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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've had Jackrabbit, one of our fosters, for almost 3 weeks. He's still pretty much just as horrified of everything as he was on his first day here. He hides, has to be dragged out from wherever he's hiding, and we sit with him on our lap. He's not aggresive in any way - just scared and unsure. Once we have him on our lap, he'll stay there for a while. His pupils are still gigantic.
My mom said he's starting to get 'okay' with her and her boyfriend, since they're the ones in here all the time with him. However, he needs to get used to other people, and he's petrified of me.

How can we bring him out of his shell? Another foster suggested putting him in a backpack and carrying him around, but that just scared him half to death. We've tried several suggestions to no avail, so hopefully some of you might have some insight for us. :)
 

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You know you really shouldn't drag them out of any hiding spot... they will only take longer to come around. Instead it's suggested you talk to them when you're in the same room smoothly and softly, and let them stay hidden. Then a month or two months from now, they will come out on their own! Don't worry, they will use the cover of the night to get their food and go potty in the litter pan. Just don't force it anymore. (just my 2 cents)
 

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Cats need their safe places. I would put a litter box near him to avoid any accidents because he's too scared to travel to one that's farther away. Hang out by him, give him treats, read a book, just be near him and nonthreatening. That will help build trust.
 

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I agree, "dragging" them out from where they feel safe is just going to ensure they never feel safe with you...

Sitting nearby and reading aloud. Offering treats on the ground and then moving them closer to you. Never make eye contact...slow blinking...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They told us to never allow him to hide because if he's allowed to hide, he'll always hide.... Just recapping from what they've told/suggested to us.
 

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I'm no expert, but I think cats enjoy having their own little spots to hide in sometimes. It's just normal, just like humans. Sometimes we want to get away from it all, go home and curl in a corner or have a duvet day without anyone annoying us. Don't drag him away from his quiet zone. He'll eventually come out when he's ready.
 

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I would think if you constantly drag him out, he'll always fear you.

There are no rules or right way to do things. But one of the reasons cats are recommended to have a safe room, or a safe place, when they first come home with you is so no matter what happens, they have a place to retreat to, to feel safe.

Where is his safe place? Does he come out to pee, poop and eat?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
He comes out at night to eat and potty. He hides either under the bed, in the closet, or behind/under the night stand.

I come in here from time to time when no one is home, and I've never seen him out. He's always hiding unless he's eating or going potty.
 

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Have you tried playing with him either with a laser pointer or a wand toy (my girls like the wand end better than the toy end).
 

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Have you tried playing with him either with a laser pointer or a wand toy (my girls like the wand end better than the toy end).
Yes, you should really try to get him to play, thats whats working with Lickorish. It helps that we also have her bff Squeek. Even when Lickorish wouldn't come out, we'd start playing with Squeek and suddenly Lickorish was there! Even when my hubby was there and she was super scared of hubby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We're going to foster his brother also (not sure exactly when, though). Not going to lie, I'm pretty nervous.... The others who fostered him said that he scares them. He cut a tendon in someone's hand from scratching and did quite a bit of damage after biting someone. Not incredibly excited about fostering him, to be honest....
 

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Maybe someone with an awful lot of experience should foster that problematic cat.

Re your foster: patience is the best solution, and a safe hiding place from where to study the dynamics of the new surroundings for some time is the best you can offer him at this stage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm with you guys on that one.... They're giving him to us because 1) He's his brother, and 2) They think that with another cat to show humans aren't scary, then he might come out more.
However, I don't think giving us a psycho cat will help much.... The experienced fosters are afraid of him, I don't know why they're giving him to us, who have only been fostering for about 2 months....
 

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dawww my black cat was very similar at the beginning. He didn't like people much, would hide and i would panic not knowing where he'd gone. He's over that now. It's a growing thing. He'll be fine with time. Mine still likes his private time. I think it's adorable.
 
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