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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Need Help with Scaredy Cat

We are trying to Anita resocialized with our other kitties and the rest of our house. She currently will not come out of our guest room or get near the other cats.

We knew to start we needed to get her confidence back up and started her on spirit essence: self-esteem while we put the other cats peacemaker and Storm on bully remedy (although we are really sure he's being a bully as much as he just plays rough and is high energy). The self-esteem really helped Anita get more comfortable with my husband and I moving around and being above her.

Next we started feeding the cats on opposite sides of the door from each other but Anita wouldn't get any closer 2 feet to the door. We've swapped litter boxes and bedding between the cats to get them reused to each others smells and that seems to have worked for the other cats but not Anita. We've started letting the other kitties in her room when we can supervise and as soon as they come in she hunkers down while hey will play with whatever toy we have out. She will eventually relax some to and be purr with pets but she is constantly aware of the other cats and if they come near her she hisses.

We also tried locking up the other cats in the other bedroom to try and get Anita to come out of her room to the den but she will not come out on her own. Not with toys or food. If you pick her up (which she hates) and bring her into the other room she cries loudly and runs back to her room as soon as she can. I even closed her door this past weekend so she couldn't run back in there and while eventually she responded to petting she still cried the entire time.

If we can't get her out and comfortable I'm afraid will have to find her a new home because she can't be happy living in a tiny little room. We have thought about adding either the spirit essence scaredy cat or safe place to her treatment but I'm not sure which one to get or if I should get both.

I would appreciate any advice on how to get her reintegrated into the house with everyone.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 05:26 PM
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How long have you had Anita? If it's only days or a few weeks, she needs more time. Is she an adult (spayed?) or kitten? Where did she come from? Friends? shelter? rescued as a stray? Some background may be helpful. So far it seems you're doing the right things. If you have a dog crate, you could set that up as her safe place in a room with other cats. Cover it partially to begin with. This will get her used to the cats and gradually accustom her to you and other people. She does sound very shy. Was she like this in her former place? Just trying to figure out if she's shy genetically or it's just the new environment. On the positive she is showing she can relax and purr. Some cats just don't like being picked up much, she may be one of them.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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We've had her about 5 years. She used to be fine with the other kitties and us but she still was very skittish. When we introduced Storm into the litter, she was aggressive with him sometimes but once he got bigger she stopped. However, Storm became the aggressor towards her. They were fine for the most part with a skirmish here and there but for the most part coexisted fine. Then for no reason that we could tell he became more aggressive with her and she began to hide under the couch coming out only when we were home. When she started to not use the litter box, we moved her to the guest room so that we could figure out what happened. It took her a while to get to the point that she didn't cower whenever someone came in the room. But even then once you sat down and were still she would come over for pets and attention.

Since we've been letting the other kitties come into her room with us, Storm has been fine with her for the most part. He's more interested in the toy than her. But she doesn't want any of the other cats near her and will hiss. Eris will hiss at her too but she's always been quick to warm up to who or whatever so as soon as we can get Anita to accept her I know she'll be fine.

We've been trying to tire Storm out at night also to get out all the excess energy.

I thought about the dog crate idea but we don't have one. I'm trying to see if any of my friends have one I can borrow but I'm afraid that putting her or one of the other cats inside to help reintroduce with backlash because they will associate being locked up with the other cat.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 06:14 PM
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those "spirit essences" are nothing more than bottles of water with a drop of alcohol in them. just a very profitable scam for mr. galaxy. some of the plants he uses are poisonous to cats but since they aren't really in the formula I guess it can't hurt them..

Last edited by marie73; 03-10-2015 at 07:46 PM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 07:45 PM
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Well since you've had her for 5 years, it doesn't sound like she's going to change in her personality too much. Unfortunately, oftentimes when you have a skittish cat, it's an invitation to be bullied by a more dominant cat, as it views its shyness as weakness. Getting Storm tired out by playing is a good move to drain off some of his energy. Apart from the hissing, I would pretty much ignore the behavior. Females tend to be more hissy than males anyway. Anita may never come around to be a really friendly cat with the others and remain 'guarded'. She may have learned that this defensive behavior makes her feel more comfortable with the other cats. Just love her up and try and to engage her in play as well. She may change as she gets older and be more relaxed, but maybe not too, so just accept her as she is. Good luck!

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellag View Post
those "spirit essences" are nothing more than bottles of water with a drop of alcohol in them. just a very profitable scam for mr. galaxy. some of the plants he uses are poisonous to cats but since they aren't really in the formula I guess it can't hurt them..
Seriously? Those magic potions seem to work for some members here. And I doubt he uses poisonous plants.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by marie73 View Post
Seriously? Those magic potions seem to work for some members here. And I doubt he uses poisonous plants.

the only thing you are getting for $24 is a nice little bottle of water with a few drops of alcohol in it that supposedly has the "energy" of some plants in it and yes some of those plants are poisonous to cats. this "essence" can't hurt them though because there isn't anything in the bottle but water and alcohol. the feliway pheromone spray does actually work for some cats but this spirit essence is worthless.
mr. galaxy is a great behaviorist and he saw an opportunity to make a lot of money. I think it would be more helpful to hire a behaviorist or ask the vet for anxiety meds instead of buying these essences.

there may be some placebo effect with the essences but most homeopathic remedies are just water.

I'm not alone in thinking this: https://www.catforum.com/forum/37-beh...-essences.html

I'm not trying to be rude, I just hate to see people waste their money and people get rich off scams. I've been in healthcare over 30 years and I've seen patients try all kinds of crazy cures and very very few worked.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 11:17 PM
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How would a placebo work for cat behavior? The cat thinks youre giving him a treatment to calm him (or whatever the item does) so he believes he's calm? That's just dumb.

Since we've had members here that have used them and have luck I'll take that opinion over an unsubstantiated prejudiced assumption.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 12:45 AM
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I feel like the reason she hisses at them when they come near, is because that little room is her only space and you're letting them access her space which is going to make her unhappy. Does she have high places she can hide in there? Or does she hide under things? She's probably scared to go into the rest of the house because it's the territory of the other cats.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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No, she's not a climber. She's a hider. And yeah I know she's scared to go into the rest of the house. I just need to find the best way to get her into it and socialized with the other kitties without traumatizing her too much.

I was planning on going by petco tonight anyway so I guess I'll look into picking up the feliway pheromone spray and give that a try.
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