Post # 1
I posted before about getting a kitten and after going to the shelter, we ended up adopting an adult female!
The thing is, she is SUPER shy. She had been fostered for 5 weeks, then at petsmart for a couple weeks after that. I was able to talk with the lady who fostered her and she said that she would’ve adopted her if she hadn’t had so many animals to begin with, lol. She said she is really shy with people and took her a while to warm up to her, but that she loved her dogs! We have a dog, so this was really important to us. Our dog’s name is Jelly, so we are going to name her something like, Peanut Butter, PB, Peanut… Any ideas for a name?
Anyway, we brought her home last night and put her in the seperate bedroom from everyone and she basically has hidden the whole time. She actually came out when we put up the baby gate and let our dog sniff/look at her. She came up to the gate and rubbed against it with our dog there.
I found her this morning wedged in a tiny bookshelf. She hasn’t eaten, drank, or gone potty yet. She seemed curious about going outside the room, so we left the door open and she came out and wedged herself under the couch upstairs. :(She has the whole upstairs to herself because we have put a gate up at the bottom so the dog can’t go upstairs.
So what do I do? I put out some wet food, treats, and dry food. She has water and everything. I’m just worried about her not eating or drinking. I mean, we only brought her home yesterday afternoon, so I’m probably rushing things. But she is so sweet. She doesn’t hiss, bite, claw or anything. We’ve only heard her meow a little bit. She did make a cute sound to the dog when rubbing against the gate though. But then our dog did a play bow and whined at her and she walked away.
Has anyone adopted a shy cat before? How did you get them to warm up to you? Any other advice anyone can give me?
Here’s a picture of our new kitty:
Post # 3
Your kitty is beautiful!
Three months ago my Fiance and I adopted 2 kitties from the Pet Smart rescue. A mother and daughter. The mother (Penny) is only 7 months older than her 11 month old baby (their ages now). Penny hid for days until she finally came out to peek. It’s taken 3 months and she is only finally now starting to make a good turn. Until a week ago, it was so hard to get her to come out when we were around. This week she has hopped up on the bed 3 times. It’s like I don’t know who this cat is.
The one thing I recommend is that if the kitty is hiding, don’t force them to come out. Try going in to the room and just talking to them, so they get used to your voice. They will learn to trust you.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it might take some time, but your kitty will come around. Patience is the key. I have found it frustrating but the times that she has started to come around are so exciting. It’s worth the wait 🙂
Post # 4
I would give it some time, you have only had her for a day. She is beautiful, by the way! Congrats!
I have never heard of a cat starving itself to death because of shyness. She’ll come around, I promise.
One of our kitties was pretty shy, and still gets freaked out when there are a lot of people in the house, or people he doesn’t know. But with us, he is very vocal now and a big snuggler. 🙂
What helped with our kitty was that we also brought home his brother who was less than shy. His brother led the way, so to speak, and showed him that we could be approached without anything bad happening. Darling Husband also spent a lot of time talking to him softly when he was hiding, and trying to handle him as much as he could. This cat now loves my husband to death!
Two things I found that work well with shy cats are to make sure they know the food comes from YOU, and to blink at them slowly when you look at them. The blinking is supposed to communicate to them that you are completely relaxed and have no interest in a confrontation with them. I swear it works! I’m feeding a feral cat colony and I have a few candidates who used to run for the hills whenever they saw me outside, and now let me get near, up to a few feet of them.
Post # 5
Our adopted cat is the same way. She is adorable By The Way 😀 Oh my gosh. So cute.
I’d say give it time. We’ve had out cat for almost two months and just now is she okay with following me around the house, still doesn’t let me pick her up and hides from us at times. But is always happier when I ignore her and just let her be in the same room as me.
I’m guessing something in her past had a traumatic influence on how she’s acting now. I’ve learned cats can be a lot like people and most shelter kitties I’ve had act like they have some kind of PTSD for a while. :/ it’s sad but they do come out of it in time and with lots of love.
Post # 6
it will take time. we adopted a cat 1.5 years ago. she had a rough life — was a stray during the last winter, had hernia surgery and was spayed while pregnant. she was just over 8 pounds (she’s a long cat so that was pretty skinny). she hid for the first hour behind a couch and then came out and slept under the dining room table on the dining room chair. but she was always hungry and cried for food through the night. bf slept next to her and got up every few hours to feed her. after two weeks with us, at her first vet appt, she was over 10 pounds. now she’s about 15.
she’s still pretty shy. she often runs upstairs or hides under something when we have guests. she still like to hide in dark cavernous places. but she is very affectionate with bf. he calls her his puppy. when my sister and her bf came to visit a few months ago, she was initially shy but she warmed up to them. she’s made a lot of progress. she probably will never be like our other cat — who is outgoing and friendly.
when my sis adopted two cats, they both hid together. after a little while, they came out of hiding and now one cat sleeps on my sister’s bed and the other sleeps in her roommate room.
i think cats when they are in new surroundings, they find a safe spot to assess the situation. when you’re out of the house, they will come exploring.
Post # 7
Thanks for all the advice everyone. I know I need to give her more time. I wish I could just tell her that I’m a good person and I’m not here to hurt her! Poor thing. I like the idea of just sitting in the room with her and talking to her a little bit. Her foster lady said that she is like a ninja, She’s super sneaky and quiet. She said she would dissapear for hours and just show up out of nowhere, lol. Total ninja kitty.
I just need to have some more patience, it seems like!
Post # 8
Good news everyone! After hiding under the couch for most of the day, my husband and I picked up the couch, got her out, and put her back in her room with her food and litter. We sat in the room on the opposite side of where she was looking out the window and read books and talked for about an hour. Well, she groomed herself and ate a couple treats i had left out AND she ate most of the wet food i gave her! I’m so happy!
All I need now is for her to use her litter box and drink some water and I’ll be totally estatic. My husband and I plan to spend time in her room each day this week, and hopefully we can make some more progress!
Post # 9
I’m glad you are making progress! I don’t really have much advice, but I wanted to say that she is a gorgeous cat! And I love that you adopted an adult cat. I’m sure she will come to be very comfortable around you guys, and I’m sure she is happy to have a new forever family! :]
Post # 10
We adopted two approx. year old kitties at the end of December. They were both fosters. The second I opened the door to the carriers, the girl kitty came out and never looked back. My boy was a different story. He spent DAYS in his carrier. I spent a LOT of time in the room with them and he hardly ever came out, no matter how much I coaxed and offered treats/wet food, etc. He wouldn’t even come out to eat so we had to put his food in the carrier with him. It took a long time for him to get comfortable coming out of his “safe place.”
Don’t worry if you dont see her drinking – cats in general don’t have a very high thirst and she is more than likely doing it when she is alone and feels comfortable. They are also very very good at “holding it” in regards to litter box business. If she isn’t drinking much anyway she won’t have to go as often, but eventually she will have no choice. Just make sure she knows where the litterbox is and make sure it is easy to get to without her having to pass people / the dog / other things that will scare her away from the box rather than towards it, she won’t want to use it if it’s too scary.
The best advice I can give is to just spend all the time you can with her. Don’t force her to come out, get a book and sit quietly on the floor, play on a laptop, etc, and don’t fuss over her too much. Curiosity will get the better of her if you aren’t paying her attention. Tempt her with wet food and pet her when she comes out and eats it. The slow blinking someone mentioned is also great. You will feel really silly doing it – but I did this with my shy boy and I swear this is part of the reason he trusts me so completely now. Just be patient, she will come around!!
Post # 11
So last night, my husband and I sat in her room before we went to bed last night and she, all of a sudden, started chirping and rubbing against her scratching post! She was acting really friendly, so I put my hand out and she rubbed against my hand too! I even was able to brush her for a little bit. She seemed to really love it!
I’ve been trying to do the little chirping sound she makes and doing the slow blink and I think that’s really helped! Thanks so much for those who suggested that. Who knew!
This morning I went in to see her and she was laying in the corner behind the office chair. So I just sat down and started talking to her and 30 seconds later, she jumped out and started chirping and meowing and rubbing my extended hand. She still is a little jumpy if she rubs my hand and I move my hand towards her. So I just let her rub me and I stroke her side a little bit. She also flopped over on her side and let me rub her tummy a little too!
She even played with her ball-in-a-track thing and I got her to bat at a wand I got her too.
I’m just so excited that she is coming out of her shell so much quicker than I thought she would! 🙂
She has also eaten wet/dry food and gone potty 3 times since she’s gotten here, so I’m not worried about that anymore. I put out a bowl of water along with her gravity waterer since I’m not sure what kind she might prefer.
Hooray! I’m going to try to get some more cute pictures of her to post.
Post # 12
One more thing, she sheds like nothing I’ve seen before! Lol. Do all cats shed like crazy?? I was just brushing her and the fur just kept coming, and coming and coming!!
Post # 13
@AbbyDabbyDoodleBug: Cats shed more when they’re stressed. Also, other bees may disagree, but my personal opinion is that food really helps in making their coats beautiful as well. I feed my cats high protein, organic food and their coats are gorgeous and they do not shed that much.
Post # 14
@hotchildinthecity: What brand of food do you use? We got a free bag of Purina Pro something when we adopted her, since that was the kind of food they were feeding the cats. I plan on switching when we are getting low on that.
Post # 15
I feed Wellness wet and dry (dry in the morning, wet at night). In the past, I have also used Natural Balance and Before Grain. Wellness is just working best for us at the moment.
Just remember when switching to blend it in and not switch suddenly. But it seems like you already knew that 😉 Food with less fillers will also make their litterbox much more tolerable. When we fed Liza Purina kitten chow when she was a baby, the litterbox was UNBEARABLE. When their food is more pure/less fillers, their poop is less stinky!
Post # 16
@AbbyDabbyDoodleBug: Yay for you and kittie! It’s a REALLY good sign that she flopped over and let you rub her belly! You guys are bonding nicely. 🙂