Adopted cat - please help

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Mimi77
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Adopted cat - please help

Post by Mimi77 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:34 am

We have recently bought a house, and the previous owners asked if we would like to keep their cat (they’re elderly and moving into a small flat). We agreed, I’ve had a cat before for fifteen years and love them. The previous owners adopted the cat about three years ago (other neighbours moved and didn’t take her with them). So I know she has not had an easy start. She’s about 5/6 years old I think.

The problem we’re having is that she will very, very rarely come into the house. I know she did with the previous owners because I saw her inside, but I don’t think they did much in way of affection etc. Nine times out of ten I’m having to feed her outside because she just won’t come in for food. She just stands at the back door being very vocal. On the rare occasion she has come in, and I’ve fed her in the kitchen, the slightest noise and she bolts out again. Once the back door got shut accidentally and she absolutely panicked.

She is very affectionate (in the garden), lots of head butts and loves being stroked.

Is there anything I can do to help her feel more at home? I’m leaving the back door open as much as possible so she can come in if she pleases, and trying each time to entice her in for food. It’s just when it’s pouring down she still won’t come in. Any advice will be much appreciated.

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Kay
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Re: Adopted cat - please help

Post by Kay » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:20 am

she feels safer in the garden, I suspect, and wary about the people coming and going in the house - and maybe she was regularly chased out of the house by previous owners - I suspect time, and cooler weather, will bring her round, and meanwhile it's lucky it's summer and you have time on your side

while you give her time, can you fix up some kind of outdoor shelter from the rain for her, near the back door, and perhaps instal a cat flap in the door so she will realise she can always get outside if she wants to

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Mollycat
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Re: Adopted cat - please help

Post by Mollycat » Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:18 am

How lovely to move into a house complete with cat!

Time and patience, and try to let go of expectations.

Many years ago a beautiful black tomcat would hang around our garden and he was curious about the house, but incredibly shy of people and never came anywhere near us. After months of him visiting like this, one afternoon I was alone sitting quietly and he decided to come in and curled up on my lap. From that day on he visited regularly, spent the night, and was as affectionate as any cat could be. We never fed him and he always went home for breakfast. Point is, we didn't try to persuade him we were ok, he figured it out all by himself given space and time.

I would just let her explore in her own time as she feels safer and gets to know you. To her the house is now very different, her territory has changed, the smells and furniture layout is all different. It's hers and yet it's all unfamiliar. A doorway is quite small really and cats need to know they can get back to where they feel safe. For encouragement I would do nothing more than buy a catnip spray and give it a squirt indoors daily, preferably when she is near the door, so that there is a positive relaxing smell about. Better still if the previous owners are happy to help, if they can give you some old clothes of theirs or a blanket and you can leave those around for a while, those will be familiar and she might respond.

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