Coaxing a rehomed cat out of hiding?

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Jenni678
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Coaxing a rehomed cat out of hiding?

Post by Jenni678 »

Hi. I have a rehomed a cat and I am worried about her hiding.

She’s often under the kitchen units (its safe but v dusty!).

I’m clearly keen not to frighten her and let her settle in in her own time. But equally am thinking that it can’t help her being so isolated and worried a short term position will become a more permanent habit.

I’m prepared to be patient. Is that the way forwards. I’d be happy to hear other experiences.
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Mollycat
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Re: Coaxing a rehomed cat out of hiding?

Post by Mollycat »

Hi Jenni,

I completely understand your wish to help her and for her to feel comfortable, but honestly the best help you can give her is to let her decide when it's safe to come out. As long as she is eating, drinking and using her tray, even if it's only at night when everyone is asleep, it's just fine. As long as you let her act as she feels, this won't become a habit, she won't hide for any longer than she feels she needs to. If you did try to push before she is ready, she would hide for longer.

To help her feel safe - let her choose where she hides and never block her access to it (unless it is dangerous!) and try to avoid sudden moves and loud noises near her hiding place, and announce your arrival by talking softly and up-beat to her, like you would to a baby. Avoid eye contact, and spend some time like a few minutes several times a day sitting on the floor if possible nearby but not directly facing where she is, talk or read to her and when her shy little nose appears to check things out, carry on as if she wasn't there.

My Molly was an extremely shy 6 year old once upon a time who spent her first week under the bed and bolted back there at the slightest thing for years. For 6 months I thought she hated being touched. for 7 years the sofa was lava. We are more than 8 years on and she still makes little steps, Saturday for the first time she lay on the bed facing me instead of facing away, and a couple of months ago she got herself in a situation and let me pick her up for the first time. Nervous cats are an incredible journey, great teachers - they force us to look at the world through their eyes and really truly appreciate them. Yes infinite patience is absolutely the right way forward.
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Kay
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Re: Coaxing a rehomed cat out of hiding?

Post by Kay »

I had a cat who hid underneath the kitchen units for a couple of weeks - apart from removing one of the kick boards, so he could see into the kitchen, I left him to it - the kitchen is in fact a good place for a cat to get used to household noise and smells, and lots of coming and going.

Once he had decided it was safe to come out, he never went back to his former safe place - he found the top of the wardrobe offered him a far better vantage point!
Jenni678
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Re: Coaxing a rehomed cat out of hiding?

Post by Jenni678 »

Hi. Update. Our cat is now roaming around meowing and exploring. It took a week or so but patience and coaxing was, for us, the way forwards. Also, keeping food and litter in same room but a little away from hiding places helped, we think.

We’re gradually increasing where our cat can roam inside the house. Thanks all.
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Mollycat
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Re: Coaxing a rehomed cat out of hiding?

Post by Mollycat »

Great news and thank you for the update.
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Re: Coaxing a rehomed cat out of hiding?

Post by Sam »

We rescued a Norwegian forest cat 13 years ago when she was three through the NFCC welfare, she had been badly treated by a breeder and had become very traumatised and feral she wouldn’t trust anyone, when we brought her home she would hide, we left her alone and gave her the full run of the house and always left her alone in her hiding places, one of her favourite places was behind the drawn curtains of the French windows, it was a long time before she would sleep properly as she was always on her guard, she gradually came round to trusting us after two years, and finally let us groom her, it was about 3 years before she gave us her first purr.
After what she had gone through she turned out to be a very affectionate and loving cat. It takes time and patience, we don’t know what trauma’s they have suffered in the past, it was very rewarding seeing her gradually becoming more confident.
Sadly we had to have her put down 6 weeks ago due to a tumour on her kidney, the kidneys weren’t functioning. Hopefully when we have come to terms with losing her we will find another Norwegian who is in need of a better life.
Jenni678
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Re: Coaxing a rehomed cat out of hiding?

Post by Jenni678 »

Thank you for sharing. And when the time is right for you, there'll be a cat out there who'll be so lucky to become part of your family,
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