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Thread: How to transition an anxious/scared kitty

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Indianapolis, IN

    How to transition an anxious/scared kitty

    My new kitty arrived this morning, and is very scared/anxious.

    I know it must be scary being taken to some strange place and all of a sudden being in new surroundings, so how do you ease this transition? I want to be able to bond with him, but he was just so scared and hid, so I figured I should leave him alone for the day.

    I put him in the bathroom with the brand new litterbox, mini cat tree, bed, food and water bowls so he can slowly adjust.

    This kitty came from a breeder of orientals, so this is completely new territory for me. All of my other kitties have found me, and most were easily transitioned because being street cats, they knew the hardships of living on the street and what a blessing it is to have someone love them.

    This kitty has never known any hardships, so I can imagine he's quite upset about leaving his comfortable home to come to some strange place where he doesn't know anyone.

    Any ideas on how to help him become a happy and pampered house pet?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Deep-N-Heart of Tx && My Babie's Hearts

    How to transition an anxious/scared kitty

    Yes Karen I also left advise on Michelle's thread.. With my girls they would each differ.. I would keep seperated for 12 to 24 hours & or what ever it took.. I would keep encourging the baby with my apprerance & huggs.. Then would supervise the new baby with the others.. I have learned to break the ice is to put the new baby in your lap with the others & start playing with all A Dangled toy or two.. That gets the focus & tensions off of all.. **CONGRATES ON THE NEW BABY**gOOD Luck & pictures please..

    ~~~Thank You Very Much {Kim} kimlovescats for the Grand Siggy~~~

    [[ Furr Babies are Like Potato Chips **** No One Can Have Just One ]]
    ****** Kindness, Mercy & Justice to All Living Creatures ******
    {{{{{Everyday is a Gift = That's why it's Called the Present }}}}}
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    South Florida
    Try giving the kitty a stuffed animal. He is probably lonely for his cat family. I'm sure he will soon be bonding with you!
    Cathy loves Cocoa Kitty.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Chicago area, Illinois, USA
    Visit frequently with treats and toys (with bathroom door shut behind you).

    Use a feather toy or string toy to lure baby out from hiding. Sooner or later, he won't be able to resist the temptation!

    As he gets used to playing with you/toy, keep pulling the toy closer and closer to you. Talk soothing baby kitty talk. You know what I mean!

    I used this method on a feral kitten this fall. Your baby is domestic, so it shouldn't take long.

    When she accepts you, it's time for introductions. Although, I recommend isolation for a while, as you're right--it's quite scary to leave your home and be transported to a strange with strange cats.

    Good luck to you and New Kitty. (Did a miss a naming thread somewhere? )
    Spoiled child, bad
    Spoiled cat, good

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    Quote Originally Posted by AbbyMom
    ...(Did a miss a naming thread somewhere? )
    Actually, yes!
    It can be found here:

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I agree, taking is slow and keeping him isolated for now is probably the best way to go. When I get home, I'll start trying to bribe him with treats and toys


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    When I got Angel from a breeder all she did was hide. So it's not just your cat. Cats get scared when they move from one place to another. It may take awhile for your kitty to become comfortable.
    Maybe you should leave your cat alone for awhile so she would get use to her surrondings. But try to stay around her. Try to give her treats and try to play with her. Soon, your new kitty will learn that your nice and she shouldn't be afriad.

    Good Luck!!
    Thank you so much for my siggy, kittycats_delight!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Methuen, MA; USA
    Let him adapt at him own pace. If he feels rushed, he feels threatened.

    Work on him adapting to you first; leave intros to other pets for later.

    Food is your friend. Feeding times should be routine. After a few feedings, show up a little bit late; maybe 10 minutes. Try offering food from your hand.

    Toys and play time are good too. I liked the idea of a soft toy for him to cuddle with. And maybe a towel or such with your scent on it.

    He HAS lived in a home, just not yours. So the transition won't be a long or difficult as for a feral. Good Luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Santa Clara, CA
    Wow!!! I didn't know that you got him already. Congrats!!! I don't know what to add because you've already been given very good advice. 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

  9. #9
    When Eddie first came to us he hid. Don and I would go to the basement (where he was living) and just sit. We would read the paper or a book and talk to Eddie. We made no attempt to grab him or force him out. We just wanted him to get comfortable with our presence.

    After a while he began to come out. He would run if we moved too fast...but slowly he adjusted!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Portland, Orygun, USA
    Is he doing better now?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    Thanks for all of the helpful advice everyone! Phinehas is doing just great! For the first couple of days, I sat in the bathroom with him and read a book. He came out of his kitty tent and started sitting in my lap, so that was really good progress! The more I went into the bathroom, the more comfortable he became.

    Now, the trouble is keeping him IN the bathroom! Does anyone else have kitties that can open doors?


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