The cat I brought inside seems to be getting more skittish...advice? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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The cat I brought inside seems to be getting more skittish...advice?

Hey everyone!

I posted here a few days ago after bringing a 4 month old kitten, Tibbers, inside in the hopes of taming him and giving him a happy life. He was doing very well when he was confined to the bathroom. He would come out and let me pet him and seemed generally happy. I decided to move him into my room where he'd get more socialization and could interact with the other cat. Since moving him, he seems to have become more wary of me. I thought it might be the other cat making him nervous, but every time she comes into the room, Tibbers brightens up and walks right up to her. Whenever he sees me now, he hisses and retreats to his hiding place under my bed.

I'm sure that he just needs time, but I'm worried that he's only going to get more skittish. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do now? I can tempt him out with food and once he comes out, he does enjoy me petting him. Should I just keep that up? Should I move him back into the bathroom until he's absolutely 100% comfortable with everyone?

Thanks in advance for the advice!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 07:58 PM
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I think moving him into your bedroom was a good idea, however, since he's so skittish you should probably block off access to under your bed. When he's under there he's not really interacting with you or becoming more social. I would have an area that he can hide more like a cubbyhole, something you can easily reach in and grab him from.

Maybe something like this:


Spend lots of time in your room, moving quietly and slowly, talking to him softly. Try and get him playing with wand toys.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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That's probably a good thing to do. Though, I'm not sure how I'd be able to block off the area under my bed.

He also does really enjoy wand toys already. He behaves like a normal cat besides the fact that he suddenly wants nothing to do with me.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackaroon View Post
That's probably a good thing to do. Though, I'm not sure how I'd be able to block off the area under my bed.

He also does really enjoy wand toys already. He behaves like a normal cat besides the fact that he suddenly wants nothing to do with me.
You can go to a local store and get cardboard boxes and tape. You can tape the cardboard to the bed and floor.


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Oh thank you Scottd, that's a great idea. I actually recently moved so I have plenty of cardboard just lying around. Hopefully that will keep him from hiding away!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 09:47 PM
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And don't get discouraged, I don't know how long it's been, but my two very friendly cats hid for days to a couple of weeks before they started acting normal, and now those two follow me like dogs.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the advice! I blocked off my bed using cardboard and within 5 minutes it seems to help. His first instinct when he sees me is to try and hide, but a few seconds after his fear subsides he walks right up to me for pets. And now that he doesn't have an out-of-reach hiding spot he has no choice but to calm down. Thanks again guys!

Jadis, it's only been about 2 weeks but I haven't done anything like this before and it's really difficult to not be discouraged. I'm always worried he's never going to overcome his fears and since I live with a person who isn't exactly a fan of cats, it's just too easy to psych myself out.

Thanks so much to everyone though! Even just hearing encouraging words helps : )
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 12:14 AM
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That's really great news! From your description I would say he'll become a great cat. He is still a kitten, they adjust faster. He's come a very long way in just two weeks, everything considered. Give this time.

One of my cats was a feral kitten, he lived on the couch curled in a ball for the first few months. It took around a year until he felt safe walking near the door of the apartment (there were strangers and foreign noises out there!!) ... I remember even a few years in seeing him pick up new (more relaxed) traits. Eventually he became really tame and loving around the people he knows, though. He wants to be the ultimate lap cat and loves having "meowing" conversations with us. He's always been terrified of strangers, but oh well.

I also tamed a feral cat from outside... took a year until she'd let me pet her! When we first brought her inside she flipped and escaped out a broken window, she thought the indoors were going to kill her, basically. She (Blacky) became a fantastic cat eventually, loves following us around outdoors - even on walks - and sleeps curled up on me in bed at night. Best thing I ever did was tame her, she's brought so much joy, and when you really work towards taming them, they don't forget it. You get a special bond from it, so don't lose hope.


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Last edited by Carmel; 09-24-2012 at 12:16 AM.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 12:28 AM
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Oh yeah, thought I'd add, Blaze (the feral kitten I mentioned) came to love sleeping in the hall closet right beside the "scary" door at the apartment, it was his sleeping area! Likewise, Blacky at first was a ticking time-bomb, touch her the wrong way she she'd bite and kick, she got over it after a few years, trust needed to build up though. Now we can scratch her stomach (a danger zone in a lot of cats even if they weren't feral) and she enjoys it, no threat of biting.

Another thing to suggest is to sit close to your cat while you feed him, maybe petting him a little is good too. It's a bonding experience, they're going to warm up faster to the one that gives food. And handing out some treats when he comes over to you never hurt either.


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Carmel, thank you so much for the kind words! It's really really helpful to hear that it's possible for him to adjust even though it takes time. When I found him, I was really seeking some feline companionship and took him in on a whim really. The only other cat I took in was about a week old and so she adjusted to people really well and with no troubles. I probably had higher standards than I should have when I took Tibbers in, but hearing about your cats I definitely have hope for him. Especially since he seems like he adjusted more quickly than your cats hahah

They both sound like wonderful cats though! Blacky seems especially wonderful. Plus she is so pretty, wow!!
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