountiful
    giver of all good things".
    As I was posting I guess you beat me to it. We were both thinking alike.
    Owned by Sky, Pearl, Ziggy Stardust, Alani, Blaze, Colby, Finnegan, and Summer.


    My Rainbow Bridge Babies:
    RB Pepper 3/17/97- 2/3/03 RIP Sweet Pepper
    RB Starr 3/22/05- 7/1/09 RIP Sweet Starr
    RB Sunny 8/25/00- 2/28/10 RIP Sweet Sunny
    RB Storm 1/11/96- 8/2/12 RIP Sweet Storm

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazyaboutkatz View Post
    As I was posting I guess you beat me to it. We were both thinking alike.

    LOL What do they say about great minds.
    I've Been Boo'd

    I've been Frosted






    Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
    — Charles Mackay, Scottish journalist, circa 1841

  6. #6
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    I would just give him time. Cats typically take time to adjust to a change of environment, and if he is shy then he needs even more time.

    Does he come out of the bathroom at meal time?

    Work slowly and he will come around.
    I've been BOO'd!!
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  7. #7
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    Cat socializing

    Quote Originally Posted by lizbud View Post
    Does Murphy show any interest when you play with the toys with Nugget? I'd try to get both of them involved with
    play sessions or treat times, doleing out treats to both, or sharing catnip in a group session with you as" the bountiful
    giver of all good things".
    THank you for your response. Murphy was found with other cats, so the sanctuary I got him from actually had to teach him to play with toys! He is good with catnip pillows, and I have tried to get them playing at the same time, but many times he will retreat back to "his" room so the play is not very extended.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazyaboutkatz View Post
    I not sure if this will help you or not but I'll give it a shot. Is he food motivated? Does he enjoy playing with a particular toy? If so then you could help him associate being out with you as a good thing by giving him a taste of wet food or a treat. If he prefers play, then find that special toy and start playing with him while he's out with you. Maybe over time he'll begin to then enjoy being out with you and your family. Good luck.
    Thank you. He is learning to play with toys (the sanctuary actually had to teach him how to be a cat in that respect!), but LOVES wet food, so that is a good idea. Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
    I would just give him time. Cats typically take time to adjust to a change of environment, and if he is shy then he needs even more time.

    Does he come out of the bathroom at meal time?

    Work slowly and he will come around.
    Thanks, he generallys wants to stay under the bed, but I do know that the sanctuary I got him from did say he took a while to become socialized with them also, so I guess I just need more patience. He does come out in the morning for food, and now sleeps with me at night. so we are making SOME progress.

  10. #10
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    My Sparkler's safe place is under the bed too. For the longest time, she only came just out to eat (and I assume to use the litterbox, though I never saw her do it). Then she got an infection and started hiding inside the bedsprings box! I finally managed to get her out far enough so I could grab her and take her to the vet's for an antibiotic shot.

    Sparkler was severely traumatized when she was a young kitten (stepped on and her hind legs crushed), and I think that is the source of her timidity. Murphy probably had a very frightening time of it as a young kitten in a feral colony, so he learned to be very fearful and defensive too.

    I started luring her out with food and then reaching to wherever I could reach her to pet her and give her lots of affection and attention. The infection cleared up, and she started coming farther out.

    Now she comes out a lot, into the living room even! I can reach down and pet her and give her something to eat. And while under the bed is still her safe place, she comes up ON the bed when I lay down to go to sleep so I can pet her as we both drift off!

    So please give your dear Murphy whatever time and space he needs, and give him loads of affection and attention (plus yummies!) when he does come out. He and Nugget will work out their interPURRRsonal dynamics. How cool that is that they bump noses and even sleep on the bed together with you at night!

    I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    "Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

    -- Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by phesina View Post
    My Sparkler's safe place is under the bed too. For the longest time, she only came just out to eat (and I assume to use the litterbox, though I never saw her do it). Then she got an infection and started hiding inside the bedsprings box! I finally managed to get her out far enough so I could grab her and take her to the vet's for an antibiotic shot.

    Sparkler was severely traumatized when she was a young kitten (stepped on and her hind legs crushed), and I think that is the source of her timidity. Murphy probably had a very frightening time of it as a young kitten in a feral colony, so he learned to be very fearful and defensive too.

    I started luring her out with food and then reaching to wherever I could reach her to pet her and give her lots of affection and attention. The infection cleared up, and she started coming farther out.

    Now she comes out a lot, into the living room even! I can reach down and pet her and give her something to eat. And while under the bed is still her safe place, she comes up ON the bed when I lay down to go to sleep so I can pet her as we both drift off!

    So please give your dear Murphy whatever time and space he needs, and give him loads of affection and attention (plus yummies!) when he does come out. He and Nugget will work out their interPURRRsonal dynamics. How cool that is that they bump noses and even sleep on the bed together with you at night!

    Yes, thank you for all the advice and your story! Murphy has the BEST personality of any cat I have ever met, but what can you expect from an Orangie? He loves people, but I think Nugget (who is 1/2 his size) intimidates him, even though he really wants to be friends with her. He does want to sleep on my bed with me now, and Nugget has finally accepted that if she wants to continue to sleep there too, she has to share!

  12. #12
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    I just wanted to know if there's been any kind of improvement. I sure hope so. Please give us an update when you can.
    Owned by Sky, Pearl, Ziggy Stardust, Alani, Blaze, Colby, Finnegan, and Summer.


    My Rainbow Bridge Babies:
    RB Pepper 3/17/97- 2/3/03 RIP Sweet Pepper
    RB Starr 3/22/05- 7/1/09 RIP Sweet Starr
    RB Sunny 8/25/00- 2/28/10 RIP Sweet Sunny
    RB Storm 1/11/96- 8/2/12 RIP Sweet Storm

  13. #13
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    Nugget and Murphy

    Quote Originally Posted by krazyaboutkatz View Post
    I just wanted to know if there's been any kind of improvement. I sure hope so. Please give us an update when you can.
    Well, they will bump noses and even sleep on the same bed, a few feet apart, but if Murphy wants to engage in play, Nugget will still swipe at him. In the morning they chase each other up and down the hall, but Murphy still prefers to sleep under "his" bed (spare bedroom) for at least 90% of the day. Wish I could find a way for him to be with us in the main part of the house more than he is.

    Thanks for asking about them!

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