Skittish cats and their hiding places - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-23-2013, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
Jr. Cat
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 44
Skittish cats and their hiding places

So my previous cat, and my new kitten (both long-haired tortie females) have both been very shy and easily startled... My previous cat Rogue, grew out of it, at least when I was the only one home, but would be shy or startle if I had any guests. My new kitten Midna is even worse about this. Its only been 1.5 weeks since I got her, so I understand she may naturally grow out of it a little, but she is pretty bad with just me in the apartment. She comes out, but if I get up or move around, she runs straight back under my bed.

How have you dealt with these types of cats? Is there anything that can be done to discourage their skittishness? What worked and didn't work? Could I slowly block off her more elusive hiding places? She's under the bed the majority of the time, and I think there is even a hole in the dustcover of my boxspring that she climbs up and hides in.

Last night I had to give her oral abx, and it was a chore just to get ahold of her. I had to coherce her out of my room, shut the door so she couldnt run back under the bed, and even then she ran behind the fridge, and even found a small hole under the kitchen counter/sink fixture.

I'm going to patch up the kitchen hole, for safety reasons, but is blocking off her other options slowly over time an option that may help?
BlitzJG is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-23-2013, 08:16 PM
Cat Addict
 
emilyatl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,731
Oh yes, my kitty Jem has ripped holes in the fabric on the bottom of all of the boxsprings in all of the beds in the house. He climbs up there when he's really scared. It freaked me out the first time he did it because I had some painters in the house and I thought he'd gotten out. I was going around to every room calling him and heard a muffled meow, and eventually found him. He's 10 now and still does it. He's very skittish and never outgrew a lot of those tendencies.

I'd definitely patch anything up where it's someplace she could get stuck/hurt (like a hole under the sink). But I wouldn't worry about the mattress. She feels safe there, so just let her be, otherwise, she may just be more anxious.
emilyatl is offline  
post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-23-2013, 08:28 PM
Cat Addict
 
emilyatl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,731
And actually, I have old towels, blankets, etc. under all of my beds so Jem can get comfortable while he's there (he likes to nest/burrow). Whenever my niece and nephews come over (they are very rowdy), the doorbell rings, there's a bad storm, etc., that's where he retreats to. He obviously feels safe there, so I don't see a problem with it...
emilyatl is offline  
post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-23-2013, 09:21 PM
Cat Addict
 
snowy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,248
Well, ET is skittish too. I wouldn't block out his hiding place, in fact, I would make his hiding place more comfortable, like emilyatl, leave some blankets or something warm there. I am also making an effort to find a good and comfortable hiding place for him, I feel, they need a place to feel safe in, if they need to hide...they need to hide, I want him to feel safe and to know he has a place to go to when he is really scared.
snowy is offline  
post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-24-2013, 09:01 AM
Senior Cat
 
tezster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 835
I'm with snowy - I think it's a good idea to leave at least one hiding spot open and available, where a cat will feel safe to hide out in when startled.

During the day, it may help to leave the radio on at low volume during the day when you're not around to act as white noise. 1.5 weeks is still pretty short amount of time for a kitten to adjust to a new environment. I'm sure things will get better

Caretaker of two black cats
tezster is offline  
post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-24-2013, 10:03 AM
TLS
Kitten
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: NJ
Posts: 6
I love the advise about the hiding spot and making it even more comfortable!

My Tess was feral for at least a year before she and I became friends. What worked for us was complete passiveness on my part. I said to myself if I was afraid of something, what would I do about it? I would flee or fight. Since fleeing was no longer an option, I made sure she could "conquer". I kept her in the laundry room for the first couple of weeks -- I needed to monitor her a bit before giving free run of the house. As soon as I walked into the room, I watched her (but not looking straight at her)...I give her the "side-eye" -- she would let me get about 3 feet into the room before showing discomfort. I put my head down immediately, and said "you are WAY too scary for me!" And I would leave. I think it's important to stress that you are not REALLY afraid, because she might pick up on that and it could work against the whole process....It took a few weeks before I could approach my cat without her trying to hide. Now? She jumps up on my belly for skritches when I'm sleeping...but, I worked REALLY hard at paying attention to her body language. It was six months outside and almost a year inside and we still have issues, but she is NOT afraid of me....I hope this helps you a little bit -- the good thing is that she's still really young...
TLS is offline  
post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-24-2013, 10:07 AM
Cat Addict
 
howsefrau32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 2,999
I think some cats are just skittish and there is nothing you can do about it. I have one, Taffy, he is a big giant chicken. He has what we call his "hidey hole", which is underneath my daughter's skirted vanity table. It is his go to place when he is scared, like if he hears someone rip off a piece of tin foil, oh boy, look out, he is off! I have tried to get him used to it by doing this, when he is in the kitchen in the morning, I will rip the tin foil very slowly and say to him "see, it's ok, it won't hurt you", and this has actually helped him. He used to be terrified of plastic bags too, but I did the same thing, I let him see me and I shook them open gently so that he could see that it was just an empty bag and it wouldn't hurt him, and now he is hardly afraid of those at all. I make sure and talk to him when it is something that he is scared of, if I say "it's OK Taffy, it won't hurt you", he really does kind of look at me and doesn't bolt away. However, he is still afraid when we have company over and he will bolt to his hidey hole. Once someone has been over a few times and he sees that they are OK, he will eventually come out while they are here, but if it's a kid, forget it. My nephew comes over and you will not see Taffy the whole time, but in that case, I don't blame him.
howsefrau32 is offline  
post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-24-2013, 11:08 AM
Cat Addict
 
emilyatl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,731
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsefrau32 View Post
Once someone has been over a few times and he sees that they are OK, he will eventually come out while they are here, but if it's a kid, forget it. My nephew comes over and you will not see Taffy the whole time, but in that case, I don't blame him.
That's how my Jem is. My nephews are 8, 6, and 2. He hears them coming before the doorbell even rings and takes off for upstairs! I always shut the bedroom doors when they're here and turn on the alarm radio to drown out their noise. And I leave food/water for him under the bed to make him feel a little more comfortable. I wish I could hide under there with him sometimes.
emilyatl is offline  
post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2013, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
Jr. Cat
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 44
I feel so bad, because they both have supposed URI and I have to give them oral Abx. I am basically forced to traumatize her because otherwise I can't get ahold of her. I corale her out of my bedroom and shut the door, then I have to upend all other potential hiding places in the rest of my apartment so I can get ahold of her. There should be 6 more nights of this, I think she hates me... This seems like the only available method to get ahold of her, since its more or less necessary, do I get a pass for these 10 days of torture?
BlitzJG is offline  
post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-26-2013, 02:08 PM
Cat Addict
 
emilyatl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,731
I feel your pain. We've all had to deal with kitties who are difficult to medicate. She doesn't hate you, she just hates getting medicated. Kitties are very resisilient and she will forget all about this! Do you have anyone who can help you medicate her? I'm sorry you're having to go through this!
emilyatl is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome