Post # 1
We adopted a 5 year old cat from the shelter last spring. I know it takes cats a while to settle in, but she’s been living in a closet since May. She comes out after we go to bed to eat and use the litter box. If I go to her she enjoys pets and cuddles. she won’t let me pick her up or coax her out of the closet. I’d really love for her to be with us. Any ideas? or is this just going to be the way she is forever?
Post # 2
I would say just continue to give her a comfortable environment and she may eventually come around. She may have just had a rough life before being adopted. Thanks for taking in an older kitty and giving her the home she deserves. 🙂 By The Way, my adult cat took 6 months to get used to the kitten we brought home. He was very moody and reclusive for a while but eventually got over it and now they are best friends.
Post # 3
Aw, poor thing! I would keep going to her and hanging out with her in the closet, and giving her treats and toys to play with. If she’s sweet to you in there, I think she’ll come out eventually. FWIW, we adopted an adult cat, too, and never thought he’d ever sit in our lap. Well, it’s been two years now, and just in the past few months, he’s started sitting in our laps and purring like a maniac. So, they can get more cuddly!
Post # 4
I think she will come round eventually! I didnt even see my cat for the first 4-5 months.. the first time I laid eyes on her out from underneath the sofa was when I woke up in the middle of the night and she was sleeping on my pillow! Scared the bejeezus out of me! Didn’t see her again for ages after that. That was 3 years ago and currently the little sod is walking all over me meowing and demanding i get up. Be patient and keep providing a loving and safe environment and eventually she’ll come round 😊
Post # 5
Have you tried Feliway (I think it’s called that). The calming hormone?
Post # 6
punkybrewster: Awwwww, she sounds like a lovely wee thing and so do you for adopting her 🙂
I don’t have any personal experience with cats like this, but I’ve definitely had a couple of cats that seemed to soften and become much more people-focused as they matured, so it seems very likely to me that she may change a little over the years. Fingers crossed she does so that you can get the most from your time together.
Post # 7
Give her some more time. If she enjoys pets and cuddles in the cupboard, then hang out with her in there. Keep giving her treats and ringing her toys. Does she enjoy catnip? I think she will come around, it just might be really slow! I second the recommendation to get Feliway.
We adopted our cats as kittens, and one of them has always been very nervous and anxious. Five years later he is a very affectionate cat, but still doesn’t like being picked up, won’t sit on our laps and will run under the bed at the first since of company. He was slow to come around (maybe six months or so?) and he was only a kitten! I think because we have two, he was able to model his behaviour on the other cat which may have given him the confidence initially to explore more.
Post # 8
punkybrewster: is the closet in your bedroom? If so I would hang out there a lot more so she gets used to you being there in a non-threatening manner. Bring her out of the closet and cuddle her in that room. She’ll associate that room as being a safe room where she gets pats. Then she might be more inclined to make an appearance in that room voluntarily. From there you can work on other rooms.
We adopted a 10-year-old cat a year ago. Initially he was so scared he hid inside our sofa bed (like – actually inside the base of the sofa that the bed folds up into). After that he was only prepared to come out into the room the sofa bed was in. Then eventually the front half of the house. Then the whole house. That took a couple of months. In that time he would come and say hi and demand a pat, but would run away if we tried to pick him up and was not into laps at all.
Fast forward a year and he’s sitting on my lap as I speak. The timid boy now bosses everybody in the house. I don’t think anything changed but, like your cat, he’s an adult and his world was thrown into chaos when he went into a shelter. So you can’t really blame your cat if she takes some time.
Post # 9
punkybrewster: it just takes time. I adopted a 9 year old cat, probably took her a year and a half to settle in and now she is brave and will come for cuddles etc.
Post # 10
I would speak to a qualified veterinary behavioralist (ask your vet for a recommendation). This is an issue that she should be able to overcome with love and patience!
Do you have beds for her in other areas, and nice, high shelves or other places for her to sit? Cats generally feel safer up high
Post # 11
The closet is in the basement in a hallway, like the furthest from us she can be (it’s fully finished, and where the kids bedrooms and bathrooms are). She never plays, even though she has toys. She doesn’t seem to care for catnip. I bought her cat trees, but she hides in the back of the closet. Her hiding spot moves quite a bit, usually once we’re on to her, and I can go for days without seeing her. I know she’s here because the food disappears and she uses the litter box.
The shelter said she was a Main Coon, but I took it with a grain of salt. But once her hair grew back in, it became pretty obvious that she is, and she’s a really strikingly beautiful cat. Main Coon tend to want to go to ground and not climb, so that explains why she hides in the basement.
She seems happy, if a bit lonely. She was obviously miserable in the shelter. She was a bag of bones and had very little hair. Now she’s kind of chubby and has medium length very thick hair, and even has hair poking out between her toes. She’s the kind of cat who would never have gotten a home, so there’s that at least, but I would love for her to be more of a lapcat for me. At this point I’m not sure what to do, and I feel like I’m going to have a closet cat for the next 10+ years.
Post # 12
We adopted an older cat too and she hid for six months. It’s been almost four years since we have had her and she finally hops up on our laps. She is finally the needy cat I wanted. It took her time and we had plenty. Just be patient.
Post # 13
I agree with the feliway comment!! Very much recommend 😀
Post # 14
Based on your description of her being a bag of bones with very little hair when you got her, it sounds like something was very wrong before you brought your kitty home. Either abuse, neglect, or extreme emotional duress, which could explain why she is so shy and uncomfortable around people.
I agree with PPs… I’d contact your vet and do some research about handling cats that were abused or mistreated. She obviously trusts you if you can touch her, but she’s not yet confident enough to come out and explore the rest of the house. Be patient with her. As long as you handle the situation properly, in time she should be a little friendlier and more social.
Post # 15
I think it was emotional because she had been at the shelter for a long time. She definitely had vet care and plenty of food in the almost 1 year she had been there. She was just unhappy. They told me not to bother with her because she was not friendly, but I’ve had cats my whole life and I know an aggressive cat when I see one. Within 2 minutes I had her eating out of my hand and purring, so I took her home. She’s super sweet, just scaredy. She made great progress the first few months we had her, but since then she has just settled in the basement, comes out in the middle of the night (I’ve caught her wandering around the kitchen at 2 am, lol), and seems perfectly content hiding. I’m not sure if I should push her a little, or keep waiting.