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Thread: Help - new kitten not allowing anyone near her

  1. #1

    Help - new kitten not allowing anyone near her

    We got a 5 month old kitten about 2 weeks ago. So far she doesn't let anyone near her. No one has been able to get close enough to pet her or pick her up. She hides most of the day under a bed, comes out in the morning and evening. I've been able to get her to take treats from my hand but as soon as she gets it she backs away. She hasn't meowed in days, and when my kids came home last weekend, she hissed at them and also me. I understand she may be frightened and stressed but how long will it take for her to let us near her? She is scratching everything and I can't cut her nails or take her to the vet because I can't get hear enough to grab her or pick her up!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
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    35,945
    Awww, where did you get her from? Does someone sit quietly in the room with her every day, just to get her more comfortable with humans? Maybe read aloud to her, just whatever you happen to be reading for yourself ... every cat takes its own amount of time, so I can say thank you for not giving up, sooner or later she will realize people are okay!
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Karen View Post
    Awww, where did you get her from? Does someone sit quietly in the room with her every day, just to get her more comfortable with humans? Maybe read aloud to her, just whatever you happen to be reading for yourself ... every cat takes its own amount of time, so I can say thank you for not giving up, sooner or later she will realize people are okay!
    She was a rescue and we got her from a foster home. She seemed fine when we went to the adoption. I've tried sitting in the room and talking to her/reading. She was kept in a small bedroom made into a cat room, there were other foster cats but she kept to herself. We have slowly given her full run of the house which is much bigger than where she came from. some days it seems like we are making progress but other days, not so much.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Waltham, MA, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmary View Post
    She was a rescue and we got her from a foster home. She seemed fine when we went to the adoption. I've tried sitting in the room and talking to her/reading. She was kept in a small bedroom made into a cat room, there were other foster cats but she kept to herself. We have slowly given her full run of the house which is much bigger than where she came from. some days it seems like we are making progress but other days, not so much.
    Aww, treasure the good days, and ignore the bad ones, it is all a whole new world for her, and she is smart to be cautious, even if she's so cute you just want to pick her up and snuggle her close!
    I've Been Frosted

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island; USA
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    16,685
    She is used to relying on the other cats for information as to safety. Now she has to sort it all out for herself.

    I would say, you have allowed her too much area too soon. Do you have a room you can confine her in -- one with no bed for her to hide out of reach? You want to be able to go in and visit with her, not have her out of sight. That would be the best option.

    If not, then work out something where she has limited area. When you are with her, use one of those cat toys on a string, dangle and drag it across the floor for her to play. Get her mind OFF 'da big human in da room' and on fun. She will start to associate you with fun. Try to play with her multiple times daily.

    Remember to remove the toy when no one is available to supervise. Those toys are hazardous to cats, and should not be left out where the cat can get to it.

    Let her have a catnip mouse in the room she is in.

    You need to work on building up her feelings of confidence and safety.


    I also suggest you communicate with the foster parent or, if you have no way to reach them directly, then the rescue.

    Hope this helps!

  6. #6
    Thanks, we'll give that a try. Now we have a new issue. The past 2 days she has pooped on the carpet and the couch. She did it right in front of my husband this morning. Started scratching the carpet, and then she went! She knows where the litter box is, and has been using it. It's cleaned daily...ugggggg.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
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    5,358
    I brought a feral kitten home that wanted nothing to do with me and was so frightened that she spent a majority of her time hiding in my closet. She would only come out at night to eat and use the litterbox (or when I wasn't in the room, I assume).

    What I did was confined her to one room (my bedroom) and at the time I actually spent quite a bit of time in my bedroom. So I would come home and hang out on the computer or do whatever and I just "ignored" her. Soon, I would wake up at night to her curled up next to me on the bed, only to be gone hiding in the closet again by the next morning. Eventually she would start to come out and play at night when I was on the computer, but would run and hide if I stood up or moved.

    And after a little bit (a month or so), she and I became inseparable and formed such a bond that I have yet to find again in any pet. She spent every minute of the day that we were together touching me in some way, and she was not warmed up to anyone else in the house, only me. When my BF moved up here I was quite surprised to see her immediately take to him, too.

    Sadly, we had to say goodbye much too soon (I had only had her 8 months; she was maybe 1 1/2 years old) as I lost her to kidney disease

    Do not force yourself on her. Take things slowly and work with her at your pace. Give her a little time. You may just be amazed at what happens.

    As for the litterbox issue... how may cats do you have in the house? How many litterboxes do you have? How many levels are in your house? Has she been to the vet recently?

    I absolutely agree with keeping her confined to a smaller area and not giving her too much freedom too soon.

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  8. #8
    Well, well now. That is definately normal cat behavior. No worries, little bit of time and patience. Sounds like the wee cat is a tad alarmed. The cat will definately calm down eventually. Just has to get use to the environment

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    5,358
    Something I forgot to mention -- you may look into using something like Feliway that releases calming phermones to help lower her anxiety and make the transition smoother. You can find it on amazon and it comes as a diffuser, wipes, or spray. I've used it and had great success with my very stressed kitty when we moved. The diffuser is definitely the best, you can leave it in the room she is confined to. The wipes and spray definitely has their place, though (think: cat carriers prior to vet vists!).

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    USA
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    1,256
    Our cat was tormented by another cat where she used to live (consequently she HATES other cats!) When we first got her, she would hide under the stairs and was difficult to coax out.

    Took awhile but now she is friendly, just hides (wisely) from our little kids LOL. When they are sleeping, she comes out meowing for affection, is a total lap kitty etc.
    Owned by a demanding cat. Lol

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