Cat Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Dusty has come a long ways since we first brought him home. He turned from running & hiding from us into a real cuddler. He even sticks around when I play my banjo!!

However, he is terrified of the doorbell since that means strangers in the house. Any suggestions how I might get him not to hide when someone comes over? ...like my neighbor or the vet that makes house calls?
Patty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
My cats usually hide when someone knocks on the door or rings the bell. I haven't really done anything to try to change that, but I imagine the easiest way would be with tasty treats :p If Dusty has a favorite treat give him a little of it every day - but ONLY after you ring the doorbell. In time he'll hopefully come to associate the doorbell with TASTY TREAT TIME YAY and be less afraid. At least, that's what I'd try.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,151 Posts
I like catinthemirror's suggestion re treating after a doorbell ring.

Another thing to try is habituation, that is ring the doorbell very often so that he just gets used to it. When I first got Zuba he freaked at the beep beep of the microwave and would run from the kitchen every time. After a few weeks he ignored it, and eventually didn't respond to it at all. Zuba also never ran away from the doorbell, until we had workmen here doing house renovations and with all the hammering, power tools, banging etc. he came to associate the ringing of the doorbell=workmen coming. He still runs off to the bedroom to hide if he hears doorbell and visitors, but at 6-1/2 yrs. now will stay if it's someone he knows like my neighbor who catsits him from time to time. Tho if there are people here, and I go and bring him out he will stay and be sociable. Alkee on the other hand is my office door greeter. Tho I did have one cat one time that would always run and hide at the sound of a doorbell. She was very shy and didn't like strangers much. Good luck with your girl.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
many years ago we had a dog who barked whenever the doorbell rang.He taught the cats to run and hide when it rang. After the dog died, the cats continued to run and hide and taught younger cats to not like that dumb doorbell. Lots of times I rush the door when guests come to prevent them from ringing the doorbell!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I don't know if this works, but in one of my cat books you're supposed to block them from running, by putting them on a leash or in a cat carrier, then get them used to the doorbell ringing with "guests" that your cat knows. Obviously get the cat used to this step before moving on. Then you can have real guests come and visit, but only sit near him and not interact with him. Increase the time the visitors can stay around Dusty until he's used to visitors. Then the guests eventually sit closer and closer. Guests should not try to interact with Dusty just yet. Then you can give your guests Dusty's favorite treats and they can give him little tidbits through the bars of the cage. Later get Dusty out of the cage, probably in your arms, and take him to a single known guest and you and guest can pet the cat. The process is complete when only the guest is petting the cat. Obviously repeat this last step until the cat is comfortable with guests. And then it should be done. And, because I don't want be be accused of plagiarizing (sorry, college has drilled that into me) I got it from How to Talk to Your Cat by Claire Bessant. This is kind of an old book (written in 1992) but the solutions I have tried have all worked successfully. So, um, good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I think I have that book.
Probably try ringing bell to get him used to sound (w/treats) then work up to real visitors. For the longest time friends thought I was nuts & the cat was a figment of my imagination. Pictures convinced them there really was a cat. Now if they could just see the real Dusty!
Patty
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top